DURANGO TO TELLURIDE
– 5 hours Round Trip -

(Add 2 hours or more for sight-seeing, lunch, and gas)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 160 West to Dolores, then Hwy 145 North to Telluride. Starting in Ignacio, take Hwy 172 North to Durango, then Hwy 160 West via same route above.

An alternate route to Telluride, is over the Million Dollar Highway. Starting in Durango, take Hwy 550 North to Ouray, then to Ridgeway, then take Hwy 62 West to Placerville, then Hwy 145 to Telluride. This route is about 3 hours one way.

Points of Interest Along the Way

In Dolores there is plenty of gas and food available, and for history buffs stop at the Anasazi Heritage Center & Canyons of the Ancients National Monument on the McFee Reservoir.

Check out the Enterprise Bar & Grill in Rico which is just up the road from Dolores. Excellent Green Chili cheeseburgers!!!

Anasazi Heritage Center & Canyons of the Ancients National Monument on McFee Reservoir.

On the way to Telluride stop at Lizard Head Pass for incredible photos, and of 14,256 foot Mt. Wilson. Restrooms are available.

On the way to Ouray, check out Bear Creek Falls, waterfall overlook, parking, and photos.

Ouray Hot Springs Park is a great place to get off the bike and jump in for relaxation!

The Beaumont Hotel is a beautiful restored historical building. Check it out.

Plenty to do and see in Telluride!

Oak Fat Alley BBQ and ride the Gondola (It's FREE!!!!) (W San Juan Ave & Oak St)

Smugglers Brewpub is off the tourist route - great locals pub (W San Juan Ave & Pine St)

Brown Dog Pizza is always good (E Colorado & N Spruce st)

Drive thru town of Telluride to round-about on right hand side of road to view Bridal Veil Falls,Which is known as the "Tallest free falling falls in Colorado at 365 feet".

Too many things to list, so park the bike, and enjoy the summer beauty of this Ski Resort!!!





COLORADO MOTORCYCLE RIDING TIPS

Motorcycle riding during the summer in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, for those who have never experienced it, offers spectacular world class scenery with constantly changing landscapes, altitudes, curves and grades, wildlife, and a climate zone that can go instantly from warm and mild to cold summer rains, sometimes mixed with brief periods of freezing sleet or a dusting of snow at higher altitudes. In addition to many local restaurants, gift shops, taverns, historical points of interest, and museums there are many pull-outs along your journey where you can stop, take pictures, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the views. Just as the views are beautiful, they can also be very deadly if you do not pay attention to your surroundings or yourself.

Before heading up to explore the Rockies, these recommendations will keep you safe:

  • Make sure gas tanks are full and tires at appropriate pressure before going up in altitude.
  • Wear or take extra layers of clothing, a hoodie, rain gear, gloves, and a jacket.
  • Be extremely careful on sharp curves and pull-outs due to loose gravel or fallen rocks.
  • Observe speed limits because curves and grades can be very deceiving.
  • Do not ride beside or follow other motorcycles too closely on mountain roads.
  • Keep to the right lane at all times on mountain roads.
  • Watch for wildlife! Slow down, especially at night! It is common to see deer, elk, moose, bears, mountain lions, or smaller animals on the side of the road or crossing the road.
  • If encountering animals on the road do not attempt to approach or feed them.
  • Wear a helmet, eye protection, leathers, or durable riding gear due to all of the above.
  • And above all, do not drink alcohol and attempt to ride your motorcycle!!

For some people, the thin air at higher altitudes can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, shortness of breath, feeling faint, etc., all of which can lead to a reduction in a person’s reaction time, and/or passing out. If you feel any of these symptoms pull over immediately, get off or your motorcycle and lay down until you feel better or ask someone for help. Altitude sickness and encounters with animals on the road are leading causes of motorcycle and auto accidents.

Enjoy the ride, but ride safe.

COME
     RIDE
         WITH
              US!!!

DURANGO TO OURAY (MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY)
– 5 hours Round Trip
-
(Add 1.5 hours for gas/lunch)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 550 North to Silverton. Starting in Ignacio, take Hwy 172 North to Durango, then Hwy 550 North to Silverton. From Silverton continue on Hwy 550 North to Ouray.

Points of Interest Along the Way

Bakers Bridge is a cool stop. Local swimming hole/cliff diving now but was where Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid jumped off the cliff. Highway 550/250 intersection north of Hermosa. Bridge is on highway 250.

Haviland Lake at Hwy 550 / 671 is a nice stop for photos. Close to Purgatory Ski Area.

Andrews Lake near Molas Pass 550 / 590, another great stop for photos. Paved parking and restrooms.

In Silverton, check out Avalanche Brewing Co, the Grand Imperial Hotel, the Brown Bear, and lots of other great food options and gift shops. And if you arrive around noon, this is where the Durango & Silverton Railroad takes passengers and you can watch the train arrive and turn around for the trip back to Durango. Great train photos here!!

On the way to Ouray, check out Bear Creek Falls, waterfall overlook, parking, and photos.

Ouray Hot Springs Park is a great place to get off the bike and jump in for relaxation!

The Beaumont Hotel is a beautiful restored historical building. Check it out.





SUGGESTED RIDE ROUTES

FOUR CORNERS MONUMENT RIDE
– 5 hours Round Trip
-
(Add 1.5 hours for gas/lunch)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 160 West to Cortez, then Hwy 160/491 South to Mancos Canyon Road exit but go then go West on Hwy 160, cross the Colorado / New Mexico State Line and follow the signs to Four Corners Monument entrance. Starting in Ignacio, take Hwy 172 North to Durango, then Hwy 160 West via same route above.

An alternate route back to Durango or Ignacio takes you through New Mexico for a change of scenery, and is about 2 hours one way from Four Corners. Starting at Four Corners take Hwy 64 South through Arizona to Teec Nos Pos (gas stop, food, restroom, T-shirts), then East on Hwy 64 and cross the Arizona / New Mexico State Line, and continue on to Farmington, NM. From Farmington, take either Hwy 170 North to Durango or Hwy 516 to Durango, which is the way back to Ignacio, just follow the signs.

Points of Interest Along the Way

Four Corners Monument is the intersection of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico and is the only place in the United States where four states come together and touch at one point, thus it is possible to stand or sit in four states at once. It was surveyed starting in 1875 and finished in 1901. There are gift shops on site, and an admission of a few dollars to get into the monument which is run by the Navajo Nation. Plan on 30 min to 1 hour at Four Corners.

From Four Corners to Shiprock and Farmington, NM offer some wide open high desert views and there are plenty of gas stops and restaurants along the way.





Vallecito Lake & Rusty Shovel Saloon Loop
- 1 hour 45 min Round Trip -

(Add 1 hour for lunch at the Rusty Shovel)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 160 East to Bayfield, then Hwy 501 North all the way past Vallecito Lake to the Rusty Shovel. When leaving the Rusty Shovel take Hwy 501 South and follow it to the intersection where it meets Hwy 240, then take 240 East all the way back to Durango.

Starting in Ignacio, take Hwy 172 North, then Hwy 516 East and then North to Hwy 160 to Bayfield, then continue North on Hwy 501 all the way past Vallecito Lake to the Rusty Shovel.

Points of Interest Along the Way

Approximately 9 miles North of Bayfield on Hwy 501 on the right you will see a large open pasture with a large barn and a house. This is the location of Indian Motor Works where priceless vintage Indian Motorcycles have been meticulously restored to life for over 40 years by founder Jeff Grigsby. Normally the hours are by appointment only, however during the Durango Rendezvous week if the gate is open, then the shop is open.

When traveling up Hwy 501 you will pass Vallecito Lake which resembles to many as a smaller version of Lake Tahoe and just as beautiful. Secluded in an alpine mountain valley 8,000 feet above sea level, it is one of the largest bodies of water in Colorado and was the ancestral home to many of the Southern Ute people. Vallecito is a Spanish name meaning “Little Valley”.

The Rusty Shovel Saloon is at the north end of Vallecito Lake and offers plenty of great food, drinks, live music, indoor and outdoor seating, biker friendly hospitality from owners Rob and Karen, and they have plenty of motorcycle parking.





CHAMA LOOP
– 4.5 hours Round Trip
-
(Add 1 hour for lunch)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 160 east to Pagosa Springs. Starting in Ignacio, take Hwy 172 North, then Hwy 516 East and North to Bayfield, then Hwy 160 east to Pagosa Springs. For an alternate scenic route from Ignacio, take Hwy 172 South to Hwy 151 East to Arboles, then North on Hwy 151 to Hwy 160, then East to Pagosa Springs.

From Pagosa Springs take Hwy 84 South to the State Line, continue on Hwy 84 to intersection of 84 and 64, then take Hwy 64 east to Chama. From Chama take Hwy 64 West to Dulce, continue on Hwy 64 to Navajo City, then take Hwy 539 North to Navajo Dam, continue North on Hwy 511 to the State Line, continuing on Hwy 172 back to Ignacia and on to Durango.

Points of Interest Along the Way

There is a cool little Bar in Arboles called Lone Wolf Bar and Grill on Highway 151.

Chimney Rock National Monument is also on Highway 151

There are many great places to eat in Pagosa Springs with biker friendly parking. Try Riff Raff Brewery and stop for a dip in the world famous Pagosa Hot Springs at the Resort.

Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park is about 8 miles South of Pagosa on Highway 84
http://www.rmwildlifepark.org/html/about.html

Don’t forget to stop at the Colorado / New Mexico State Line for a photo!!

In Chama, the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad operates steam locomotive passenger trains similar to the Durango & Silverton Railroad.
http://cumbrestoltec.com

Fosters Bar, built around 1881, is a fun stop and the High Country Saloon offers excellent New Mexican food.

In Dulce, take a break and try your luck at the Wild Horse Casino and Players Sports Bar.

At Navajo Dam there is plenty of parking on top of the dam to stop for great photos.

The San Juan River flows out of Navajo Lake and is one of the top 10 Trout fisheries in the US with an estimated 40,000 trout per mile.





MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK RIDE
- 3 hours Round Trip -

(Add 1.5 hours for gas/lunch)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 160 West to the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. Starting in Ignacio, take Hwy 172 North to Durango, then Hwy 160 West to Mesa Verde.

Points of Interest Along the Way

Pretty much a straight shot on Hwy 160 to Mesa Verde, however stop in Mancos at the Mancos Brewing Company or the Absolute Bakery & Café for a late breakfast, a great snack, or lunch.

Mesa Verde National Park was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. It occupies 52,485 acres near the Four Corners Region of the American Southwest and with more than 4,300 sites, including 600 Cliff Dwellings. It is the largest archeological preserve in the US. Mesa Verde, Spanish for "green table, is best known for structures such as the Cliff Palace. It is considered to be the largest Cliff Dwelling in North America, once inhabited by the Paleo-Indians (Anasazi people) in approximately 7500 BC. By 1285, following a period of social and environmental instability driven by a series of severe and prolonged droughts, all of the inhabitants abandoned the area and moved south to locations in Arizona and New Mexico. What remains are remarkably intact dwellings, tools, and artifacts of a civilization known as “The Ancient Ones”. Plan on spending at least 2 hours touring Mesa Verde and the museum.
www.visitmesaverde.com




San Juan Skyway & Million Dollar Highway - Poker Run Friday
- All Day Ride - 5 hours round trip MINIMUM-
(Add 3.5 hours for sight-seeing, gas and lunch)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 550 North to Silverton, continue over the Million Dollar Highway on to Ouray, and to Ridgeway. From Ridgeway take Hwy 62 West to Placerville, then Hwy 145 East to Telluride. From Telluride take Hwy 145 South to Rico, and Delores. From Delores take Hwy 184 East to Mancos and then Hwy 160 East to Durango.

An alternate route for the San Juan Skyway would be to take the opposite direction. Starting in Durango, take Hwy 160 West to Dolores, then Hwy 145 North to Telluride, then from Telluride take Hwy 145 West to Placerville, then Hwy 62 North to Ridgeway, then Hwy 550 South to Ouray, then continue over the Million Dollar Highway (Ouray to Silverton) to Silverton, then from Silverton continue back South to Durango.

NOTE: This route will place riders in the right side lane (southbound) of the Million Dollar Highway which to inexperienced riders may cause some fear due to no guard rails and steep vertical canyon below on this side of the road from Ouray to Silverton over Red Mountain Pass.

Points of Interest Along the Way

Million Dollar Highway (US Route 550) - Though the entire paved stretch has been called the Million Dollar Highway, it is really the twelve miles south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass. This stretch through the gorge is challenging and characterized by steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and a lack of guardrails in certain areas. Much of the paved roadway was cut directly into the sides of mountains. The origin of the name is uncertain, but it may have come about because it was thought that a million dollars’ worth of gold dust was in the gravel and dirt that was used to build the road in the late 1800’s. Or, the name may have come from the cost of paving the highway in the 1930’s.

A beautiful ride with endless views……………you just have to see it to believe it!!!







RIDES




CHIMNEY ROCK LOOP
- 2 hours 15 minutes Round Trip -

(Add 2 hours for sight-seeing, lunch, and gas)

Starting in Durango, take Hwy 160 East to Bayfield, then continue East on 160 from Bayfield for approximately 24 miles and look for the sign on the right for the large intersection and entrance to Hwy 151 and the Chimney Rock National Monument. After stopping at Chimney Rock, continue South on Hwy 151 to Arboles and Navajo Lake. Continue on Hwy 151 to Ignacio, then turn right on Hwy 172 North to Hwy 160 then West to Durango.

Starting in Ignacio, take Hwy 172 North, then Hwy 516 East and then North to Hwy 160 to Bayfield, then continue East on Hwy 160 and follow same route as above.

Points of Interest Along the Way

Chimney Rock is located in the San Juan Mountain range and covers 7 square miles. It was home to the Ancestral Puebloans of Chaco Canyon and is filled with abundant artifacts, wildlife, primitive pathways still visible, and is where over 200 ancient homes and ceremonial buildings are preserved. After a short half-mile hike to the top the reward is a panoramic 360 degree view of Colorado and New Mexico.

Navajo Lake was completed in 1964. Built on the San Juan River, the lake backed up 35 miles into Colorado and provides abundant opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and general recreation.

The town of Ignacio was incorporated in 1913 and is the home of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.