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Mexican Hat to Montrose in November

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Edinburgh, United...
2 posts
Mexican Hat to Montrose in November

I have a sob story for you for which I make no apologies but hope you can help:

My husband and I were booked on a Harley tour to do the Canyons in Utah/Arizona in June this year but 10 days before we flew out to Vegas (where we were also supposed to be bridesmaid/best man at our friends' wedding) we were knocked off our Harley at home and were hospitalised. As we are still unable to ride, but can drive, we decided to do this trip on our own in a car, and November is our look-ahead date to hopefully being fully recovered from our injuries.

But we have a friend who lives in Monument, CO who I would desperately love to meet up with so we are looking at coming over from Mexican Hat to Montrose on 11th November and then onto Salida/Poncha Springs on November 12th to meet up before heading back to Montrose for the night and Mexican Hat on the 13th.

We are hoping to come in on the Million Dollar Highway and then return via Naturita and Dove Creek (or vice versa) but we will be in a Mustang and have no idea what the roads will be like in November. Obviously we will keep a track of cotrip.com when we can but I understand the reception in the canyons is patchy at best.

I also know that you had loads of snow in November 2010 so the possibility is there again for this year. Whilst US50 should be kept clear I'm not sure about the 160/550 and if anybody has any first hand knowledge that would be great.

3 replies to this topic
WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
8,807 posts
131 reviews
1. Re: Mexican Hat to Montrose in November

Sorry to hear about your mishap!

Another option would be 160/285 through Durango, Pagosa Springs, Wolf Creek Pass, Del Norte, Saguache, Salida.

If there is snow or even rain and freezing overnight temperatures, I would not advise driving 550 between Durango and Ouray even if the road is open. Travel one way via Cortez> Dolores> Rico> Telluride> Ridgway> Montrose and the other way 160/285 (Wolf Creek Pass route) or Ridgway> Naturita> Dove Creek, depending on which way has better weather.

Of course if the weather cooperates, the Million Dollar Highway route one way combined with the Telluride>Dolores route would be the most scenic and allow you to travel the entire San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway.

Sometimes mapping programs will try to send you over "Highway" 90 west of Montrose to Naturita, which is unpaved and rough/washboardy in spots. A pretty drive, and doable if you were in your own vehicle, but not advisable in a rental or if you are short on time as you will be.

Edited: 10:34 am, September 08, 2011
Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
Level Contributor
9,156 posts
34 reviews
2. Re: Mexican Hat to Montrose in November

Also be cautious if any maps try to have you go directly between Ouray and Telluride. It is a dirt mountain pass, 4 wheel drive only and closes about Oct to June.

Edinburgh, United...
2 posts
3. Re: Mexican Hat to Montrose in November

Thanks for that - ok the 90 to Naturita is out but the Telluride - Dolores is in instead and just keep the fingers and toes crossed that the weather allows us to do the whole San Juan Skyway - must admit I'm pretty excited at maybe getting to do this whole road!!

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