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Old 02-03-2018, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmcintyre1s View Post
EastwardBound and Brian_M, it will only let me rate your positively so many times...but I have to say, thanks so much for the conversation! I really can't wait for our trip.
You're welcome and enjoy the trip!
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:40 AM
 
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I am in love with the San Juan Mtns area. So beautiful no matter which route you take. One bit of advice for 550. If you or anyone in your vehicle has a problem with steep mountain roads with no guard rails, this road could be a challenge. It's fine for most people, but I know a few who hesitate to drive this road for that reason.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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As others have said, keep the weather and road conditions in mind if you choose to take 550. Most of the road is fine, but Uncompahgre Gorge south of Ouray can be really dicey if the road is slick.



The drop to the left is ~300 feet down to the river below. Go off here and odds are it'll be the last thing you do.

Last edited by bluescreen73; 02-04-2018 at 11:02 AM..
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:01 AM
 
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Here's another photo, cool stuff. IIRC isn't this stretch of 550 aka Red Mountain Pass?

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Old 02-09-2018, 02:04 PM
 
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You could also cut over to South Fork and head north on 149, thru Creede and Lake City, hits 50 just west of Gunnison. Got over 2 passes, Slumgullion is amazing and you also see many of the same peaks. Drive down into Lake City is a little steep, but if weather good, it is easy.
Monarch Pass is a great stop as well with the Continental Divide.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWIBC View Post
You could also cut over to South Fork and head north on 149, thru Creede and Lake City, hits 50 just west of Gunnison. Got over 2 passes, Slumgullion is amazing and you also see many of the same peaks. Drive down into Lake City is a little steep, but if weather good, it is easy.
Monarch Pass is a great stop as well with the Continental Divide.
Good post!

Both are nice drives-been a few years since I've been over Slumgullion (love that name!) I visit relatives in the Denver area every other month as I live in Mesa County but a lot of times I'll go back home through Colorado Springs, Canon City, Salida, Gunnison, and Montrose. Monarch is a fairly easy drive, has an adequate amount of passing lanes, and C-DOT does a great job with road maintenance as they have 2 work yards on both sides of the pass, maybe 10-15 miles from the summit.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWIBC View Post
You could also cut over to South Fork and head north on 149, thru Creede and Lake City, hits 50 just west of Gunnison. Got over 2 passes, Slumgullion is amazing and you also see many of the same peaks. Drive down into Lake City is a little steep, but if weather good, it is easy.
Monarch Pass is a great stop as well with the Continental Divide.
We did Slumgullion last October and it is fantastic! Can't wait to go again.

Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-slumgullion.jpg
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWIBC View Post
You could also cut over to South Fork and head north on 149, thru Creede and Lake City, hits 50 just west of Gunnison. Got over 2 passes, Slumgullion is amazing and you also see many of the same peaks. Drive down into Lake City is a little steep, but if weather good, it is easy.
Monarch Pass is a great stop as well with the Continental Divide.
That's Route 149, the Silver Thread Scenic Highway and it's fantastic but you want to keep an eye on the road conditions. It's a very isolated area. Creede and Lake City are the ONLY sizeable population centers on that road and there's not much else. Most of Lake City was closed down when I went there in October so you won't get much in the way of services but it's a very charming town to visit. There just won't be much open.

But the drive is fantastic. Just check on the road conditions. They don't plow the roads at night there and there's numerous signs telling you that and you're at over 11k feet going up Slumgullion Pass.

As for your original choices, if road conditions aren't a factor I'd take the Million Dollar Highway anyday. Pagosa Springs is a nice town and I love the Grand Sand Dunes but if you are strapped for time and just driving through, you will see mostly flat areas with the mountains in the distance. On the Million Dollar you will go through some of the most scenic areas in Colorado and the towns of Durango, Silverton, Ouray are worth stopping in. I'd def opt for this drive if you can.

I've driven a lot of mountain roads and everyone likes to go on about the plunging cliffs on that portion of 550 outside Ouray but most of the road is just fine. Just take it easy and keep and eye on road conditions and weather.

First picture here is from the Million Dollar Highway just south of Ouray. Second is before Slumgullion as you are heading into Lake City. If you head in that direction don't forget to check out Lake San Cristobal..It's the second largest natural lake in Colorado.
Attached Thumbnails
Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22154190_713119562216266_7848402874635490018_n.jpg   Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22405894_716688108526078_7206266135446372543_n.jpg   Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22406439_716654088529480_1151862664917913105_n.jpg  
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
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Here's some more pics from the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Durango, Red Mountain Pass....Def worth the drive.
Attached Thumbnails
Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22195558_713121162216106_4647685071945749099_n.jpg   Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22154308_713122615549294_8121956308245463389_n.jpg   Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22154611_713121368882752_1721152605269938989_n.jpg  

Last edited by Freak On a Leash; 02-11-2018 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
Reputation: 78
Here's more of what you'll see if you drive Option 2: These were taken outside of Pagosa Springs on Rte 160 and on the way to Grand Sand Dunes from Alamosa...
Attached Thumbnails
Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22405826_715691925292363_262890272449633666_n.jpg   Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22448240_715691841959038_238433518181116754_n.jpg   Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22448159_717463338448555_5349979419976499587_n.jpg   Durango to Denver: Million Dollar Highway or Hwy 285?-22448610_717463358448553_8036575979394005829_n.jpg  
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