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7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

Austin, Texas
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7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

Need suggestions for summer family trip to Colorado with our four kids (ages 10, 11, 13, 14 ... three are boys). Driving from Austin, TX, stopping the first night in Canyon, TX for the "Texas' musical and then on to Colorado on Day 2. I've spent many summers as a child in Colorado, but trying to focus on just a few places (don't want to spend too much time driving since we will have to spend 2 full driving days getting here and back from Texas). Ideas are Colorado Springs (Pike's Peak, Cheyenne Zoo, Garden of Gods), Ouray / Lake City and jeep trail. Our kids enjoy all types of activities from outdoor hiking/exploring (we did Yosemite last year), swimming, mild rafting, but also enjoy more "city" activities like zoos, restaurants, shopping, train rides, etc. I'd like a nice balance of activities. Any ideas for an itenerary, good rental houses/cabins for our big family, restaurants and sites?

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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1. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

With only 5 days (other than driving) I could concentrate on SW Colorado to minimize the driving as much as possible. You could take the narrow gauge railway between Durango and Silverton, visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison outside Montrose, drive the Million Dollar Hwy between Silverton and Ouray. Visit the hot springs in Ouray, hike, horseback ride and/or take a jeep tour in Telluride or Ouray. Telluride has a nice museum that focuses on mining history, also has a free gondola that runs between Telluride and Mountain Village and has awesome views. The original True Grit movie with John Wayne was filmed in Ridgway, you could watch the movie before your trip and then see if the kids can pick out the buildings seen in the movie. There is also a nice river walk that leaves from Ridgway.

Go to Mesa Verde, the ancient native american ruins of cliff dwellings.

www.OurayColorado.com

www.SilvertonColorado.com

www.visittelluride.com

www.visitMontrose.com

www.SWColoTravel.org

www.telluridemuseum.org

www.mountain-village.co.us

www.visitmesaverde.com

www.ridgwaycolorado.com

www.ridgwayrailroadmuseum.org

www.mountainwestmuseum.com

www.ridewithroudy.com

www.telluridetours.com

That should keep you busy for a while. :-D

Edited: 03 February 2011, 20:24
Colorado Springs...
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2. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

In Colorado Springs, I would add the Olympic Sports Center (training site for the olympic games) and the Air Force academy. Neither will take a lot of time, but the kids probably will enjoy these sites.

WestSlope,CO
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for Colorado
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3. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

Do you have 7 days plus travel days? Or 5 days plus travel days?

Colorado Springs would be a great place for your trip, but if you want to include SW Colorado, I would consider heading west at Walsenburg, making Alamosa and Great Sand Dunes National Park your first stop in Colorado, approx the same amount of driving time as to Colo Springs but more in the direction you want to go. Play at the Great Sand Dunes at sunset, maybe visit the alligator farm (yes, alligator farm! kids love it) if there's time that afternoon.

The next day head to Ouray, which would be a good base for jeep trips, (ie Alpine Loop, Lake City) hot springs, Rigs has rafting at Ridgway http://fishrigs.com/ , horseback riding, hiking, Black Canyon, day trip to Telluride for the free gondola ride, etc. Also consider the Family Adventure Day with San Juan Mountain Guides.

http://ourayclimbing.com/pages/show/Adventure+Day

You could also split your SW Colorado time between Ouray and Durango, with part in Ouray and then three nights in Durango to see Mesa Verde Natl Park and ride the Durango-Silverton train. There's rafting in Durango as well. There's a wonderful zip line there, too, if the budget allows. And lots of activities at Durango Mountain Resort. Then head home from Durango, probably to I40 at Albuquerque. You could also base just in Durango, of course. http://www.durangomountainresort.com/tat/

If you want to go to Colorado Springs, I'd skip SW Colorado or vice versa. If you'd rather go to Colorado Springs, you could include a few days at Buena Vista to raft and zipline; or raft at the Royal Gorge and ride the Royal Gorge train, go to the Florissant Fossil Beds and Cripple Creek.

Columbia, MD
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4. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

We took a road trip through SW CO last summer with 2 teen boys. I would second the split your stay between Durango and Ouray option. RIde the train one day. If you are a train afficianado, ride it both ways - if not, ride one way, take the bus back. You get 2 hours in Silverton. Unbelievable scenery. Mesa Verde is a must do when in this area. It is 45 miles from Durango. To drive one loop (there are 2) and take a tour of one of the ruins makes a good day trip. From Durango (or Silverton if you drive up there) you can take jeep tours offroad up into the mountains. Rafting is available in Durango. No zoos in the area that I am aware of, but plenty of outdoor adventure. We didn't get to Ouray, but from what I have read, it is beautiful and jeep tours are available there also. Getting to Ouray from Durango is an adventure on the Million Dollar Highway. Sections of it are mountain on one side, cliff on the other and nothing between you and the cliff except a white line. A bit of white knuckle driving but I am told it is not as bad going north from Durango to Ouray and going south. I opted not to do this, but my brother in law did on a trip out there. In Durango we stayed in a Condo for 3 nights. A good deal. Saves on food and gives you a chance to wash clothes. Just do a search on Durango condo rentals and it will get you started.

Edited: 04 February 2011, 19:37
Columbia, MD
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5. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

We took a road trip through SC CO last summer with 2 teen boys. I would second the split your stay between Durango and Ouray option. RIde the train one day. If you are a train afficianado, ride it both ways - if not, ride one way, take the bus back. You get 2 hours in Silverton. Unbelievable scenery. Mesa Verde is a must do when in this area. It is 45 miles from Durango. To drive one loop (there are 2) and take a tour of one of the ruins makes a good day trip. From Durango (or Silverton if you drive up there) you can take jeep tours offroad up into the mountains. Rafting is available in Durango. No zoos in the area that I am aware of, but plenty of outdoor adventure. We didn't get to Ouray, but from what I have read, it is beautiful and jeep tours are available there also. Getting to Ouray from Durango is an adventure on the Million Dollar Highway. Sections of it are mountain on 1 side, cliff on the other and nothing between you and the cliff except a white line. A bit of white knuckle driving but I am told it is not as bad going north from Durango to Ouray and going south. I opted not to do this, but my brother in law did on a trip out there. In Durango we stayed in a Condo for 3 nights. A good deal. Saves on food and gives you a chance to wash clothes. Just do a search on Durango condo rentals and it will get you started.

Columbia, MD
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236 posts
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6. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

I forgot to add look into staying in cabins. Do a search on Durango cabins or Colorado cabins or SW Colorado cabins. That seems to be a big thing in that area. We stayed in a nice one in Buena Vista and found several in the Durango area before settling on the Condo.

illinois
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7. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

My family of 5 are going in July/August and we are staying in SW colorado. We found several options for cabins and /or vacation homes on VRBO.com and Homeaway.com you just put in your area that you are wanting to look in and it brings up all the options. We have used VRBO.com for three years now for various areas around the USA.

8. Re: 7 Day Colorado Trip for Family with Tweens

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