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  1. Default Albuquerque to Los Angeles, covering Colorado

    Hello folks,
    We are taking a trip during Christmas. Our rough plan is to see Santa Fe, Taos, Durango and then further. Much of Estes Park and Rocky mountain can be closed or less reachable for a sedan car, so I am not planning to go that far. I am looking at a rough plan like this :-
    24-Dec :- Albuquerque to Santa Fe via Turquoise trail
    25-Dec :- Santa Fe
    26-Dec :- Outer parts of Santa Fe
    27-Dec :- Taos
    28-Dec :- Head towards Pagosa Springs, reach Durango
    29-Dec :- Durango
    30-Dec :- Visit Mesa Verde and head further

    Here We we are confuse, which route should we choose to go. We are not ski-lovers, but mostly into photogenic and beautiful places. If above route is good and suggested by you guys, can you help me to plan next routes ? I can figure few routes like :-
    Option-1 :-
    30-Dec :- Visit Mesa Verde and head towards Telluride, stay at Ridgway
    31-Dec :- Delta, Paonia, Redstone, visit Aspen, stay at Glenwood Springs
    01-Jan :- Grand junction and move further towards Los Angeles

    Option-2 :- Another option is to completely skip upper part and I can make it like this :-
    30-Dec :- Visit Mesa Verde and stay at Cortez
    31-Dec :- Monument Valley
    01-Jan :- Head towards Los Angeles

    Option-3 :- Third option can include Telluride part :-
    30-Dec :- Visit Mesa Verde and head towards Telluride, stay at Ridgway
    31-Dec :- Head towards Monument Valley
    01-Jan :- Towards Los Angeles

    Option-2 will be safest in winter conditions, but will we miss lot of scenic places and routes, if we do not towards Telluride, Ouray or further to Aspen and Glenwood Springs ? If my earlier route (Santa Fe-Taos_Pagosa Springs-Durango) covers enough mountainous beauty, I will not move up till Glenwood.
    What do you suggest ?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Don't Get Out the Chisel Just Yet

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I have just one major concern about the first part of your trip, and that is simply that you have specific dates penciled in for the entire section, even though it includes crossing Wolf Creek Pass in winter. At nearly 11,000 feet, there is no guarantee that this pass will be open or passable on December 28th. For that matter, this entire trip will be through areas and elevations that are subject to severe winter storms. Not until you finally turn south west of Kingman AZ and descend into the Mojave Desert do your odds of seeing snow decrease significantly. So, whatever your final plans are, they need to remain flexible enough so that you don't feel the need to 'press on regardless' just to meet a schedule.

    That said, and by much the same reasoning, I would forego Option 1 entirely. It's probably just too risky to add more miles, particularly miles heading north and back into the mountains, at this point. With so few days still at your disposal, and with the likelihood that you'll already have run into one delay or another by this point, I'd just plan on the more-or-less straight shot down into L.A. via Monument Valley, the Colorado River, and the Mojave Desert.


  3. Default

    Thank you.
    For my first part of trip, I will go from Santa Fe to Durango via 550, if weather is bad.
    I have flexibility in days yet. If needed, I will be able to extend my days. That was the reason, I was asking for more/most scenic route. If Ouray/Aspen/Glenwood Springs are worth giving extra route and time, I will schedule accordingly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Utah ?

    Have you considered Moab UT in your planning ? A trip north from Mesa Verde before heading through Monument valley and you could visit Arches and Canyonlands NP's. Just a thought.

  5. Default

    Dave, in my past visits I have covered Monument valley, Arches and Canyonlands NP. Thats why I wanted to cover some part of Colorado this time.
    Though still skipping Colorado is a better option, I would again enjoy Utah sceneries.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Remaining flexible is key to a trip like this in December and as you are able to do so and aware of your options then you should have a great trip. For example you could continue north from Taos to Colorado/Manitou Springs vis Great Sand dunes NP and then drive west on US50 or I70 to Grand junction [Colorado NM] and head south to Durango on US550 aka 'The Million Dollar Highway' through Ouray and Silverton, but again there are high mountain passes and weather is key. At least you should get a good idea of what to expect from a long range forecast a couple of days before you leave. You won't go short on "mountain beauty" whatever you decide to do.

  7. Default

    Thanks, It was great help.

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