@cc-hackman - Sounds like you've got an amazing trip planned, and you honestly can't go wrong with either route.

There is still lots of snow here in the higher elevations, so while RMNP is always beautiful, access may not be what you had hoped it would be. I would recommend heading west from Monte Vista. There will still be snow at higher elevations, but you can head through Pagosa Springs and check out the hot springs, down to Durango which is an amazing town, and hang out in the Orvis Hot Springs near Ouray. I would also recommend stopping in the cutest little town called Del Norte (pronounced "Del Nort") and getting the best pizza and beer at Three Barrels Brewing Company. If you like fly fishing, and if the guiding services are operating right now/the river is not blown out, hire a guide to float you down the Rio Grande from South Fork. 

Have fun, and check back in after your trip to let us know what you did!

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