Dolores, Colorado (Mesa Verde NP)

The Views RV Park

October 11, 2020

Once again, the drive between our campgrounds in southwestern Colorado was truly serene. The trip to Dolores took us further south, allowing us to chase the fantastic fall foliage a little bit further. Sadly, the beautiful autumn colors gradually subsided as we left the mountains and ventured out onto the arid Colorado Plateau which is dominated by cedars rather than aspens.

However, that isn’t to say that our new home for the week was devoid of scenery – quite to the contrary, in fact. As the name suggests, our campground during our stay in the area, The Views RV Park, provided us with an abundance of beautiful vistas thanks to its position on the edge of a large mesa looking out to the southwest.

We were drawn to The Views RV Park thanks to a plethora of glowing online reviews – and it lived up to the hype! In addition to the lovely backdrop, The Views also featured massive sites, ample amenities (hiking trails, boat rentals, clean facilities, horseshoes), delightful management, and one of the best websites we’ve seen from an RV park (we really enjoyed the map feature which allowed us to pick a site with the best views).

Just a few miles up the road from our campground was McPhee Reservoir, which made for a fun little day trip after work one evening. Although it wasn’t the most beautiful lake we’ve ever seen, we really enjoyed exploring the area because we basically had the place to ourselves which provided an enticing, yet eerie sensation.

Although The Views was technically within Dolores city limits, we never actually visited downtown Dolores despite driving through on the way to our campground. Instead, we spent most of our time exploring/shopping/dining in nearby Cortez as it is substantially larger than Dolores and thus had more to offer.

Just past Cortez, lies Mesa Verde National Park, easily our noteworthy activity while we were in the area. Ever since we decided to embark on this RV journey, my grandmother (Meme), made it very clear that we simply had to visit Mesa Verde – and if you know Meme, you know that you’d better do what she says, or else!

Although much of the park is accessible and visible from the comfort of a car, we opted to get out and do a little touring on foot. After scouring AllTrails, we settled on the Petroglyph Point Trail, a quick 2.4-mile loop which features ancient cave paintings before finishing up with some great views of the adjacent canyon.

Among all the cave dwellings at Mesa Verde, Cliff Palace is the largest and easily most famous. We were hoping that we would be able to take the guided walking tour of Cliff Palace while we were there, however, due to COVID, the area was off limits to tourists. Although we were disappointed, we managed to work our way through the crowds on the opposing cliffside (ironic, I know) and were able to snap a few pics of this amazing structure from a distance.

As we packed up, it was not only time to bid adieu to the Cortez/Dolores area, but we were also saying goodbye to Colorado – for the time being. The next leg of our journey saw us continuing further south, this time into northern New Mexico – specifically Taos where we were meeting my parents for what would turn out to be a lovely little rendezvous.