196 mi. About 5 hours 0 mins
1. Head south on Ross Ave toward Fourth St 459 ft
2. Turn right onto US-160 W /Main St Continue to follow US-160 W
Pass by Best Western Alamosa Inn (on the right in 0.9 mi) 58.6 mi
3. Keep left 0.2 mi
4. Merge onto US-160 W 89.5 mi
5. Keep left 0.1 mi
6. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto US-160 W 34.4 mi
7. Take the exit toward Mesa Verde National Park 0.3 mi
8. Turn left onto Mesa Top Ruins Rd 9.2 mi
9. Turn left onto Moccasin Mesa Rd 3.7 mi
Day 3 takes you back into the forests and through a major mountain pass near Beaver Creek. Beware of wildlife and open cattle ranges. That's right: cattle grazing with no fences to keep them off the road. Had to make 3 stops on day 3 to honk and get the cattle herd to move off the road. That was a first time for me. The mountain pass is 2 lanes up and one lane back down the other side, so traffic gets congested coming out of the pass. Mesa Verde Park is a great stop and an interesting tourist stop.
As said above, this day is short on miles but filled with attention grabbing curves and hills. Be prepared to keep your tank above half full as some stretches are void of stations. Be prepared to lean through tight switchbacks and brake aggressively through the pass. Pavement is good except for 2 places: the backside of Beaver Pass and the road into Mesa Verde Park.
Lots of scenic pull-out on the pass as well as a few waterfalls on the edge of the road. The Park itself is a great historical location with interesting overhangs and mountains nearby. Advice: Plan your trip to the Park ahead of time with rservations for camping (if that's your thing) and bus and car tours of the park. Arrive early at the park or plan on a 2nd morning there before the next stretch of the trip.