Our Colorado + New Mexico Road Trip (During Covid-19)


🚙 STORY TIME⛰ We just got back from our annual vacation, and I’m pumped to share the stories and photos from our trip… PLUS tips for traveling during Covid-19 Coronavirus.

This is the third summer in a row we’ve taken a big road trip. Because of Matt’s job, we have a short window in the summer when we can travel together, and that’s it for the year. It also lines up with our wedding anniversary. 😊

This year, we had planned a Hawaii vacation, but that just wasn’t possible. Instead, we cancelled our vacation and planned a last minute road trip to Santa Fe, NM, and Pagosa Springs and Durango, CO.

Our annual road trips were already centered around hiking in remote places, but traveling during a pandemic was different to say the least.

Here are some ways we road tripped responsibly:

  • We drove the entire way instead of flying to our first destination.
  • We stayed at 3 Airbnbs over 9 nights. We chose homes that were private, remote, had reviews highlighting the cleanliness of the space, and that were upfront about the measures taken to protect guests (extra cleaning, leaving the space unbooked for nights on either side of our stay, etc.)
  • We also brought our own cleaning products and cleaned the heck out of each space when we arrived.
  • We used copper hooks to open doors, punch buttons, and turn on lights everywhere we went. (Link to the Clean Keys we have)
  • We chose many lesser-known hiking trails far from any town.
  • We wore masks on most trails and ALL the time in towns and public areas. We had no problem being the only one wearing a mask. We were the cool ones 😷. (Link to the masks we have)
  • Ya better believe we loaded up on soap and hand sanitizer about 1,329,204 times per day.
  • We brought our own food and cooked almost every meal ourselves.
  • On the way home, we drove 15 hours from Durango to Austin without stopping to avoid having to stay in an Airbnb or hotel.


Most importantly, don’t feel like you should go on vacation this summer just because other people are. Do what’s best for you, your family, and for ALL of us. If either of us had felt even in a tiny bit sick, we would have stayed home. I’m obviously no expert, but I think our days of going to resorts and taking cruises are NOT here yet.

But, Matt and I found ways to travel safely, and in this new world where we’re all figuring it out as we go along, I figured I’d share our experience. 😀 This is our first time traveling in many months, and we’ll be staying at home now for a loooonnnnng time.


Ok, let’s get to the fun stuff.

We travelled from Austin –> Santa Fe, NM –> Pagosa Springs, CO –> Durango, CO –> Austin. Here’s a link to our route.

Finding the best routes to travel across the United States while maximizing scenic views is a PASSION of mine. So honestly, cancelling our Hawaii trip wasn’t the saddest thing in the world, because it meant I got to plan another trip. 🙃

In the past 11 days, we drove about 40 hours. That time was filled with amazing views and many hours of Harry Potter audio books.

Oh, and I took lots of photos! Here’s some of my favorites 👇


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ahh, the Southwest. I just love it. Red rocks, sandy mountains, and sunny weather are my love language. On the way to Colorado, we stopped in Santa Fe for a few reasons. 1. We’ve never been there, but the it’s just my style. 2. It looked beautiful online. 3. It’s sounded awesome on Grace & Frankie. 😂

NEW! Find these photos in The Print Shop >

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Bandelier National Monument

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

I honestly knew nothing about Pagosa Springs before finding it on Google Maps. It turned out to be such a cute town, with tons of amazing hiking and views.

We stayed at an AirBnb in the mountains overlooking town. The views from our living room’s floor-to-ceiling windows were INCREDIBLE. Watching the light change on the mountains throughout the day was one of the highlights of our trip.

This is the view from our PORCH. Amazing.

Shop these photos in The Print Shop >


Chimney Rock National Monument

Durango, Colorado

I’ve been to Durango before, but this was my first time spending several days exploring the area as an adult. We stayed in a cabin about 30 minutes north of town. This area was perfect, because the mountains surrounding us had plenty of intense hiking trails for Matt, and we were able to drive to Silverton too.

Mesa Verde National Park

Y’all know I love national parks. It’s our goal to visit every single one of them. I’ve actually been to Mesa Verde before as a kid, but this experience was much different.

I knew the importance of Mesa Verde as America’s second national park and first to protect ancient archaeological sites, but I had no idea just how beautiful and BIG this park is. I expected to find a couple of cliff dwellings and take a few photos, but we found SO much more.

We spent almost 8 hours in this park, saw everything that is currently open to the public, and learned a ton about the Pueblo people who lived in the area. I highly recommend visiting this park!


Find these photos available in The Print Shop >


See photos from our 2019 road trip to Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton >

See photos from our 2019 road trip to Yosemite, Zion, Bryce Canyon, The Grand Canyon, and The Painted Desert >

comments +

  1. […] on our road trip last week, I met up with Haley & Jon for an adventure photo session in Albuquerque, New Mexico. […]

  2. Nicole jones says:

    Hello, loved reading this blog and seeing these beautiful pictures. We are planning a little road trip to pagosa and Durango. We live in Albuquerque. We would love to know which houses you stayed at for both stays. Looks so lovely!

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austin, Texas + ready to travel anywhere