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Where To Spend Extra Night

Glasgow
Level Contributor
21 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
Where To Spend Extra Night

Hi, we're flying over from Scotland for a 15 night circular road trip around part of Colorado in mis September. We're stopping for one night in Glenwood Springs for the obvious plus I want to see Doc's grave, then the short hop to Grand Junction for 3 nights, before heading for Durango. I want to see Black Canyon of the Gunnison, my question is do we do it on a day trip from GJ, knowing that we'll be heading down that way to Durango anyway, or do we shorten the stay in GJ to 2 nights, and stop in Montrose overnight and give ourselves more time to explore the canyon and the trails and maybe even the dark skies at night? Is Montrose worth an overnight stop? Thanks in advance for any advice.

8 replies to this topic
Eagle, Colorado
Level Contributor
12,099 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

Go to black canyon then continue on to ouray. Hot springs in a spectacular setting for a town.

Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for Fruita, Grand Junction
Level Contributor
12,935 posts
267 reviews
189 helpful votes
2. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

Montrose is worth the extra night. The Museum of the Mountain West in Montrose is an interesting glimpse into the past imho.

https://museumofthemountainwest.org/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33559-d1539380-Reviews-Museum_of_the_Mountain_West-Montrose_Colorado.html

Edited: 1 year ago
WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
15,168 posts
161 reviews
161 helpful votes
3. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

If you are interested in dark skies, definitely overnight in Montrose so you can visit the Black Canyon at sunset and then at night. I wouldn't do it as a day trip from Grand Junction since your route will take you that way anyway. (It would be doable as a day trip, but that would be advised for someone who needs to return to Grand Junction...say, for example, to depart by plane or train.)

I'd advise you take a look at your itinerary to see if you could adjust so you can spend a night in Montrose and at least one night in Ouray. Ouray has hot springs in a scenic setting, so if you are visiting hot springs, it should be on your list. There's good hiking, too. A jeep tour in this area is almost mandatory. Trust me.

And en route from Montrose to Ouray, you'll want to turn west at Ridgway to drive to the Dallas Divide overlook. Then take a full day to drive the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton, explore Silverton, and then on to Durango.

Glasgow
Level Contributor
21 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
4. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

Hi, thank for your reply. Unfortunately as you can imagine we have quite severe time constraints on a vacation like this one, and everything is a compromise. There are certain thinks we could be willing to drop and certain things definitely not. I can move one night from Grand Junction and put it on either Montrose or Ouray, as also suggested above, but don't have the timing to take a night off Durango to stay in both. Driving the MDH was one of the things this whole thing was designed around, so I do want to take as much time to enjoy it as possible, so basing ourselves in Ouray overnight would give us an earlier start on it so that might be beneficial. Having said that we are staying 3 nights in Durango to allow us 2 full days to explore Mesa Verde and the Silverton railroad so that would allow us to give less time to Silverton on the drive as we would be back on the train anyway, so taking away the need to get the early start on it from Ouray. I suppose when it comes down to it if I book Montrose I could get blown out by cloudy skies at night and see nothing which takes away the point of staying there. Either way, on this trip we're unfortunately not going to have a lot of time to explore off to the sides of the main drive.

Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
267 posts
27 reviews
19 helpful votes
5. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

We stayed in Ouray when visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison and then travelled down to Mesa Verde from there. I’d definitely stay in Ouray over Montrose.

Colorado
Level Contributor
1,096 posts
11 reviews
1 helpful vote
6. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

Not sure what mid_Sept means exactly but if you are in GJ on the 16th, you might enjoy checking out Winefest in Palisade. Locally grown and regional wines

https://coloradowinefest.com/

Virginia
Level Contributor
107 posts
18 reviews
11 helpful votes
7. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

I would highly recommend seeing Colorado National Monument while you are in GJ. It is like a not so minature Grand Canyon mixed with Garden of the Gods. It is beautiful and would only take a couple of hours to drive through.

Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for Fruita, Grand Junction
Level Contributor
12,935 posts
267 reviews
189 helpful votes
8. Re: Where To Spend Extra Night

Agree to the CO National Monument. I used to see it out my kitchen window. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28927-d117416-Reviews-Colorado_National_Monument-Colorado.html

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