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Old 09-04-2018, 02:58 PM
 
35 posts, read 9,025 times
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(I have used the search feature and did not find anything- apologies if there are threads on this).
Hi guys!
Thinking of Dallas to Ouray for Christmas in the mountains and snow. If all those roads are closed, how does one get to western and southwestern CO from Texas (or anywhere for that matter)? How likely to be closed? Even if open, I know you are going to tell me "not suggested", but really put the fear of God into me if you think it is that severe - I have wanted to do this for a while. Also, I'm open to other suggestions on location; it's just that this area of CO is the only part I have never visited. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:58 PM
 
16,165 posts, read 20,172,692 times
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Hello Marsha! Looks like you're a new member-welcome to the forum!

There are a few ways to make this trip, I'll give you my preferred route. When you get out of Wichita Falls on 287 and hook up with Amarillo, take I-40 all the way to Albuquerque, then get on I-25 and take the Bernalillo U.S. 550 route to Bloomfield/Aztec. Stay on 550 and proceed to Durango. IF the roads are shut down at Durango going northbound, get on U.S. 160 and proceed to Cortez and take state highway 141 just a mile east of town. You'll go over Lizard Head Pass which is an easier climb than Red Mountain/Molas Divide pass. When you get close to Telluride you'll go through the roundabout (yes they have them in the high country too). Stay on 145 west and then turn right at Colo. state highway 62 which loops around some of the most photographed mountains in the state. You'll go over Dallas Divide and watch your speed as you are coming downhill to Ridgway. Then take U.S.550 south as Colo. 62 dead ends. Ouray from Ridgway is 15 miles.

Keep in mind for the most part when it's nasty on Red Mountain Pass it's nasty on Lizard Head as well. If there's a road closure then stay on 491 out of Cortez and proceed north. Once you get passed Dove Creek look for Colo. 141 and turn right. You'll have to go app. 90 miles to angle around Lizard Head but for the most part once you go down Slick Rock Hill you'll be at 5500 ft. mol for most of the drive. Once you get to Colo. 145 you'll want to turn right and proceed eastbound. You'll go past Norwood and go down Norwood Hill. Then you'll take Colo. 62 again and loop over Dallas divide. You'll be in Ridgway and Ouray is 15 miles south on hwy. 550.

C-Dot has various workyards and lots of dump trucks and graders and works hard to keep the roads open, give them plenty of room. I've been through these routes dozens of times. While Red Mountain Pass may be the gold standard for mountain pass beauty I wouldn't recommend it for someone who has never been on it before, in fact I like Lizard Head Pass just as much as it is an easier drive IMO, particularly for winter travel. If you cannot get through Red Mountain and don't mind waiting it out a day, Durango has a number of small mom and pop motels on the north side of town.
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,520 posts, read 11,623,635 times
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Check here -


Road Conditions, Speeds, Travel Times, Traffic Cameras, Live Streaming Traffic Cameras, Road Closures and Road Work Information provided by Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) a branch of Colorado Department of Transportation


Our heaviest snow is March, but there will be snow on the ground at Christmas, or it'll be 70 degrees. Ouray is spectacular in Christmas, and worth the trip.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:14 AM
 
35 posts, read 9,025 times
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Thanks so much guys.
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