Red Mountain Pass
Running north from Durango, US 550 crosses first Coal Bank Pass, then Molas Pass, and descends into Silverton. From Silverton the road continues on over Red Mountain Pass and descends into Ouray. From there the road continues north to Montrose. While the ride into Silverton from either direction is itself spectacular, the northbound descent into Ouray is one of the most outstanding runs in all of Colorado. Do not miss this one if at all possible.
Ouray is also a good place to end the day’s ride. The town is famous for its hot springs and a good hot soak at the end of a day on the bike is a true luxury.
There is one motorcycle-accessible campground, South Mineral Campground, along this stretch of US 550, just outside of Silverton to the north.
The sequence of these photos is northbound out of Durango. There are a lot of photos because this is really spectacular country. These first few are going over Coal Bank and Molas Passes:
Click on thumbnail for larger image; arrow through photos; click large image to close.
Here we are coming down into Silverton and just at that time the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train came along, also approaching Silverton:
The old mining town of Silverton is very well preserved and a big tourist draw. Once the train is in the station you can inspect it up close:
Now we head on up out of Silverton over Red Mountain Pass and on to Ouray on the other side:
And finally, here’s the descent into Ouray: