The Durango Train is the perfect activity to kick start your roadtrip with its abundant access to national parks, monuments, and beautiful sights! You can easily make Durango your basecamp, your starting point, or an additional stop for your road trip with the help of all the information on this page. From Travel Tips to Itineraries, we making planning your adventure to the Durango Train along with national parks easy!
Visiting national parks is a great way to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of the United States while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities. There are over 400 national parks in the U.S., each with its unique features and attractions. It’s a fantastic way to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors while learning about the history and culture of the United States. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoors enthusiast or a first-time visitor, there is something for everyone in the diverse and beautiful national parks of the U.S..
We’ve created some itineraries to help you plan our your road trip. These itineraries will show you how to get from Durango to many other national parks and monuments, as well as, some other stops we think you might enjoy!
Visit the famous Four Corners Monument, while also exploring the unique monuments and parks Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah have to offer.
There are endless things to see and do in Colorado. Here a just a few of the many must see National Park and Monuments!
A road trip from Durango, CO to Grand Canyon National Park is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the American Southwest.
The best and smoothest travels are those made with some preparation. Here are some travel tips to help you make the most memorable trip.
What type of clothes you pack for your trip will depend on the time of year you visit. Generally, we suggest packing layers since that can easily be removed or added. In addition, hiking shoes with good traction are wise if you plan on exploring some of the trails that many parks offer. Lastly, we suggest packing sturdy jacket for the year-round wind that occurs at higher altitudes.
A portable charger is always great to have as backup for when your phone or any other devices run out of battery. They are especially great for when you are on a long drive.
When it comes to a national parks trip, especially if you choose to camp, it is crucial to have a first-aid kit. Minor scrapes, cuts, and bumps are inevitable when adventuring, so you will need Antibiotic ointment, bandages, gauze, and other basic supplies to treat them. It is also helpful to bring preventative supplies, like insect and mosquito repellent.
A GPS or GPS map is great for giving you directions when you are driving or on a hike, but it can be difficult to have access to cell service when you’re in the wilderness. This is why it is important to also have a map. You can find them at any national park visitor or welcome center when you arrive.
If you are traveling from out of the country, it is important to bring a plug that works in the United States, or a universal plug that will work in any country you plan to visit.
There are many national parks and sights to see nearby The Durango Train so it is important to start by deciding where you would like to visit. Luckily, we’ve made it easier by creating a few itineraries you can choose from. These itineraries have suggested stops mapped out for you with how many miles you will have to drive, what time of year to go, and how long you should spend on your trip.
Again, we have done this step for you in our itineraries. Each one has every stopped mapped out for you!
Once you have an idea of where you are going, you’ll need to decide how much time you’d like to spend at each stop. Each itinerary has given you a suggested trip time, but you can always spend more time at each stop if you’d like. You’ll need to consider how long it takes to drive to and from each stop. It is easiest to do this stop by stop.
You’ll want to start by deciding if you are driving your vehicle from your home or renting one from the airport. If you choose to rent a car, we suggest reserving your car at least four to six weeks in advance from the airport you will arrive. If you choose to get an RV, you’ll have to find an independant operator, as you can’t rent them at most airports.
With deciding how long you still stay at each stop, you’ll also have to decide where you will sleep. Make sure you make your hotel or camping reservations early. In some of the more crowded national parks, like Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone, you may only be allows to stay in the park overnight with reservations. Reservations for many national park campsites and lodges almost all open 3-6 months in advance. Additionally, the most popular campsites sell out within seconds of going online, so plan early!
Every great road trip starts with a packing list. Luckily, we’ve already created one for you! Go to the “What to Pack’ section for help.
What’s a road trip without a road trip playlist? Make sure to download your favorite songs to keep you singing for miles. Another great option is to have some podcasts downloaded to help make the time go by.
You never want to find yourself without gas or a bathroom. Emergency stops on mountainous roads can sometimes be dangerous, or even impossible. Additionally, in the the desert or in the mountain, you may be without cell signal to find your next gas station. Make sure to plan accordingly!
Sometimes the best stops are the unexpected ones. Try to take lots of pit stops to stretch your legs and give yourselves a break! These out stops are often overlooked small towns, historical sites, and scenic overlooks. It’s nice to break up your long drives with a pit stop to go on a scenic hike and have lunch.
A backpack is also important when hiking to keep your food, water, and emergency items. If you’re planning to hike a shorter distance (under a few miles), a 15 liter pack is likely all you need. If you’re wanting to go on a longer hike that will take more than a few hours, or weather is a factor, then we recommend a 30 or 45 liter backpack.
It is very important to have a first-aid kit in your backpack. There are many affordable pre-assembles first-aid kits that will have everything you need, but you can always adjust it based on how long you’ll be out and how large your group it. We suggest adding bug spray and hydrocortisone cream to your kit to help with bug bites too.
You don’t necessarily need trail-specific shoes, but it is helpful, especially for longer and more difficult hikes. Trail shoes or hiking boots will offer more support than your regular sneakers. Additionally, some are waterproof and have rubber soles to prevent slipping on rocks and other weather conditions.
Layers are very important when hiking, because the weather can change quickly and it allows you to be prepared for all conditions. Additionally, you won’t want to bring cotton clothing because it doesn’t breathe well, takes longer to dry, and doesn’t insulate heat. Moisture-wicking clothes are the best for hiking.
If your backpack is designed for it, a hydration bladder is a great companion. If not, any water bottle will do, but we suggest something lightweight and affordable.
Hiking can make you very hungry, so make sure to pack lots of food! You’ll need to replenish all the calories you’re burning, so pack snacks that are high in protein, like nuts or jerky.
Some kind of knife of multi-tool is essential for hiking trips. They are helpful in many situations, like first-aid, gear repair, and food preparation.
A headlamp is great for hiking because it keeps your hands free for other items. Even if your hike is not planned to go in to the night, it’s always good to pack it just in case. You may end up staying later than you expect.
A physical GPS or GPS app is very important to keeping you on the right track, but you should also always carry a physical map. You may lose cell service or your devices, so it’s always good to have a back up.
Because you are outside, you should always have some kind of sun protection. Especially on a hike, you are often on higher elevation and closer to the sun. We suggest, bringing sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen in your backpack.
Here are some things to consider for your vacation if you are visiting from outside of the United States.
The weather in the United States changes often and the climate is very diverse, so make sure to understand the weather and season you are traveling in to have the proper clothing. You make be going to metropolitan cities to high elevated mountains with below freezing weather at night.
The United States is one of the most unique places with lots of different sceneries. From mountains and forests to deserts and open roads, you’ll have a trip of lifetime, so be prepared to take lots of photos. We recommend brining a cell phone with a camera or a SLR camera to get some great photos.
We suggest printing out all of your documents online and keeping them all together in one place. This is great to have as a back up in case things get lost in your email, you lose service, or your phone dies.
Make sure to check with your local cell phone provider about coverage and plans before you visit the United States. Keep in mind that most national parks have limited to no cell service. You can also buy a pre-paid phone plan once you get in to the United States for local calls. Additionally, many places, like coffee shops and hotels, offer free WiFi.
Durango, Colorado is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and historic charm. It is the heart of America’s Southwest Grand Circle and the perfect stop on your national park road trip. Here are some additional resources to help you plan your visit to Durango.
You’re sure to find your vacation sweet spot in Durango’s variety of accommodations. From some of the West’s most iconic hotels to comfy B&Bs, cabins and vacation rentals, to a lovely camping spot close to nature, Durango gives you more for your visit. Be sure to book in advance to ensure availability during your travel dates!
There are endless things to see and do in Colorado. Durango, Colorado offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. With Durango as your base, you won’t run out of things to do.
This depends on the park. Most national parks are open year-round, but may have some closed entrances due to weather or construction. The best way to find out about specific opening hours and road closures is to visit the specific park page on the NPS website.
Yes, there are general rules when visiting national parks. The official rules can be found on the official national park website. It is also important to note that some rules change seasonally. For example, campfire regulations may fluctuate depending on drought conditions and the risk of wildfires.
Yes, each national park offers guided tours that are hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) or by certified guides. You can find more information about guided tours at each park’s visitor and welcome center.
Many national parks have digital, downloadable versions of park maps, as well as, copies in visitor and welcome centers.
Most of the national parks are accessible by car, RV or bus. When you enter the park, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee, which is usually between $20-$40 per vehicle. Depending on the park and season, park passes may be valid for up to seven days. If you plan to visit several national parks, we recommend you buy the America the Beautiful Pass for $80.
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