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Old 03-19-2010, 08:59 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,044 posts, read 6,169,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoymonkey View Post
I went to Telluride from Durango, first through Mancos (near Cortez) and back though this route. Both were about the same time and both very beautiful drives.

Sorry Jazzlover, but you don't have to take that road!
wheres your sense adventure, thats the scenic route
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:01 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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The OP asked why he had to go US160 to CO145 to get to Telluride from Durango, instead of US550. I answered the question asked. The only direct way via US550 to Telluride, unless you go clear to Ridgway then backtrack on CO62 and CO145, is take one of the 4WD trails--e.g. Ophir Pass, Ingraham Pass (better known as Black Bear), or Imogene Pass--off of US550. Considering that I've been traveling that country for better than 40 years now, and considering that my ex-in-laws grew up in Telluride, I think I know what I'm talking about.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:46 PM
 
22 posts, read 72,660 times
Reputation: 29
Man. Jazz you are the grumpiest old cud! I enjoy most of your posts though.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,521 posts, read 11,628,203 times
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For the OP, HWY 50 from Junction to HWY 550 in Montrose to Ridgway (do the speed limit) then HWY 62 (do the speed limit) to Telluride is a very nice scenic drive in the summer. You won't hit mountains until you pass Colona on HWY 550. But it's a well maintained two lane highway. You'll climb to about 7,000 ft in Ridgway then 9,000 ft or so in Telluride. It's not bad at all. Watch for deer and state troopers. Drinks lots of water.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,197,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
For the OP, HWY 50 from Junction to HWY 550 in Montrose to Ridgway (do the speed limit) then HWY 62 (do the speed limit) to Telluride is a very nice scenic drive in the summer. You won't hit mountains until you pass Colona on HWY 550. But it's a well maintained two lane highway. You'll climb to about 7,000 ft in Ridgway then 9,000 ft or so in Telluride. It's not bad at all. Watch for deer and state troopers. Drinks lots of water.
I will second doing the speed limit! As someone who used to live in GJ and traveled frequently to Montrose and Ridgway, it's pretty easy to find yourself exceeding the speed limit along those roads. Don't be tempted!

I'll be traveling to Telluride myself in August, but we've decided to drive rather than deal with flights. Safe travels!
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,521 posts, read 11,628,203 times
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Yes the speed limit is 60 mph on HWY 550 from Montrose to Ridgway. It's 25 mph through Ridgway. Those silver cars on the highway are troopers.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:37 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Jeep trails & other options

If you've settled on Grand Junction then probably the best option, save the closer airports at Montrose, or Telluride itself. It can be an interesting drive, and beauty itself from Ouray County on.

If Durango is only slightly more expensive you might seriously consider it. Depends on what you prefer, as the easier drive from Grand Junction, but the far more scenic from Durango. MapQuest probably suggested the route through Cortez and Rico because it is the easier route, and in a sense more direct. But as lovely as it is nothing compares to the sheer splendor of US 550 north from Durango to Ouray. Absolutely marvelous, but be forewarned that it is largely mountain driving with a number of high passes to be crossed. There is but one relatively mild pass (in comparison) if driving through Rico. Some begin to think of religion when navigating the narrow roads (as in Red Mountain Pass), with often no shoulder and steep drop-offs to nowhere you want to end up with a car. Others absolutely love it, and the definition of scenic.

If thinking you'd like some lovely mountain driving, Durango is not the only option. Nearby Farmington, NM has even less options in airlines, but Albuquerque, NM might work for you. Just in airfare it might save you money. The drive is obviously longer, but the high desert landscape of northwest New Mexico is rather lovely. The route on US 550 from ABQ is good four-lane with little traffic. It really is a nice drive. In interest and scenery recommended over that of Grand Junction.

From the map it is bemusing how close Telluride is to Ouray. But only the raven acclimated to high altitudes will get there quickly. It would probably take less time continuing on the paved highway through Ridgeway and all the way around, then the gnarly 4x4 Jeep trail up over and down Black Bear Pass, even if in actual miles far less. Obviously only recommended if seeking true adventure, and you sure won't be taking the rental car on it.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,901,170 times
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In my opinion these will all give you approximately the same experience. If you fly into SLC, you'll probably end up driving through Montrose anyway? If you fly into Albuquerque, you'd either come up through Cortez or Durango.

since you mentioned "ease of drivnig" then you may want to avoid US-550 between Durango and Ouray. This is a narrow mountain highway that has some sections of road that outsiders ( and some locals) consider "hairpin". Some stretches of this road have 600 foot drops with no guardrail.

If you come by way of Salt Lake, you could stop off in Moab and see the Arches National Park.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:27 PM
 
726 posts, read 1,813,113 times
Reputation: 413
I love that picture Jazzlover. It made me laugh and brought back our first trip into the San Juans. Our gps actually sent us up a "road" like that. I swear I thought I was going to have to abandon our car and hoof it out.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:29 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,836 times
Reputation: 10
Hi, Im an Aussie coming to Telluride this Jan 2012... to ski. We are 4 so driving can be cost comparative to flying and we love a good drive anyway! We are tossing up between driving from SLC or DEN to Telluride and we are hoping to see some beaut scenery or landmarks along the way... and could stop overnight.
So.... considering the winter weather.... which would you recommend for scenery, safety.... and where can we stop overnight? Should we hire an SUV (?) (Is that a 4WD??) We have driven from Montrose to Telluride before... Appreciate your time .... CAN'T WAIT!! We LOVE Colorado. Cheers.
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