February 29, 2016
A very nice park on the outskirts of Durango. The sites were mostly pull-thrus, spacious and level. All of the sites we saw had cement patios, with chairs and fire pits. The facilities were clean and there were ample machines in the laundry. They escorted us to our site and escorted us out when we left, which was very nice as the roads were a bit confusing. The staff was very accommodating, when we mentioned that one of our friends was looking for certain year quarters from the Denver mint (hard to find on the east coast), they dumped all the quarters from the laundry machines and looked for us.
Durango is a really cool town with shopping, groceries, several microbrews and the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad. We visited here the beginning of May this year, and the weather was pleasant, although we did experience snow during our trip to Ouray.
We used the KOA as a base to visit:
Ouray and Silverton, CO – Both are quaint old mining towns in the mountains, with cool shops, restaurants and microbreweries. It is not a trip for those with fear of heights. Half way down the mountain into Ouray is a memorial for the snow plow drivers who have lost their lives keeping the road open. It is possible to visit Silverton via the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad which follows the Animas river valley from Durango to Silverton.
Aztec Ruins National Monument – we visited a 900 year old ancestral pueblo, which had the some of the most intact buildings of all the places we visited.
Mesa Verde National Park – this park has ancient cliff dwellings and beautiful vistas. There are many pull-offs on the drive to the top of the mesa that offer incredible views. Unfortunately Spruce Tree House, one of the cliff dwellings, was closed while we were there because of rock falls and it was not clear when (or if) it would be reopened.
Monument Valley – this was the longest of all our day trips and well worth it. The red sandstone buttes and mesas are absolutely gorgeous! The drive there itself was incredible. John Ford shot a lot of westerns here, as were parts of a Doctor Who episode.
Four Corners Area – a park inside the Navajo Nation where you can stand in four states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah) at the same time. There are vendor stands where you can purchase some very nice Native American crafts.
Hovenweep National Monument – this park has ancestral puebloan structures dating back to 1200-1300 AD. As with all the other similar places we were amazed at their masonry skills.
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