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What to do in Aspen and Durango

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13 June 2005
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West Coast Florida
My family is traveling to Colorado this summer for about 8 days. Staying first in Aspen and then on to Durango. It's been several years since I've been to either.

Any thoughts, suggestions, activities or restaurant advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
Take the drive through the national forest in Aspen. Beautiful overlooks, elk, marmots, etc. (be sure to take binoculars). Durango has it's own feel, park and walk the main street, have lunch and visit some of the unusual stores.

This is more of a laid-back trip. The kids may not find it very exhilirating (depends on the kids).
 
Just being there is a great trip to me. Tons of hiking if they are into that. I used to love conquering "14 teeners" as a kid - mountains over 14k in height. My dad and I used to pick them out on the map and talk about how tough it was going to be but it made what seemed like a normal hike a big accomplishment I could share with family/friends (don't get me wrong, it takes all day and is far from easy). My little brother despised the outdoors but he'd get so stubborn a grizzly bear couldn't have stopped him from making it to the top once we decided it was a challenge rather than a PITA exercise "dad made us do."

I am more familiar with the restaurants in Telluride than in Durango or Aspen. I'm sure Aspen has tons. If I am not mistaken Durango has a great public swimming area.
 
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For $200 Alex, Famous Places named after Dodges:

dodge-aspen-03.jpg


dodge-durango-08.jpg
 
Just outside of Aspen is the Maroon Bells. I was there in Sept. 2008 at the peak of the aspen trees turning yellow. They'll be green when you're there but it's still a pretty place with a lake. I'd go there.


DSC_1103canvas.jpg
 
You should take out the train from Durango to Silverton. It's an amazing trip. I rode it 15+years ago and will remember it for the rest of my life. If you go, I suggest an open car instead of a closed car. You get alot closer to everything and the air is amazing up there.

http://www.durangosilvertonrailroad.com/


Also check out the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park. A little farther away, but worth seeing. http://www.visitmesaverde.com/
 
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DANG! YOU GUYS ARE GOOD! I already have the Durang steam train reserved and we are going to squeeze in Mesa Verde one morning.
Alsop plan to go to Woody's tavern in Woody Creak near Aspen and also go to Maroon Bells before sunrise.

How about restaurant, jeep tours, rafting? Keep the ideas coming. We're leaving in a few days.


You should take out the train from Durango to Silverton. It's an amazing trip. I rode it 15+years ago and will remember it for the rest of my life. If you go, I suggest an open car instead of a closed car. You get alot closer to everything and the air is amazing up there.

http://www.durangosilvertonrailroad.com/


Also check out the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park. A little farther away, but worth seeing. http://www.visitmesaverde.com/
 
I have not rafted there, but the train travels along the river and crosses it multiple times. I did see lots or people rafting and kayaking along the way so it's obviously doable there.

I didn't eat in Durango, but there are several little places in Silverton. It was just a day trip before heading out for a backpacking trip for the rest of the week.

Nice going on the train! Be sure to report back after you go. Did you reserve an open car?
 
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DANG! YOU GUYS ARE GOOD! I already have the Durang steam train reserved and we are going to squeeze in Mesa Verde one morning.
Alsop plan to go to Woody's tavern in Woody Creak near Aspen and also go to Maroon Bells before sunrise.

How about restaurant, jeep tours, rafting? Keep the ideas coming. We're leaving in a few days.
I sure hope you post photos for us to live vicariously through you when you can.

I have a friend, Jim, who has a second home in the Durango area. I'll shoot him an email and see if he has any ideas on restaurants, jeep tours and rafting. He has his own Jeep that he plays with up there.
 
You should take out the train from Durango to Silverton. It's an amazing trip. I rode it 15+years ago and will remember it for the rest of my life. If you go, I suggest an open car instead of a closed car. You get alot closer to everything and the air is amazing up there.

http://www.durangosilvertonrailroad.com/


Also check out the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park. A little farther away, but worth seeing. http://www.visitmesaverde.com/
I second both of these- they are very memorable outings. Mesa Verde does require some hiking/ladder climbing to do the best tours.
 
I second both of these- they are very memorable outings. Mesa Verde does require some hiking/ladder climbing to do the best tours.

Mesa Verde also has a long road to get into it. I was surprised how long it took. Also, I believe you have to pay for the tours before you get to where they start. It was a long time ago, but I think I saw the signs and ignored them. Then, once I got to where the guided tours gathered, I realized I blew it. There's still lots to see without the tours, though.
 
You should take out the train from Durango to Silverton. It's an amazing trip. I rode it 15+years ago and will remember it for the rest of my life. If you go, I suggest an open car instead of a closed car. You get alot closer to everything and the air is amazing up there.

http://www.durangosilvertonrailroad.com/
Tks for mentioning this. I'm a bit of a narrow gauge railway buff and while checking out the Durango to Silverton site, I also tripped across the Cumbres & Toltec railroad which is not that far away. On further research, both seem to be operating daily and I plan on doing both either prior to or after NSXPO.
 
Well?:smile:
 
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