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Topic: colorado highway 550 from montrose

Posted By: lucky13 on 02/21/11 02:11pm

thinking about taking a trip to Montrose then south on highway 550 to new mexico,
driving a 40ft and towing suv, anyone where done this and it is possible??
thanks


Posted By: dgo1369 on 02/21/11 02:30pm

You will get all kinds of answers to this one and here is mine. I've travelled this road many times - it's a must - and have a lot of experience. I've ALWAYS travelled it in a car. I've also seen many RVs and trucks travel it. The Mountain West Directory recommends that it not be travelled by RVs and I can see why. It can be a very dangerous road for several reasons, brakes over heating, excessive speed, too slow speed, people who are unfamiliar with mountain driving, etc. are just a few.

Do yourself a favor and take 145 (I think, it could be 141) from Cortez to 62 on in to Ridgeway and then 550 to Montrose. The trip is extremely pretty and much safer and easier than 550 from Durango to Montrose. Then when you get to Montrose, take your tow vehicle and drive back over 550 just for sightseeing. It's well worth the drive.

Oops, I just noticed you are driving the other way. My advice still stands, just in reverse. Take 550 to Ridgeway, then 62 to 145/141 to Cortez, etc. The only difference with this is that if you want to sightsee on 550 over Red Mountain Pass, it is a much longer way this way. You have to drive to Durango, then up 550 to Montrose, etc. Still it's worth it.


Dennis Osha



Posted By: lucky13 on 02/21/11 02:43pm

thanks for the info, i knew someone who keep me out of trouble,


Posted By: 1mtnman on 02/21/11 03:15pm

I agree with those who suggest via Hwy 550 to Ridgeway Hwy62 and 145 to just beyond Delores and Hwy to Mancos and then Hwy 160 to Duraango.
About 7-8 miles outside of Durango on Hwy 16 (left hand side of road) there is a fairly new USFS campground that is quite nice for an overnight.






Posted By: Old-Biscuit on 02/21/11 07:45pm

It's a beautiful drive....for passenger(s) as long as they enjoy steep mtn. roads, deep canyon, no guard rails, hair-pin turns, very few pull-outs that are big enough and three mtn. passes 10,000(+) to 12,000(+) feet.

It really is a beautiful drive........we went from Durango to Montrose then east to Gunnison towing a 34' 14K 5th wheel with a long bed 3500 diesel with exhaust brake.


Posted By: hotpepperkid on 02/21/11 08:13pm

I dont understand all the hup la about US550. I didnt think it was that big of a deal. Its not some skinny mountain road its a Federal Highway.

hpk


2000 Ford F-350 SRW 4X4 PSD Jayco Super Lite 29.5RKS (31') 5th wheel 50 gal X-ferflow in the bed tank. Banks big exhaust and Stinger kit.


Posted By: skipnchar on 02/21/11 08:45pm

US 550 is an average mountain two lane highway. It has only moderate grades (nothing more than 6% or 7%)but there are a FEW rather sharp curves. Scenery is about as good as it gets and it's well worth the trip if you're comfortable with mountain driving. The highway is full width for a 2 lane mountain road and there are numerous places to pull off and gawk. We have always made the Million Dollar Highway one of our routes whenever we're in the area (or close enough to include it at least).
Good luck / Skip


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population



Posted By: paulj on 02/21/11 08:46pm

Is there something in the Utah mountains that is comparable to the 'million dollar' part of 550? Big Mtn Pass? One of the ski resorts?


Posted By: 4runnerguy on 02/24/11 12:17pm

paulj wrote:

Is there something in the Utah mountains that is comparable to the 'million dollar' part of 550? Big Mtn Pass? One of the ski resorts?

I'm not sure by what you mean by "comparable". In terms of scenery, I can't think of a mountain road in UT that's even close to what you'll see along US 550. IMHO, this area would have been a national park or even a wilderness if it weren't for all the mining in the area.

If you're talking about why people are afraid of the drive, I think most people have trouble with the section right above Ouray where there are no guardrails and a virtually vertical drop of hundreds of feet. Although the road is of standard width, people seem scared by that edge. Personally, we only rarely bounce off of guardrails to keep ourselves on the road. Probably the closest comparable Utah road is the short section along the hogback south of Boulder along UT 12. On US 550, there are also some switchbacks near Red Mountain that give some people pause, and another section of no guardrail a couple of miles south of Red Mountain Pass.


Ken & Allison
2 Camping Cats (1 diabetic)
1996 4Runner, TRD Supercharger, Edelbrock headers
2007 Fleetwood Arcadia, Honda EU2000i
4 mountain bikes, 1 canoe, 4 tents, 8 sleeping bags, 2 backpacks
(You get the idea!)



Posted By: Dr Quick on 02/24/11 01:21pm

I did the highway in 2009. Parked my 28 ft 5th in Montrose and made a day trip to Siverton. After driving the road, very glad I did not a trailer following me. I consider it an extreme road. I remember one place the 6" white line at the edge was the start of the drop off, no shoulder at all. Another place a curve so sharp, that I had to look of the my side window of the truck to see the road. The scenery is about as good as you will get.

Where there big RV rigs on the road, yes, but I was glad it was not me.

As one sheriff deputy said, "When there are accidents on this road, they tend to be very bad, as there is nothing to stop you once you are over the edge".

I also believe that Highway 12 in Utah between Torri and Bryce would be a close second.


Dr Quick



Posted By: joe b. on 02/24/11 02:08pm

Check with Colorado DOT for when 550 will be closed for the bridge replacement at Bear Creek. I am thinking it will be shut down for several weeks this coming summer. The people that are saying to try it first, in your toad are giving good advice. As a former Ouray County deputy sheriff and deputy coroner, I have retrieved numerous people off of 550, south of Ouray, both live and otherwise. That includes truck drivers also. It is a road that all drivers on it, need to know what they are doing, not just you.


joe b.
Stuart Florida
Formerly of Colorado and Alaska
2011 Chevy 3500 DRW Dmax CC 4X4- Rockwood 8281 SS 5th Whl & 2008 Lance 845 TC
www.pajbcooper.com web site
Alaska-Colorado and other Trips posted
"Without challenge, adventure is impossible".


Posted By: Cimriver on 02/24/11 03:34pm

True story - Summer before last my brother-in-law was driving north from Silverton to Ouray. He was flagged down by a state patrolman looking for someone to drive a car over the top of the pass. It seems that the driver of the vehicle had freaked out and was unable to continue the drive over the pass. My brother-in-law drove the vehicle into Ouray and turned the wheel over to the car's owner.

I drive in the mountains of Colorado all of the time. Red Mountain pass is not one I care to pull the fifth-wheel over.


Gordon & Patti
2008 F-350, 6.4L. Power Stroke, CrewCab
2012 Dutchmen Komfort 3130FRL Fifth-Wheel

Be Safe!!!!!


Posted By: Lauren on 02/24/11 08:22pm

Been there, done that many times. Red Mountain Pass is a drive everyone should do - but not in an rv. Horror stories abounded when we lived in CO. The alternate listed above over Lizard Head pass is beautiful and safe for the RV.


DW of 51 great years, Barbara
2nd Best Friend-"Aussie" Terrier, Sadie
2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3
2006.5 Chev 3500 3LT XCab 4x4 Dmax Allie

www.LaurenBarbara.com

www.LaurensPix.com






Posted By: hotpepperkid on 02/24/11 09:06pm

Lauren wrote:

Been there, done that many times. Red Mountain Pass is a drive everyone should do - but not in an rv. Horror stories abounded when we lived in CO. The alternate listed above over Lizard Head pass is beautiful and safe for the RV.


I would venture a guess that there are horror stories about all mountain passes, some more publizied than others but that shouldnt stop one from taking anyone of them.

hpk


Posted By: Lauren on 02/25/11 06:23am

I refuse to get involved in this Red Mountain / Million Dollar Highway / Hwy 550 discussion once again but simply say the person should go to Search and put those terms in an read the hundreds of posting and make up their own mind based on their personal level of mountain driving experience and comfort.


Posted By: 4runnerguy on 02/25/11 10:04am




Posted By: Busskipper on 02/25/11 04:11pm

4runnerguy wrote:



???????????????

* This post was edited 02/26/11 02:41pm by Busskipper *


Busskipper
Maryland/Colorado
Travel Supreme 42DS04
MDX-FMCA--M&G Brake
States traveled in this Coach




Posted By: Lauren on 02/25/11 04:17pm

Ah, come on busskipper, he is beating a dead horse.

(I think)

Lauren


Posted By: Busskipper on 02/26/11 06:23am

Just wanted one of the two of you would say the words,

I do think that horse (550) is DEAD.


Posted By: Lauren on 02/26/11 06:42am

OK, if Busskipper is happy we are all happy !

Dead issue - until the next time it comes up - and it will. Kinda like KOA bashing and a few others. :-)


Posted By: 4runnerguy on 02/26/11 12:10pm

The Million Dollar Highway (US 550) has to be the most discussed section of road on this forum. I'd venture a guess that UT 12 south of Boulder is second.


Posted By: paulj on 02/26/11 12:45pm

and routes across the Big Horn Mtns third


Posted By: Busskipper on 02/26/11 02:49pm

a>

I just had to,


Posted By: Lauren on 02/26/11 03:49pm

I'll bet Sandi is just laughing about all this. I hope you are, Sandi!

Best advice DW and I got just before we were married 48 years ago from an older lady in our small town who was not in the best, but long term, marriage - "Don't ever lose your sense of humor!"

Lauren


Posted By: 2gypsies on 02/26/11 06:20pm

It appears you're from Utah so you must be familiar with mountain roads. To answer your question, yes, we have done it often with our 40' MH and Jeep and have seen many others driving it, including semis, so yes, it's very possible to do. It depends on how confident you feel driving mountain roads - and this is a biggie! Enjoy your trip. Midway - Silverton is a neat place to explore. We'll spend the summer there, too!

lucky13 wrote:

thinking about taking a trip to Montrose then south on highway 550 to new mexico,
driving a 40ft and towing suv, anyone where done this and it is possible??
thanks



Full-Timed for 16 Years
.... Back in S&B Again
Traveled in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Motorhome



Posted By: plainsman48 on 02/27/11 07:30am

lucky13 wrote:

thinking about taking a trip to Montrose then south on highway 550 to new mexico, driving a 40ft and towing suv, anyone where done this and it is possible??thanks


Of course, it's possible - big rigs do it every day. This isn't the middle of jungle!


Brett - deceased 4/11/2011
His step-brother Capt. Abraham Quasuittuq suffered a stroke and died 4/19/2011


Posted By: 4runnerguy on 02/27/11 09:02pm

Here's one back at ya Busskipper:




Posted By: Lauren on 02/28/11 06:23am

This has really digressed but I, for one, am enjoying it all! I wonder as the the origin of the term though. So went to Google & Wikipedia ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flogging_a_dead_horse


Posted By: hotpepperkid on 03/01/11 07:50pm

4runnerguy wrote:

Here's one back at ya Busskipper:



The SPCA will be after you guys beating those horses

hpk


Posted By: lizzie on 03/01/11 06:21pm

Someone please send those wonderful "dead horse" images to the next discussion about how to get through Atlanta. lizzie


Posted By: Rockiesview on 03/01/11 09:01pm

Listen to the people who park their RV and drive a smaller vehicle over Red Mtn.
some switchbacks you would be over center line. I have lived in area 50 plus years, have driven Red Mtn many times, not a place for the "squemish". Years ago I had a fellow from Ohio just stop in middle of the road in front of me and would not continue, State workers had to drive his car on into Ouray. It is a beautiful drive but difficult to enjoy in a big rig.


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