EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Durango to Telluride in Winter - Open Roads?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Durango to Telluride in Winter - Open Roads?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay, I know, this is a dumb question, but are the roads open from Durango to Telluride in winter? I am interested in a ski trip to Telluride and I see that Montrose is the closest airport, but air fares there are fare higher than Durango. So, I thought I'd fly into Durango. Yes, I assume the road is open to Telluride, but I am aware that some roads in Colorado over passes and such are closed for winter, and I am not familiar with this area enough to know what's open and what's closed. In fact, the Telluride ski are website only refers to Montrose as being the airport to fly into, and with cheaper flights to Durango, surprised that Durango is not mentioned. So here I am, asking that if I fly into Durango, will I be able to drive to Telluride? Thanks.

Also, what is the drive time between Durango and Telluride?
post #2 of 10
If you are 'efficient' , drive time between Durango and Telluride via Mancos/Dolores/Rico/Telluride (Rt 160/184/145),is around 1:45 to 2 hrs on clear roads. The drive Sunday was gorgeous as usual. If you have more time, going north on the Million Dollar Highway (550) by DMR/Silverton/Red Mountain/Ouray/Ridgway/Dallas Divide/Placerville is windy and over three passes, but spectacular and also open year round. It'll take just under 3 hours if no stops.

From Montrose to Telluride is a little over an hour. You might look into Grand Junction as possibly your best fare option. It's probably 3 hrs from GJ to Telluride.

Google Map
: paste durango, Co to telluride
Edited by Alpinord - 1/5/10 at 9:01am
post #3 of 10
Hmm, I've made the drive from Telluride to my house in Durango in 1:45 before, but I had to be a total scofflaw to do it. I remember doing 70 in a 30 zone around Rico thinking "this will be a hell of a ticket if I get caught".

If you're flying into Durango and renting a car, check that the tires are good before you accept it. A few Januarys ago, my brother in law rented a car with nearly bald tires from the airport. Luckily, it didn't snow while he had the car, but I don't think that car could have moved in over 3" of snow.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

If you are 'efficient' , drive time between Durango and Telluride via Mancos/Dolores/Rico/Telluride (Rt 160/184/145),is around 1:45 to 2 hrs on clear roads. The drive Sunday was gorgeous as usual.
 
If you have more time, going north on the Million Dollar Highway (550) by DMR/Silverton/Red Mountain/Ouray/Ridgway/Dallas Divide/Placerville is windy and over three passes, but spectacular and also open year round. It'll take just under 3 hours if no stops.
 

The first route (western) involves going over one mountain pass at 10,000 ft., and the second route involves 3 passes of around 11,000  each.  The first route almost never closes, the second closes freqently when it storms.  The second route only makes sense if you are going from Purgatory to Telluride, and the roads are clear, unless you want a winer thrill ride.
post #5 of 10
...or a rogue avalanche or two closes 550.

Well Eric, a statey ripped passed me by Hespurus Sunday to pull over the person in front of me. So I guess I was legal. A lot of the drive is 60 plus mph. I was timing from my place to the turn at Mtn Village at around couple hours and guestimating. On big snowy day it can take 3 or more hours easy.
post #6 of 10
 The AAA online maps (online triptik) are the only ones I know of that warn you about seasonal closures.
And even they just tell you -- you still have to manually change the route.
post #7 of 10
post #8 of 10
I'd think long and hard about flying into Durango to ski in Telluride.  As stated earlier there are two ways to get to Telluride from Durango and the one through Silverton scared the **** out of me in the summer.  Can't imagine what it would be like during the winter let alone during a storm.

The other way via Rico is much tamer but one has to go over Ophir Pass and that can get shut down also.

From Montrose the trickiest part is Dallas Divide (not sure if that's the correct name) and that doesn't seem to shut down nearly as often as Ophir.

Pay the extra $ fly into Montrose and take a van to Telluride.  No need for a car when you're in town,

 
post #9 of 10
Drove on clear roads from Farmington, New Mexico up to Grand Junction a couple of springs ago and over the Red Mountain Pass. Wow, I can't even begin to imagine how scary that would be at night and on bad roads!

Saw the monumnets for the snow plow drivers that were killed . Its the real deal mountain pass driving best done I think in broad daylight on clear roads.

I guess I'm a flat lander but I was pretty focused driving when I did it and it was clear that day.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorian View Post

The other way via Rico is much tamer but one has to go over Ophir Pass and that can get shut down also.

FTR, Ophir pass is between the Animas Valley (just north of Silverton) and Ophir town and is only open in the summer/fall. Lizardhead Pass is the one you mean and just below the idyllic setting around Trout Lake is worth at least a glance while you are white knuckled coming off the mellow pass.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Durango to Telluride in Winter - Open Roads?