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Old 05-04-2014, 12:59 PM   #1
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Million Dollar Highway CO 550

We are making some plans which include southwestern Colorado in early September. I have heard Highway 550 from Durango to Montrose can be pretty hairy for a big rig and towed. Any comments? Also, is early September too early to see the Aspen colors?

Don
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by akadeadeye View Post
We are making some plans which include southwestern Colorado in early September. I have heard Highway 550 from Durango to Montrose can be pretty hairy for a big rig and towed. Any comments? Also, is early September too early to see the Aspen colors?

Don

Very. Hairy, be extremely you don't heat up brakes, if you do you have no brakes. Some curves are sharp you can read your own license plates.
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:18 PM   #3
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Exclamation Park the Coach........

We did this last fall, Sept/October, We stayed at the KOA in Cortez, Co. In my opinion, this is a road trip for your TOAD, so you can enjoy all the different towns and attractions, Route 145 out of Cortez, to r.62, to r. 550 to Durango, and r. 160 back to Cortez. We visited all the towns along the way, and went back to Durango the next day......... Some of the most scenic roads I have ever driven on, and I would not of wanted to be driving my Coach on any of them, ...... other than 160 across the bottom U.S. Route 550 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Telluride is a must, The gondola is free to ride Gondola | Telluride.com
And a new Auto of some sorts, in front of a local tavern.....that I have never seen.......
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:11 PM   #4
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Color in that area begins mid-Sept and it's gorgeous.

From Durango to Montrose, the 'scary' part is from Silverton to Ouray. Once you get to Ouray it's basically flat to Montrose. From Durango to Silverton it's a climb but not bad. We've driven it a few times with our 40' but we're also used to mountain driving and love it. Silverton is a neat little town to spend a night or two midway.

From Silverton you'll be hugging the hillside for the most part so you won't be on the steep drop-off part that is intimidating as you would if coming from the other direction. There are just a couple pull-offs from Silverton to Ouray and there are no shoulders. RVers drive it all the time so it can be done, preferably during the week.

If you're not comfortable or experienced with mountain driving, I would advise an alternative, and it's to go over to Cortez and then take Hwy 145 into Ridgeway. You'll still have a climb but it doesn't seem as bad.

If you have time before your trip, consider purchasing the 'Mountain Directory' which will give a mile by mile for many of the western roads. Have a good trip!

Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:19 PM   #5
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In Silverton we had a ball when we rented a jeep and went up into the mountains on the "Alpine Loop".
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:24 PM   #6
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We have pulled our 31' 5th wheel both directions on many occasions' perhaps not the same as a MH pulling a toad but it's not such a bad drive. A turbo or exhaust brake is very handy in some places. The views, especially in the fall when the aspens are turning, is spectacular in many places. Be sure and spend a little time in Silverton. We have stayed in Ouray many times, as well as Durango. I love that country!
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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Looks like a pretty quite day in Telluride, Co. today Telluride Live Webcam | Telluride.com
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:20 PM   #8
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Wow! Thanks for the replies. After viewing some of the pictures on Wikipedia that Palehorse posted, I think I will recalculate our route. Sheer drop offs on a narrow road with no shoulders are not on my agenda for a relaxing drive. Definitely a toad drive.....at best!

Recalculating................

Don
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #9
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The steam locomotive from Durango to Silverton was featured in Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. It's a fun and scenic ride. When we did it, you could train both ways, or train one way and bus the other. The bus ride shortens the day. http://m.durangotrain.com

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Old 05-04-2014, 05:16 PM   #10
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Interesting, Air baron just traveled this road yesterday Million Dollar Highway - US 550
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:27 PM   #11
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Smart choice, Akadeadeye. I have driven that route in the toad. I would not drive my motorhome between Silverton and Ouray. Palehorse gave good advice, I suggest following it.
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