We live near Boulder but haven't gotten to see the southern part of our beautiful state. My kids (12 and 6) aren't great car riders so I need to keep the driving on any given day to 5 hrs max (preferably less). We will leave in about a week (so second week of June), would like to hit the Great Sand Dunes - Durango (maybe Cortez/Mesa Verde) areas in a week.
Would love info on the best towns to make a base for exploring. For instance, near Great Sand Dunes - Crestone, Alamosa (maybe 1 night) or just stay further west in S. Fork or Creede (2+ nights and use it as a jumping off point for Great Sand Dunes and mountain fun)?
What are anyone's favorite towns in that path (Almosa- Durango)? And how far is 4 Corners or Mesa Verde - can they be reached from Durango w/out a ton of extra driving?
We like to hike, fly fish, visit ghost towns, explore national parks/monuments, and soak in hot springs. We're also planning on riding the Durango-Silverton train.
Any insight would be most appreciated!