Durango – Sept 11 – 12, 2021

We departed Ouray, taking the longer route, past Telluride and over Lizard Head Pass, to avoid the white-knuckle experience of towing over the Million Dollar Highway (US hwy 550). The summit of the million Dollar Highway is 11,018-foot Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton. The scenery is magnificent, if you can keep your eyes open. We have driven that route several times in a small rental car and that was scary enough. We certainly were not cheated out of beautiful mountain scenery, taking the tamer route. I recall being very happy as we traveled that day. Mountains, trees, rivers, sunshine……sigh… (can you tell I am getting my annual case of November cabin fever?)

Lightner Creek Campground is a private campground with full hook-up campsites. The photos online looked very inviting.  We wanted to spend a day or two in Durango, since we were in the area and this campground is located about 5 1/2 miles from town.  The area is quite scenic, but the campground is very crowded, with campsites very close together. The creek, located about 20 feet from our campsite, was dry. This might have been a good thing, considering the possibility of mosquitoes or snakes.

I was not comfortable with our neighbors. It’s not that I am judgemental about older RVs, or campers who may not be able to afford someting nice. I was mainly concerned with the fact that it appeared to be in disrepair and they ran their A/C continually. I was concerned about an electrical fire and their very close proximity to our site. We’ve read alot about RV maintainence and it is quite apparent to us, that most people do very little to properly maintain their equipment. Also, they had children and the youngest cried alot.  We set up camp and decided to spend very little time at the campground.

We hiked some local trails and enjoyed a couple of afternoons exploring town. As we always do, we went to the Durango Train Station and were fortunate to catch some photos the train, again. The Historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been continuouosly operated since 1882. The train is used for sightseeing tours between Durango and Silverton. We have never taken the train because neither of us wants to sit on a train all day, but I believe we are missing out on some spectacular sights.

We have been to Durango may times, staying only a day or two. It was actually our first stop on our first Colorado trip, We always wished we had more time, but that was usually as we were about to fly home to return to work. This time, 2 days was enough, as we were heading to  Pagosa Springs and some other new destinations.

Driving over Lizardhead pass (again), on our way to Durango.
View along the Million Dollar Highway (Sept 2017)
View along the Million Dollar Highway (Sept 2017)
View along the Million Dollar Highway (Sept 2017)
Our full hook-up site at Lightner Creek Campground, Durango, CO
Rooftop view of downtown Durango
Durango’s coal-fired, steam-operated locomotive
The Durango train on the Historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad