Dallas to Telluride, June 2021

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TX_4runnin_murse

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Sounds good! Staying in lightener creek in Durango our first night up there after the long haul from dallas. Then hopefully ouray or silverton.
 

Offroadnutz

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Not sure how much time you have, but I would recommend following the NMBDR north into Colorado then turn on, and follow the continental divide trail northwest to just west of Cinnamon Pass, and then head west on the TAT. It goes real close to Telluride. Will make for an epic scenic trip...
 
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DMS1

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Sounds good! Staying in lightener creek in Durango our first night up there after the long haul from dallas. Then hopefully ouray or silverton.
Lightener Creek is a nice campground but I was disappointed with their cabins. If you are staying in cabins, I would stay at the Durango KOA. I have also stayed at the Ouray KOA and recommend it as well for cabin, tent or RV camping. I also recommend the Amphitheater Campground in Southern Ouray. There is free camping north of Silverton along the Animas river, camped there a few nights as well.
 

TX_4runnin_murse

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Not sure how much time you have, but I would recommend following the NMBDR north into Colorado then turn on, and follow the continental divide trail northwest to just west of Cinnamon Pass, and then head west on the TAT. It goes real close to Telluride. Will make for an epic scenic trip...
Was curious if when you cut up to the border. What is TAT? We’re gonna be up I. That area about a week.
 
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Offroadnutz

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TAT


The NMBDR , the TAT, and the CDT are all very scenic.
 

grubworm

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We were in Telluride a few weeks ago and camped at Ridgeway. Going there from south Louisiana, we went on I-10 and then up thru the Guadalupe Mountains and up to Santa Fe and Pagosa Springs, Durango, etc.

Not sure your route, but I-20 past Abilene and then 84 to Santa Fe might be good. We checked out Santa Fe and Taos and then camped at Rio Grande Del Norte, west of Red River and then got on 64 thru Chama and Pagosa Springs. Great scenery and some boondocking areas. After Pagosa Springs, you're right close to Durango and we went to check out Mesa Verde and the cliff dwellings, southwest of Durango. There is camping there, but it is by reservation. We ended up camping just north of Durango at Haviland Lake. Nice campground with water and elec. and vault toilet. After that, we camped at Ridgeway since it was central to Telluride, Oury and Montrose. The Black Canyon is just outside of Montrose and is really cool to see. From there we went to Moab, The Arches and all the way down to Zion. Didn't sound like you were going into Utah, but Moab and the Arches are relatively close.
There are boondocking places all along 550 between Durango and Oury. As mentioned, there are some good passes to go on. I did Engineers Pass back in the 90s with a stock Ram 4x4 and had zero issues. There are some great trails to go on if you have the time.

My house is right at 8' above sea level...going up into the higher altitude did whip my ass a bit, so stay hydrated and if you get winded, its the altitude.
have a great trip!!
 
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JDGreens

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We are going to Ouray this weekend (Sunday-Tuesday) I perfer to camp, but this trip is more of a weekend getaway. No trail runs unless I can talk her into checking some of my choice campsites out while we are there. We have stayed at the Matterhorn Inn about 4 years ago. It was a nice clean motel. It's running us a little more than $100 a night. (Which isn't bad) My first Overlanding style trip in the area was in late June that year (3 years ago), and there was ample dispersed camping. The last trip we did was early June (I think last season) we camped right above Telluride in a small valley, one of the most picturesque setting to wake up too. It's just off the Last Dollar Road/trail past where all the RVs' park you cut through there camping area and cross a creek and wallah. It's where the trail runs into private land. The other spot was off the highway 550 side of Corkscrew just before you decend down the trail to the highway.

This is one of the most scenic routes that are pretty easy to traverse in a 4x4 (with a transfer case). If you are confident with your ability off-road you are good with most trails there. But if not I would avoid Mineral Creek part of the alpine loop. Especially going back to highway 550. It's down hill and very scetchy in that direction. Trust me on that.
I'm sure you will love the area! Hope you have a great time!
 
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TX_4runnin_murse

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So excited about all of this information and the trip! Thank you to everyone for your responses!

Plans for the route are currently to go Dallas to Abilene and jump on I40 and head to Tucumcari and head north to Las Vegas, NM and through Carson NF, up to 64 and follow 64 over to Abroles, CO.

@grubworm, any experience with the southern part of 64? Would everyone recommend just following 84 up to Pagosa and then head west?

@JDGreens, Hope you enjoy your weekend!

May try to set up a small rally point in Telluride while we're up there and go wheel.
 
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TX_4runnin_murse

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Not sure your route, but I-20 past Abilene and then 84 to Santa Fe might be good. We checked out Santa Fe and Taos and then camped at Rio Grande Del Norte, west of Red River and then got on 64 thru Chama and Pagosa Springs. Great scenery and some boondocking areas. After Pagosa Springs, you're right close to Durango and we went to check out Mesa Verde and the cliff dwellings, southwest of Durango. There is camping there, but it is by reservation. We ended up camping just north of Durango at Haviland Lake. Nice campground with water and elec. and vault toilet. After that, we camped at Ridgeway since it was central to Telluride, Oury and Montrose. The Black Canyon is just outside of Montrose and is really cool to see. From there we went to Moab, The Arches and all the way down to Zion. Didn't sound like you were going into Utah, but Moab and the Arches are relatively close.
There are boondocking places all along 550 between Durango and Oury. As mentioned, there are some good passes to go on. I did Engineers Pass back in the 90s with a stock Ram 4x4 and had zero issues. There are some great trails to go on if you have the time.
We're actually staying at Haviland lake one of the last nights up there. Got another reservation at Cayton Campground the night before and planning to campout at the first come first serves rest of the time/ dispersed.
 
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grubworm

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So excited about all of this information and the trip! Thank you to everyone for your responses!
@grubworm, any experience with the southern part of 64? Would everyone recommend just following 84 up to Pagosa and then head west?
very cool! that is going to be a great trip!

i've been going thru that area since i was a young kid in the early 70s, and as an adult, i still love it. as to your question, 84 from las vegas will give you better time, of course and is a faster and more direct route. i've taken that route before when it was time to come home and i wanted some speed. i generally go up on 64 mainly because the wife and i just love taos and always go there when doing a west trip. my folks loved red river and went there a bunch, so i generally go that route more out of nostalgia and habit, plus that area was the first trip the wife and i took together back when we were dating, so its definitely more for nostalgia than anything. about the only thing to see that is out of the ordinary is the community of underground houses just outside of taos on 64. its called earthship and is interesting. probably not interesting enough on its own to go out of the way for, but a cool attraction if you are going that way.
your goal is telluride, so yeah....84 is faster and still scenic and if you like driving thru that area, you can always take a trip later and go the other way.

i dont know if youve been thru sw colorado before, but driving from durango to telluride is simply amazing. we just got back from there again and it never gets old, so more time to spend there makes sense
 
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grubworm

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We're actually staying at Haviland lake one of the last nights up there. Got another reservation at Cayton Campground the night before and planning to campout at the first come first serves rest of the time/ dispersed.
cool. long story made short, the wife and i just started dating a few months when i helped move her daughter to phoenix. since we were already way out west, we decide to go camping and went to flagstaff and bought a bunch of gear and went to the grand canyon and then to durango and haviland lake was our very first time tent camping together. the lake was full then, and had paddle boarding and canoeing and the camp host was a super cool family we got to know and that whole experience is what really catapulted us into the overlanding thing. we were just there a month ago and the lake is pretty much dry, but its still a nice campground and is really clean and quiet. hope y'all enjoy it as much as we have!
 
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