Posts Tagged With: Durango

Travels With Minnie: Colorado – Durango to Alamosa

A rare photo of the two of us. Many thanks to Rich.

Three days in Durango, Colorado allowed us to experience a range of weather conditions. Cold nights, windy days, a brief bit of snow while we picnicked and finally, a beautiful spring day.
The high point (literally) of our stay was the hike we took up The Animas Mountain Trail with college friends Emily and Rich. A great day and a long overdue visit!

Sunday morning Durango faded in the distance as we drove east, aiming for the highest mountain pass of our trip…so far. Today was new territory for us and the scenery did not disappoint.

Treasure Falls cascades 105 feet into Falls Creek and is visible from Highway 160. We pulled off for a quick photo, opting not to make the short walk up to the base.

We’ve got Minnie back on level ground for the next two nights, parked in the little town of Alamosa, gateway to Great Sand Dunes National Park. More adventures to come.

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Durango – old west boomtown

I'm proud of my amateur status, thank you very much!


In 1860, centuries after the Puebloan culture disappeared, the discovery of gold and silver in southwestern Colorado brought a flood of new settlers to the Animas Valley and what would soon be known as Durango. Many were hoping to strike it rich while others earned their living supplying necessities for life in the mining camps. It wasn't until the Denver and Rio Grande rails reached Durango in 1881 that the population exploded.

The discovery of Mesa Verde in 1888 and its designation as a national park in 1906 created the beginnings of the year round tourist industry we all enjoy today. Durango has managed to retain its Wild West charm while offering travelers and outdoor enthusiasts an array of lodging, restaurant and services.

The Animas River Trail is a 7 mile paved pathway that runs through the city winding its way back and forth across the Animas River.

We took advantage of beautiful weather and enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the Animas River Trail.

We have loved our stay at The Durango Lodge. Clean, quiet, affordable and just one block from Main Street.






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Mesa Verde: Home to Pueblo people in the 13th Century

Cliff Palace was the most spectacular ruin we saw today.

The Anasazis, now referred to as Ancenstral Pueblo people, built some of the most impressive North American structures during the 1100s and 1200s in what is now southwestern Colorado. Known as Mesa Verde, the villages were built beneath cliffs using sandstone.
Circular kivas were used for ceremonies. The Pueblo people lived in the cliff dwellings for only about 100 years. There are several theories about why they left: Drought, crop failures, or perhaps political problems?
It is about a 45-minute drive to the national park entrance from Durango, then 20 miles of mostly climbing to the museum and trail heads. By mid-April, when all the trails are open, Mesa Verde could easily provide three days of exploring.

The 20-mile drive from the park entrance provides spectacular views.

Spruce House is the best-preserved of the cliff dwellings.

The 2.4-mile trek to Petroglyph Point, shown in the photos below, was a cliff-hugging, up-and-down path that required us to register at the trailhead just in case. We might have walked past the petroglyphs if there had not been a small sign leading us to look to the wall above.

The Petroglyph Point walk provided some expansive vistas.

These petroglyphs have survived the elements for about 800 years.


The walk back provided settings reminiscent of the top of Half Dome in Yosemite.


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