The McElmo Creek Flume, near Cortez, is the last surviving flume of the 104 built in the 1890s to irrigate the Montezuma Valley. Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byways Association is seeking donations to help restore this historic structure.
McPhee Reservoir's marina has kayaks for rent May–October. Paddle around on Colorado's second-largest lake before enjoying your picnic under the setting sun.
Stop into the Safeway on Main Street in Cortez to grab deli sandwiches, chips, apples and drinks for dinner. Then head to the McPhee Reservoir for a sunset picnic.
Pull into the point-of-interest where you can get out of your car and walk to the overlook where information panels explain the history of the water structure. The flume was built in 1931 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
The Mesa Loop Road tour is a 6-mile (10 km) driving tour with short, paved trails. Twelve easily-accessible sites, including surface dwellings and cliff dwelling overlooks. Highlights include Square Tower House, Sun Point Overlook and views of Cliff Palace from Sun Point and Sun Temple stops.
Stop in for a Morefield Campground Evening Program or purchase tickets for the Cliff Palace Twilight Tour before heading to bed.
Head to Durango for the rest of the day; the drive is about an hour.
Walk around downtown Durango on an evening excursion to learn about the history of buildings, sites and more.
Start your day off early with a hot breakfast in the Rochester Hotel.
Stretch your legs and walk your dog at Lake Nighthouse Recreation Area March–November.