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Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

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Gordonsbay, South...
posts: 161
reviews: 7
Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

Hello!

We plan to drive from Montrose to Aspen mid to late April. From what I see on google maps we there are 2 options available.

Either US50 on to CO133 on to CO82. OR US50, through Gunnnison, CO135. On paper, the one through Gunnison seems better? I am asking advice as I'm not sure if the the time of the year (weatherwise) will have an impact on the choice of route?

thanks as always

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 17,805
reviews: 36
1. Re: Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

CO 135 from Gunnison to Crested Butte is the only part of the road open toward Aspen. North of Crested Butte is extreme 4x4 road, not open in winter and CO133 from Crested Butte to Paonia is closed in the winter.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 7,605
reviews: 100
2. Re: Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

133 from Paonia to Redstone over McClure Pass is a beautiful drive and a good road, usually. It's not one of the more extreme passes, so will likely be fine but check the road report before you go. http://www.cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm

I think that the Kebler Pass road from Crested Butte to Paonia is Gunnison County Rd 12 but on most maps it looks like a continuation of 135. It's passable by passenger car in the summer but won't be open by the time of your trip.

Gordonsbay, South...
posts: 161
reviews: 7
3. Re: Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

Thank you both! Will it be worth our while to do Montrose to Gunnison just as a side-trip for sight seeing at all or do you think we'll cover enough on the 133?

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 7,605
reviews: 100
4. Re: Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

Are you flying in to Montrose? Or is this a leg of a longer route?

Montrose to Gunnison is a nice drive. You would pass by Blue Mesa Reservoir and you might see eagles along the river and reservoir as well as a chance at seeing deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.

Are you planning to stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park just east of Montrose? I'd recommend it! Some of the rim drive is closed due to snow right now but it should be open by the time of your trip.

The side trip I would choose over Montrose to Gunnison would be 45 minutes south to the village of Ouray, aptly nicknamed "Switzerland of America." Or drive to Ridgway and turn west, then drive to Dallas Divide for a magnificent view of the rugged San Juan Mountains to the south.

Gordonsbay, South...
posts: 161
reviews: 7
5. Re: Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

It is part of a longish trip, that specific part of it falls into the Moab to Montrose to Aspen to Denver bit. We have BC of the GNP on our list yes. Thanks for the Ouray suggestion, I've see the discussion on how to pronounce the town's name here on the forum : ) I've looked at their visitors guide online and I think if time permit I'm going to try and combine your 2 suggestions, it looks wonderful and that's just by looking at it on a map!

6. Re: Scenic route Montrose to Aspen

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