San Juan Skyway
Mt. Sneffels area
The segment of this route from Ouray to Silverton is called the "Million Dollar Highway." And for good reason. Overshadowed by 14,000-foot peaks, this byway travels through some 5 million acres of national forest as it passes by Durango, Telluride, Cortez, Ridgway, and Mesa Verde National Park.
This is a winding and twisted road with lots of up and down through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on Earth. From ancient Anasazi sites to abandoned gold and silver mines to state of the art golf and ski resorts, this is a byway you must travel. And I don't know how you might want to arrange it but when the day is done, Ouray has lots of well developed mineral hot springs to relax in and soak away the day's stresses and strains. There's something for everyone on this road.
As of October 2, 2007, I've driven all of the San Juan Skyway except that stretch between Cortez and Telluride. Linked to this page is my exposition of that drive with lots of photos of each section. Enjoy! And maybe I'll see you out there: it's a simply gorgeous route and I'm going to do it all again, soon.
My narrative seems kind of skimpy to me but I don't want to bore you. The photos tell most of the story anyway. Because these pages are so graphic-heavy, most pages have a section with thumbnails on a black background. Those thumbnails also tell a lot of the story. Clicking on any of them will bring you a larger version and you'll see why I did things this way.
Between Ridgway and Ouray
Between Ouray and Red Mountain
Red Mountain Mining District
Between Red Mountain and Silverton
Between Silverton and Durango
The cirque above Telluride
San Juan Skyway area map
Ridgway to Ouray - Ouray to Red Mountain - Red Mountain - Red Mountain to Silverton
Silverton to Durango - Durango to Cortez - Placerville to Telluride - Placerville to Ridgway