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Old 01-27-2012, 06:23 PM
 
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I'm traveling in the next month from Arizona to Grand Junction and wanted to come up through Cortez. Is 145 to 62 better or worse than 550? I can always go through Utah if need be, but I wanted a more interesting drive. Also, there is a job opening in Montrose that my husband is applying to and I thought it would be a good time to check out the town.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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Wink Marvelously scenic or awful

If in doubt, you are better off in Utah.

In Colorado, CO 145 through Rico and past Telluride to join CO 62, is an easier drive than US 550 past Silverton. Both routes entail high mountain passes, but through Rico only one, and then a good sized 'divide' on CO 62 over to Ridgeway and junction with US 550.

If both routes scenic, US 550 is marvelous. With such superlatives matching its potentially treacherous conditions in winter.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:11 PM
 
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Thanks for the input--CO 145 would be quicker, too. I will probably have chance enough to drive 550 in the summer; I can wait to see the scenic drop offs!
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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You're better off avoiding 550. I remember driving Grand Junction to Durango a couple years ago in a rented car. I got to Ouray, took a look at the snowy, blizzard conditions in the San Juans, and reversed back to Ridgeway and then took the road to Telluride. There too once I started climbing into the mountains, the car started slipping and sliding on the slick road.

At that point, I can't remember what I did. I think rather than trying to continue to Rico, I might have backtracked again and took the road to Dove Creek and then down to Dolores?

In any case, there was a dramatic difference between the snowy, icy conditions in the mountains compared to the completely dry conditions down on the high desert in the foothills.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
You're better off avoiding 550. I remember driving Grand Junction to Durango a couple years ago in a rented car.
As luck would have it, I have a few photos from this trip. Both photos were taken the same afternoon - probably only 45 minutes apart.
  • The snowy photos is on Highway 145 climbing towards Lizard Head pass (10,000 feet). My rented car did not have any traction at all, I had to turn back to Placerville, take Hwy 145 to Naturita and then take Hwy 141 south.
  • The dry photo is Hwy 145 northwest of Placerville.


These are a good example of how the weather conditions are completely different between the mountains and the high desert. The road from Placerville was dry and I did not have any issues at all.
Attached Thumbnails
Driving to Montrose in winter-colorado_hwy145-copy.jpg   Driving to Montrose in winter-colorado_hwy141-copy.jpg  
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Based on the pictures above, I'd take the low road!
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:29 PM
 
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I'm looking for this same information. I need to go up and over someway somehow on the 11/4/18 to get to Montrose from Texas. I'm checking all the traffic sites including the CODT site. My brother's going to be driving the moving van (no chains allowed)...at least he has a CDL, and I'm going to be driving my car. I've never driven in any kind of snowy weather. Any natives around who can help me with current road conditions, what they will probably look like on Sunday, and which options might be my best?

Last edited by saffikeagan; 10-31-2018 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,180 posts, read 9,486,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saffikeagan View Post
I'm looking for this same information. I need to go up and over someway somehow on the 11/4/18 to get to Montrose from Texas. I'm checking all the traffic sites including the CODT site. My brother's going to be driving the moving van (no chains allowed)...at least he has a CDL, and I'm going to be driving my car. I've never driven in any kind of snowy weather. Any natives around who can help me with current road conditions, what they will probably look like on Sunday, and which options might be my best?
Don't take a moving van on US-550. Get from Texas to Pueblo and take US-50 from Pueblo to Montrose. Monarch Pass is MUCH easier than 550. Keep checking the weather forecasts and the CDOT website.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:06 AM
 
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bluescreen73 is right. Highway 50 is a good road, 4 laned till you get 15 miles from Canon City. There will be a system rolling through the south central mountains this weekend. Not a big one, but the snow probably will start stacking around the 8000 ft. level. The last time I checked it will be 3-4 inches.

Solid info by bluescreen73. Hwy. 50 is an easy climb, work was done to that road a couple decades back with longer passing lanes. The switchbacks are doable on the west side of the pass. You also have C-Dot work yards close to Salida on one end and a few miles west at the bottom end of Monarch Pass. The trucks stay busy on that stretch clearing the road--give them room! . I visit relatives in Denver monthly and on my way back to Mesa County I like to go home that way. Not a lot of tourist traffic but more truck traffic than you think, the loggers roll through there frequently.

And when you are west of the Arkansas canyon on 50 and you get to Coaldale, then you'll see what those Colorado mountains are all about and especially dropping into Salida. Great views. My favorite area of Colorado is 50 from Canon City to Montrose. When I'm not driving on 50 I'm fishing the Arkansas River west of Cotopaxi and/or Blue Mesa Reservoir west of Gunnison.

Safe travels. Good luck!

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 11-01-2018 at 12:15 AM.. Reason: addition
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:06 PM
 
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What's the 285/114 bypass of Monarch Pass like? Currently CDOT is showing that that route is completely dry?
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