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Two nights at Fairview?

NC
Level Contributor
63 posts
115 reviews
Two nights at Fairview?

The weekend of July 2nd my wife and our 9, 8 & 6yo sons will be stating at Fairview Lodge in Mesa Verde. We will be coming from the South Rim of GC and do love the outdoors. We intend to arrive late in the evening and will do some of the tours the next day.

Question is would we be busy from sun up until dinner and therefore stay the night again OR would we have time to do everything young kids can handle in Mesa Verde early enough that we can drive out to Moab late that afternoon/evening?

Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
2,048 posts
18 reviews
1. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

Don't know what kind of interest your sons have, but with 2 teenage boys we did a day trip from Durango. Spent about 7 hours on site on Chapin Mesa. Took a ranger tour of cliff palace, hiked down to and explored Spruce Tree House, visited the Chapin Mesa Museum, and drove all the loops stopping at all the sites and explored the ruins and read the information at each site.

We left at around 4 PM.

If you want to explore both mesas, it will take you 2 days.

The drive to Moab is about 3 hours.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
11,459 posts
178 reviews
2. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

You will be tired after a full day at Mesa Verde. I would stay a second night so you can do another evening ranger program or stargazing, or possibly drive down to Cortez for dinner and to see the Native American dancers at the Cortez Cultural Center. The second option would give you a bit of a head start on your trip to Moab. If you would like a scenic and cooler mountain (but more roundabout) route to Moab the next day, go to Dolores, Rico>Lizard Head Pass and Telluride (have lunch and ride the free gondola and walk the streets which have seen the likes of Butch and Sundance) then to Placerville, Naturita and through the Paradox Valley to the Utah line where the road turns into Utah 46 to La Sal Junction and then north to Moab.

Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
2,048 posts
18 reviews
3. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

I like missWestSlope's idea about taking the scenic route along the west side of the San Juan Scenic Skyway. From Cortez, CO 145 to Telluride for a stop, then on to 141, 90, 46, 191 to Moab. A detour well worth taking IMO. The drive time according to Google maps is 4:15. But it will take you longer with stops.

What she said about being tired after a day at Mesa Verde is true. It gets hot there. Hot and dry, not humid like NC. Dries you out. You have to drink constantly.

Edited: 28 October 2015, 00:38
Boulder
Destination Expert
for Boulder
Level Contributor
1,456 posts
37 reviews
4. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

We stayed at the Farview Lodge in May and we were very, very disappointed with the accommodations. There is no getting around the convenience of its location when visiting Mesa Verde, but the place was sub-standard. Both my husband and I agreed that the next time we visit Mesa Verde, we will stay in Cortez and just drive back and forth.

That said, staying two nights might give you a place to go back to during the day and rest which might be nice for the boys and I like the idea of being able to do some of the evening activities.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
459 posts
249 reviews
5. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

I personally would plan to spend another night. You will have a full day, and the last thing you'll want to do is jump in the car and travel for another three hours to Moab. I too like the idea of going through Telluride on your way to Moab, if time permits. If you want to cut off a little bit of travel time for the following day, stay in Cortez. Otherwise, stay in the park. The rooms may be average, but the location and views certainly make up for what they may lack.

Boulder
Destination Expert
for Boulder
Level Contributor
1,456 posts
37 reviews
6. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

Let me just follow up and say that the Farview was well below average. We are talking bowed flooring in the bathroom, old coffee left in the coffee pot, holes in the curtains, worn carpeting, no plugs by the beds to charge electronics, and walls so thin we could clearly hear the amorous morning activities of the couple next door. (One of the more awkward family moments ever!)

All this might have been overlooked, had we had the view some many people rave about. However, our room looked out over nothing but the parking lot.

The OP should just know what they are getting into.

Newtown, PA
Level Contributor
3,779 posts
438 reviews
7. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

Another option is stay right in Mancos at the Mesa Verde Motel. It's only 5 miles to the park entrance. The motel is a hidden gem, family owned and we loved our stay here. We spent one night here and parts of two days in the park.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g33536-d83309-R…

vcv
Tennessee
Level Contributor
1,988 posts
189 reviews
8. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

On my first visit to Mesa Verde, we did not have time to do everything we wanted in one day and returned the next year for another visit. I was there again (3rd time) last month and stayed in the lodge (instead of the campground) for the first time. We were very satisfied with our room and especially the spectacular sunset from our balcony. Another reason for allowing 2 days if that if crowds are heavy, you may be restricted to just one of the ranger-led tours (Balcony House or Cliff Palace) if you are there only one day; by spending 2 days, you can get tickets for both; both are worthwhile, and the MV rangers are outstanding. In addition, there are the other things in the area recommended above.

If you are looking for luxury rather than basic accommodations, take a look at Kokopelli's Cave in nearby Farmington.

Edited: 02 November 2015, 22:03
NC
Level Contributor
63 posts
115 reviews
9. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

If we arrive too late the night before would we just have to be at ranger's office when it opens to but tickets for tours that day? Or can I sign up online before hand?

Dolores, Colorado
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
10. Re: Two nights at Fairview?

I wanted to add to the idea of driving through Telluride. On your way you will go through Dolores. Your family might really enjoy the Rio Grande Southern Railroad Museum with the Galloping Goose train out front and especially after Mesa Verde enjoy The Anasazi Heritage Center. If you haven't walked a labyrinth before, be sure to check it out at our place, The Sophia Retreat and Event Center.