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Old 08-06-2018, 12:07 PM   #1
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Upcoming Durango Trip

Hi,

We plan on being in the Durango area August 17 to around the 26th. We will be near the Molas Pass area from the 17th to the 21st working our way down to Durango proper where we will be from the 22nd to the 26th.

We have done a bit of research on areas to visit and stay but if anyone with more local knowledge wants to chime in with places to boondock or see, any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Also, if anyone is in or around those areas and times and would like to get together for a meet that would be great.


Karl & Shara
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:22 PM   #2
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Not camping related, but when my son and I were in the area back in June, we went zip lining at the place below. Definitely pricey, but they have some discounted days if you scroll down a bit.

Neither of us had gone zip lining before, but this operation was really outstanding in the quality of the experience. My son was very nervous on the first few zip lines, but by lunch he was asking if we could come back the next day.

The package includes a train ride (steam train or diesel if the fire danger is still high) from Durango up to the location, where you get outfitted and then go on 27 zip lines ranging from 50' to 1400' long, some of which pass over the Animas River. It also includes a really nice lunch midway through the day. At the end of he day, another train trip back to Durango.

https://soaringcolorado.com/


Herb
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:41 AM   #3
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PM (username) UPZMTN They are out there now and have posted lots of good stuff on Instagram.

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Old 08-12-2018, 06:56 AM   #4
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Herb,

Thanks for the zip line tip. We took our kids zip lining a few years ago. It was way more fun than I expected. This one sounds like it would be fun.


Eric,

Thanks for the lead on UPZMTN. Obviously you are way more social media aware than us. Will reach out to them.

Karl & Shara
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:39 AM   #5
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Not really.

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Old 08-12-2018, 07:41 AM   #6
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You have to go see Mesa Verde since it is so close. They had a fire burning a week ago or so and I haven't seen anything on it so I suspect it is under control. It was on a mesa that wasn't too close to the attractions. Plan on spending the day.

You don't say if you have 4x4 or not and that matters. You can take the Hermosa Park road west from Purgatory ski area as it is a good 2x road. Some boon docking back in there. If you get to the Hermosa Creek crossing you will need clearance. Some good camping along that road but there can be some traffic especially on weekends but again, some good sites right along the creek as the road transitions from west to northbound.

A couple of nice campsites along the northern part of Old Lime Creek Road but you will need clearance as it's a bumpy road. Not really 4x but just bumpy with "China rocks". Those are not loose rocks but they go all the way down to China. Very secluded back there with not much traffic. It was the old US 550 until the '50s or so when they put in Coal Bank Summit. Both of these are between Molas and Durango.

Some FS campgrounds up La Plata canyon west of Durango as well as dispersed. Tends to be some homeless campers in those places so not sure how that would work out. Depends on the people there at the time. That spot is called La Plata City. Check it out anyway. 2x is OK for this canyon.

Ride the train if nothing else while you are in town. As of now, they bus you up from town to the Rockwood station which is north of where the tracks washed out a couple of weeks ago. Floods through the recent burn area took them out along with some houses and stuff. Still worth doing but by the time you get here, the tracks might be repaired and open and then the train will leave from town. Highly recommend taking the train up to Silverton and the bus back. Otherwise it gets to be a verrrry long day with the return trip. Funny to see sleeping passengers on the way back into town. Bus gets you back a few hours earlier so not to mess up your whole day.
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:30 PM   #7
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@Eddy turn,

Yep, 4x4.

Thanks for the recommendations. Especially on the Hermosa Park road as we were initially thinking of just beelining it from Durango to Telluride but now will probably take the Park road.

Means Verde is definitely on our list to see. Not sure we will have a day to kill to do the train, as cool as Iíve heard it is. Too many mountain bike and hiking trails and not enough time...

Thanks again,

Karl & Shara
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:37 PM   #8
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OK... the Hermosa Park/Hermosa Peak road is good for camping but there in one solid/bumpy rock pitch that I would not take my van up or down. It tilts to the downhill side and is very bouncy. I have done it in my Tundra but no way I would want to do it in my van. I need to get up there on my dirt bike to take another look at it and maybe I will change my tune on that. The 130 miles from Durango to Telluride paved is not that bad and takes about 2.5 hours. We just came back from Ride today and no traffic to speak of so a nice easy drive. I can give you other ways to get there from Durango that would take you out of the way and are good dirt roads to add some interest.

I would normally say that Ophir Pass road from north of Silverton to Ophir then to Ride would be a good drive. If you do it on a weekday, OK but not on a weekend as it gets really busy. Thing is that the east side is easy-peasy dirt but once you crest the pass, it's rocky loose shale. No big deal as the road is plenty big enough for a SMB BUT, in CO, the uphill traffic has the right-of-way and that road is not wide enough for passing. You would have to be the one backing up and the exposure is extreme. It's not all that technical or anything but if you got too far on the uphill side embankment to make room and flipped, you would roll for a very long time. Just be aware of that. It's fun but timing is everything. Good news is that you can see down the open pass road a long way and if it's clear after the one downhill switchback, go for it. Easy but some places a bit bouncy. Watch for motorcycles and give them the ROW no matter which way they are going as they can't stop or back up. YMMV
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:26 AM   #9
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Thanks again for the detailed info and especially on the condition of the roads. After seeing the thread about the rolled van in Canyonlands Iím particularly wary of off-camber shelf roads!
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