This road trip follows a circular path through southwestern Colorado along the areas of what are arguably the most scenic sections of the Rocky Mountains. Along the way you'll be traveling through historic mining towns, national parks and world-class ski resorts. You'll also have a chance to see San Juan Mountains with its elite group of 14,000 foot mountain peaks. This route provides access to an unparalleled mix of spectacular scenery with its display of red-rock canyons, hot springs, lush river valleys and majestic mountains. You will also be passing through an area known as the "Switzerland of America."
Overall, there's enough on this trip to give your camera a workout!
Towns/Cities You'll Pass By/Through
The route passes through towns like Durango (the biggest town on this route), Ouray, Silverton and Telluride. These nice mountain and former mining towns offer all kinds of amenities and tourist services, including food and gas.
Attractions & Points-of-Interests Along the Way
There's a wide range of amenities along this Colorado route. You can stop and explore the ranching town of Ridgway, home to the set of Western movies. There are also several old mining towns such as Ouray, Silverton and Telluride that you can visit along the way. Named after a Ute Indian chief, Ouray is home of numerous hot springs including one turned into a municipal pool.
Silverton is a preserved Rocky Mountain mining town featuring
once elegant hotels and a former red light district where you can see the locals stage mock gunfights. There are museum, gift shops and places to eat available in the city. Durango, the largest city in southwestern Colorado, has a vast collection of beautiful brick and stone Victorian buildings. Here you can also find ample souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels. It is also the starting point for the "Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad." You can take a ride in this authentic coal burning steam engine pulled train from Durango to Silverton ((970)247-2733). The train runs multiple times a day and there's some breathtaking scenery along the way. You will go by Mesa Verde National Park and will have an opportunity to visit the ancient Ansazi villages and cliff dwellings built here over 700 years ago. Here you will also see the "Cliff Palace" the former home of more than 200 Anasazis. The southwestern corner of the route provides access to Cherry Creek and the area that gave the inspiration for Louis L'Amour's many novels. One of the highlights of this road trip is the world famous ski-town of Telluride. This Victorian town is tucked close to magnificent mountains in the corner of a mountain valley. The town has some nice shops and restaurants and offers a large variety of activities including mountain-biking and camping. It's also home to a historic bank where Butch Cassidy committed his first bank robbery back in 1889. Make sure you hike to Bridal Veil Falls (pictures) and take in the view of the highest freefall waterfall in Colorado that dives 425ft.
Reviewed by BRTP Partners on April 7, 2010 (3 out of 3 members found this review useful.)
Comments: I saw this ride on this website and made the journey out here from Arizona. Wow I'm glad I did!!! This will now be an annual ride for me and a group that roams the western US each summer. I especially loved the fact that in between the jaw dropping scenery are great stops sprinkled pretty evenly. We stopped at every one of the nice towns along the way and ended up stretching a one day trip into three and wished we could have stayed longer. Just a lot of neat towns with plenty to do if you're not in a hurry and enjoy snooping around and taking things in. I was told however that we should have tried in early Oct for the color changes. Will be there next year!!!
Reviewed by BRTP Partners on April 7, 2010 (2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Comments: We took the Ridgway - Silverton - Durango - (Mesa Verde) Cortez legs in late July. The roads were very good with spectacular views. Mesa Verde is a must see. Recommend taking your time. With all there is to see and do, this area could be a vacation destination on its own.