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!!!