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Worried about roads

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Keller, Texas
posts: 503
reviews: 57
Worried about roads

We are traveling from Vail to Durango in a week from today. Thinking about staying in Carbondale and then onto Tamarron in Durango. What should we expect as far as road conditions? Does the Million Dollar Highway get closed alot in the winter? We have taken it in the summer and it was a little scary.

Thanks

Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
posts: 7,196
reviews: 23
1. Re: Worried about roads

It does get closed fairly often in the winter and is also a pretty big avalanche hazard in the winter. I would not suggest that route for winter driving.

Keller, Texas
posts: 503
reviews: 57
2. Re: Worried about roads

Maybe a local could reply. Thx

Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
posts: 7,196
reviews: 23
3. Re: Worried about roads

I am a DE for Telluride. I live there part time.

Keller, Texas
posts: 503
reviews: 57
4. Re: Worried about roads

Sorry :)

Fruita, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Fruita, Grand Junction
posts: 4,257
reviews: 182
5. Re: Worried about roads

Many of us go into Utah and go through Moab if it is really snowy so we don't have to mess with the Million Dollar Hwy when it is icy. The other option is to go through Telluride and down Hwy 145 to Dolores and then head back east. Of course, that way can also be icy and slick. I believe we are supposed to be getting more snow in that area all next week so be prepared for winter driving.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 7,832
reviews: 106
6. Re: Worried about roads

If the road from Ouray to Durango was a little scary for you in the summer, I agree with endosunshine...not a recommended drive in the winter. As SusieLou says, go through Telluride, Dolores, Cortez if the roads and weather are good. If not, go around through Moab. The Telluride route has lots of skier traffic and is usually quite a bit better than the Ouray to Durango route.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
posts: 3,005
reviews: 65
7. Re: Worried about roads

I'm no expert, but what about driving south from Vail and west on hwy 160? I know 160 can be bad as well, but with snow, you do need alternate routes.

Edited: 10:37 am, January 29, 2011
Ouray, Colorado
posts: 629
reviews: 35
8. Re: Worried about roads

The Million Dollar Highway might be in good shape if you are not a fearful driver. When the avalanche danger is high, they close the road and work to remove the danger. It is true that there are no guard rails but if you aren't afraid of heights, it can be fine. If there hasn't been snow for a few days before your arrival, I would just take it.

I go up to ski in Ironton (8 miles south of Ouray) and I do it all the time. It doesn't bother me. I don't go when it says chains required however.

Watch the road conditions at http://cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm and there is a picture on Red Mountain near top today. Road is nearly dry. Probably has icy spots. If you take US 550 from Ouray to Tamaron, you will save a hundred or more miles... wait till it gets closer to decide!

Keller, Texas
posts: 503
reviews: 57
9. Re: Worried about roads

Thanks so much for all your helpful responses. We will watch the weather and decide next week.

Thinking about going south out of Vail and going thru Salida and then Wolf Creek Pass. Looks like that is about the same distance time wise. We did LOVE the Million Dollar Hwy. in the summer

and I am sure it's just as beautiful in the winter.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 7,832
reviews: 106
10. Re: Worried about roads

The Salida/Wolf Creek Pass route is very scenic, as well, and might be better road conditions. It's good to have a couple of options in mind and choose the one that looks best that day.