Where lots of Utah’s beauty had us looking down, in Colorado we were usually looking up, way up! Those snow-capped beauties had us gawking, mile after mile, some reaching 14,000 feet!
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park was an unexpected pleasure. Had my sister, Nancy, not suggested a visit I would have surely passed it by. The Gunnison River carved this deep canyon, so narrow in places that the sun never reaches the walls, giving it the name “Black Canyon”.
The so-called Painted Wall is 2,250 feet tall, Colorado’s tallest. This information board showed how it’s height compared to some of the worlds tallest buildings.
If you’re in the area I highly recommend a visit, especially if you have an America The Beautiful or other senior national landmark pass. Otherwise it’s $30 per vehicle, as are all national parks.
We did something I rarely do, pay for camping. I found that most national forest campgrounds in Colorado don’t open for the season until May 6th or even later (snow). Well, with the sun about to set and the town of Ouray making it clear “overnighters” on the streets of their town would receive a ticket and healthy fine, I called and nabbed a site at the Ridgway State Park, just 10 miles north of Ouray.
The campground was very nice. Thickly wooded, paved roads and site approaches, along with an electrical hookup, campfire ring and grill. My only complaint was that the trees blocked our view of the magnificent snow-capped mountains! Well, it did hurt to pay $28 per night, but I just considered it a special treat for the two nights we stayed!
This is what those trees blocked from our view:
Ouray seems like a very nice mountain town. Abby enjoyed barking at another four-legged friend.
Telluride, as one would imagine, is the epitome of your little ski village. It is surrounded by towering mountains, of course.
Honestly, I envisioned Durango as another smallish ski village. Imagine my surprise when I found it to be a bustling city of nearly 20,000 residents! I really enjoyed Durango because…
Old historic Main Street had been transformed into a tourist haven with refaced old buildings, souvenir shops (of course — yes, I picked up the necessary t-shirt!) and dozens of restaurants and bars with extra tables and chairs extending out into the street!
Just 35 miles from the state border with New Mexico, Durango’s selection of Mexican food is an epicurean delight!
Of course the Durango–Silverton narrow gauge railroad adds a great touch to the city’s ambiance. Nothing compares to an old steam engine and cars to match!
Mountains, the Animas River, old Main Street and an active park kept us enjoying Durango for nearly a week! What a fun-filled city!