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Silverton to Telluride drive v. Durango to Silverton

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Miami, Florida
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Silverton to Telluride drive v. Durango to Silverton

How much more white knuckle is the drive from Silverton to telluride versus Silverton to Telluride. I have done Durango to Silverton. Will be doing it mid-November???????

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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1. Re: Silverton to Telluride drive v. Durango to Silverton

I'll assume you're really asking the question from your topic heading rather than the likely typo in the body of your post.

Durango to Silverton goes over Coal Bank and Molas Passes -- both are high passes with some drop-offs and curvy portions of the road. This isn't what I consider the main white-knuckle part of US550, but it is still an attention-getter.

Silverton to Telluride will take you over Red Mountain Pass and into Ouray, Ridgway, etc. If you didn't care for Coal Bank and Molas Passes, you aren't going to be very happy with Red Mountain Pass either. As you get closer to Ouray, you'll be glad to be traveling north rather than south, since you'll be in the lane close to the cliff wall rather than the drop-off. And, yes, you WILL be driving through what I consider to be the main white-knuckle part of US550. Sorry.

Mid-November could be dry and clear or icy and snowpacked on the passes -- there's no way to predict this far in advance.

Are you staying in Silverton? Or are you open to other routes to get to Telluride? If so, where will you be driving from?

Miami, Florida
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2. Re: Silverton to Telluride drive v. Durango to Silverton

Thanks, actually have a home in Pagosa and have wanted to do the drive to Telluride- haven't been there but have been to Silverton. Sounds like if we head to Telluride we will take the Cortez route. I appreciate your comments.

WestSlope,CO
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for Colorado
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3. Re: Silverton to Telluride drive v. Durango to Silverton

In November unless the roads are dry and the weather dry and sunny, I would go the Cortez>Dolores> Rico route. It is a beautiful drive and Lizard Head Pass has awe-inspiring views.

If the roads are dry and no precipitation expected and you decide to chance it, you could drive the Silverton>Ouray route going north and around over Dallas Divide to Telluride, then drive the Lizard Head to Cortez to Durango route on your way home. As Winglady points out, you'd be on the inside of the white knuckle stretch just south of Ouray. The good news about that approx. 12 mile stretch is that it is flat and mostly straight & there wouldn't be a danger of avalanches this early in the season. However, if there is ice on the passes, or any rain or snow at all, I'd skip it and go the other way.

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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4. Re: Silverton to Telluride drive v. Durango to Silverton

I think the Silverton to Ouray portion is the most spectacular regarding scenery, but also the most nerve wracking if you are nervous about such things. I have driven many times and have never been bothered (white knuckled) about it.

If the weather is great, take that route, it's beautiful. If it is not, take the Cortez route. Pretty scenery as well, just not as dramatic as the 550 route. In my opinion, summer or early fall is the best time to take the Silverton - Ouray route.

5. Re: Silverton to Telluride drive v. Durango to Silverton

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