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 Itinerary Ideas

Risa Weinreb

Wednesday, June 14th:

Lodging:            Far View Lodge

Tel: 970-529-4421

Fax: 970-529-4411

Directions:            Far View Lodge is located 15 miles inside Mesa Verde National Park, across road from Far View Visitor Center. Access to Park entrance is south off US Hwy 160, 10 miles east of Cortez, CO or 36 miles west of Durango, CO. Park entrance fee is $10 per automobile.

Rooms: no tv or phone. Private bath. Private balcony with up to 100 mile
view. Clock radio in room, some rooms also have refrigerator, hair dryer,
iron/ironing board. Natural setting, semi-rustic style.

Thursday, June 15th:

8:45 am            Meet at the Front Desk for 9:00 am tour

1:00 pm            Depart for Durango

3:30 pm            Arrive at Blue Lake Ranch

Owners/innkeepers/visionaries and gardens

Shirley and David Alford

16000 Highway 140

Hesperus, CO  81326


970-385-4088 (fax)


Directions to Blue Lake Ranch from the exit of Mesa Verde National Park.

Exit Highway 160 East though Mancos to Hesperus Hesperus is a very small town with a convenience store and post office. Turn right on Highway 140—6.5 miles to an unmarked gravel driveway on the right.  There is a white mailbox about 20 feet from the road marked Blue Lake Ranch.

Other signs---

6.4 miles from the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 140 is a blue adopt a highway sign, (sign says highway adopted by Blue Lake Ranch) slow down Blue Lake Ranch is 100 yards on the right.)

Blue Lake Ranch has evolved from a simple homestead to a Nationally acclaimed luxurious European style Country Estate.  A year-round destination famous for its spring and summer gardens, Lake Blue Ranch offers spectacular fall color and weather, and becomes a winter wonderland with the first snowfall.

The Ridgewood Barn, the summer event center provides a unique and private setting for weddings. The facility holds 30 to 200 people. The Barn is built with hand-hewn timbers, pine floor, a wrap around porch and picturesque mountain views.

Dinner to be determined—what I am going to set up if possible.

Kennebec Café which is located just west (about 1.4 mile west on the north side of Highway 160 and west of the La Plata River) at the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 140.

This is the closest restaurant to Blue Lake Ranch.

Friday, June 16th:

Directions to Durango—Highway 140 to Highway 160 west. At the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 550 (the Doubletree is located at the corner). turn left, at traffic light turn right passed McDonald’s to the intersection of College and Main  Avenue, right turn the train depot is at the end of Main Avenue.

Welcome to Durango, Colorado

Durango was established in 1881 as a mining town. But many of the old-time settlers discovered they got more out of the scenery than the mines. Nestled in the Animas River Valley, in the afternoon shadows of the San Juan Mountains, people still find that to be true.

Durango is where ranches, rolling hills, breathtaking beauty and a storytelling river hearken back to the days when people has the time and took the time, to slow down and simply visit.

9:00a.m appointment with

Kristi Nelson Cohen, Vice President of Marketing

Mary Jo Rakowski-Marketing Assistant

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

479 Main Avenue

Durango, Colorado  81301


970-259-0274 (fax)

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was voted “Top10 Most Exciting Train Journey in the World” by the Society of American Travel Writers and received a “Five Star Award for Best Attraction” from the National Association of Travel Journalists.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad can run a chartered train for weddings.

Imagine having an entire train running on your customized schedule for your wedding. Charter our train with caterers, tables, chains, linens and china on board.  The train winds along the Highline and follows the Animas River to the Cascade Wye, where a meal can be served.

Local caterers can prepare elaborate meals, from buffets with all the works to sit-down three-course gourmet dinners, all served along the banks of the scenic Animas River. The scenery-- it is magnificent. Aspen trees and pines whisper in the breeze.

After dinner, guests re-board the train where coffee and cordials are served in concession car. A variety of local entertainers can provide lively music. The only limitation is the bride and grooms imagination.

Another option is the serve a meal in our covered 40’ x 60’ covered pavilion.

Next appointment:

10:00 Meet with Su Compton at The Rochester Hotel

726 E. Second Avenue

Durango, Colorado  81301



The newly renovated Rochester Hotel (built 1892) offers fifteen spacious rooms with high ceilings and full baths, decorated in an Old West Motif (inspired by the many Western Movies filmed in and around Durango.)

The Rochester has a beautiful courtyard for weddings.

Durango has several delightful lodging properties for the wedding party and honeymoon including: Apple Orchard Inn, Lightner Creek Bed and Breakfast and The Strater Hotel.

Contact information

Patti Zink

Media Relations

Durango Area Chamber Resort Association

P.O. Box 2587

Durango, Colorado 81301

970-247-0312 phone

970-385-7884 fax

general email:

11:00 am            Depart for Gallup, New Mexico

Stopping at Chaco Culture Natiopnal Historic Park

Lodging:            El Rancho Hotel on Route 66

Saturday, June 17th:

Tour of Richardsons Trading Post with a host from the Gallup CVB.  Enjoy lunch in Gallup and then depart early afternoon from Gallup for Phoenix.  The route to Phoenix is through Payson, Arizona,   This will allow you to see the Painted Desert, the route is shorter by 50 miles than traveling the interstates and is much more scenic.