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Best route from Moab to Telluride

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posts: 333
reviews: 31
Best route from Moab to Telluride

We'll be driving from Moab to Telluride in the 2nd week of September. It seems our options are to head north to Grand Junction and then down to Telluride (least preferred option, as it would entail some backtracking); heading south towards Dolores and then to Telluride; or following Utah 46 to CO 90, 141 and then 145. Any recommendations or insight into travel conditions or the scenic potential of the routes would be appreciated!

Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 8,163
reviews: 112
11. Re: Best route from Moab to Telluride

The OP was September but post #6 was early June in a rental car.

As I said, people drive it in a rental car, for sure, but I like to let people know ahead of time about the risk they take in a rental car so that they can make an informed decision. If the car breaks down, even if no fault of the driver, even if it is a mechanical breakdown of the car, they risk a whole lot of costs, including the tow, the cost of repair, and paying the rental company top dollar daily rate for the time the car is out of service.

I don't agree with the policy...some of Colorado's (and other places across the nation) well maintained county roads are less likely to cause car damage than driving through a construction zone or even getting a broken windshield on the highway, but it is a way that rental companies contain their costs and protect themselves from people taking their cars to places they really shouldn't go.

Some local rentals who are familiar with the road might allow it. I'd ask specifically if I wanted to drive it, and ask if the agency would specify in writing the roads that I could or could not drive.

Edited: 9:25 am, August 07, 2013
Grand Junction...
posts: 87
reviews: 124
12. Re: Best route from Moab to Telluride

Here is a few pics from the Route 12 over Kebler. Links to them since I cannot see how to post a picture on this forum.








It is beautiful and not dangerous at all. But it does close during the winter since it is to hard to keep it open.

Read the rental contract by all means. But most say only on maintained roads. Of which 12 is a regularly maintained road.

Edited: 12:15 pm, August 07, 2013
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
posts: 3,523
reviews: 94
13. Re: Best route from Moab to Telluride

I've ridden the route shellking recommended on my bike. It is one of the most beautiful and least driven routes in Colorado. Truly a cyclists dream. There's a natural spring on the side of the road just before you begin the descent past La Sal with super cold spring water. Several scenes from the movie Thelma and Louise were filmed in this area including the general store in Paradox.

posts: 622
reviews: 6
14. Re: Best route from Moab to Telluride

Definitely from Moab going south on 191. Then east on UT-46 towards Colorado. It turns into CO-90. If you are a Thelma and Louise fan, you'll drive right by the place Louise made her phone call home from. Yes, definitely Hwy 133 over McClure Pass and through Redstone. Beautiful.

London, United...
posts: 15
reviews: 1
15. Re: Best route from Moab to Telluride

Some great great advice and detail for planning from those in the know ! Especially helpful as I do not want to drive in poor conditions on mountain roads.

I once tried to get to Bryce Canyon during the first snowfall of the winter and had to turn back when could not see the edge of the road! I now have some options when planing this route, but when would be the best time to go ? May, June or July?

My trip is now SLC - Torrey - Moab - Durango - Tulleride - Glenwood Springs - Denver, taking 14 nights in all. If I go to too late, the Utah destinations may be too hot and I get in to US holiday/peak season. Too early, and risk snow etc in Colorado. So which 2 weeks would work best, please?

Grand Junction...
posts: 87
reviews: 124
16. Re: Best route from Moab to Telluride

Start Father's Day weekend and roll 14 days forward out of that. Absolutely beautiful.

I run a Father's day motorbike rally run that weekend for wounded warrior, we leave junction take the 141 all the way around to cut off for ridgeway, then to Ouray for lunch, on to Durango over Red Mountain, stay two nights and head back Fathers day up through delores and into Telluride for lunch leave there and head over the 50 to Gunnison and up that back way through Crawford to delta to junction. 5 years of it and never had a weather cancelation yet.

Edited: 5:35 pm, August 09, 2013
17. Re: Best route from Moab to Telluride

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