Sunday, September 13, 2009

Colorado: August 25-27, 2009. Silverton to Mesa Verde National Park

After a nice stay in the mountains near Silverton, it was time to head to Mesa Verde National Park.

From Silverton at 9300’ elevation, we crossed two passes, Molas Divide at 10,910’ and Coal Bank at 10,640’. The road didn’t have any really steep areas or sharp switchbacks, so it was a fairly easy drive.

Views of the road & mountains between Silverton & Durango.


We are planning on staying eleven or twelve days in Mesa Verde NP, from August 27th, until Labor Day, September 7th so we are not in a real rush to get to the park. We stopped at Echo Basin Resort & RV Park, near Mancos, about 15 miles from Mesa Verde. This gave us a chance to do some laundry and take long showers w/o worrying about how much water we use.

The view of the field with horses and sky, looking out our front window.

One other reason we wanted to stop at a RV Park before pulling into Mesa Verde was so we could drive the Blazer into the park to be sure the campsites in the campground were large enough for us. When I made reservations at Mesa Verde the reservation system had us select the size campsite we wanted. The largest site was 32 feet long. The Bug is 40 feet long. I wasn’t overly worried. Most public campgrounds are very conservative about how large a RV the campsites will handle.

No problem, while the campsites are only 32’ deep, from the road to the concrete blocks bordering the rear of the campsite, the campsites are also about 40’ wide. Also the concrete blocks are only about 6” high. This allowed us the angle into the campsite and then back the rear of the Bug over the blocks, until the tires almost touched the blocks.

As you can see in this picture we had plenty of room.

And only for two nights of our 11 night stay, did we have a camper in the campsite next to us.

In another 32 foot deep campsite we saw a 40’ motorhome with a 16’ trailer attached parked parallel to the road.

It was peaceful and quiet in the campground and we had deer walk through the campsite almost every day.

Overall the campground is nice. Most sites are well separated from each other, allowing space to see the wildlife and sunrises & sunsets. There are over 300 campsites in the CG, but many of the sites are suitable only for tents. For the tents, there is a small parking spot and you walk a short distance- 20-50 feet to a picnic table and a place to put your tent. The CG seldom fills, although you may have a problem finding a site for larger RV's if you arrive late for a holiday weekend. The CG does take reservations, but not for specific sites, only or for sites of given length. However, as far as we could see, no effort was made by the CG staff to insure a tenter didn't take a 32' site suitable for a larger RV. I could easily see a 30' RV arriving late for a holiday weekend, only to find small RV's or tents occupying the larger sites. (NOT nice!) There are 15 sites with full hookups. If you want one for a holiday weekend, make your reservations early. At about 7500' elevation the weather is not too warm. The highest temps we had in late August, early September was in the high 70's, almost 80 degrees.

We stayed here 12 days and used the park as a base to tour the area as well as visit most of the sights available in the park. If you like to hike and go sightseeing, there is enough to do in the park to keep you busy for a week.

Until later,

Al & Sharon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent write-up on the area. So nice to know you can get bigger rigs into the park!