Day 4 of our Southwest Colorado road trip we did a lot of driving. Luckily it was so pretty and we did have intermittent stops that it didn’t matter all that much that we’d be sitting on our arses for hours most of the time.
We left Durango at about 8am. It was drizzly and overcast and unfortunately the clouds once again obscured the mountaintops. But they didn’t hang so low that all hope of a good view was lost.
From the start, the scenery along the San Juan Byway doesn’t disappoint.
When driving the scenic byway, you essentially wind your way through the valleys between towering peaks, the landscape ever changing from tree-laden hillsides to sheer, rocky slopes.
If it were about 2 weeks later, this hillside would have been afire in golden aspen leaves. Still pretty when it’s green, though. :)
The sun started to peek its way through the clouds and lit up the land.
On the descent from Molas Divide, you can pull off and get a shot of Silverton. Just lovely.
To Sum Up
You pretty much can’t go wrong driving along the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway from Durango to Silverton. It’s truly magnificent scenery and you won’t be disappointed.
Drive Time: ~1.5 hours
The drive actually didn’t take long considering it was all mountainous driving. It wasn’t as twisty as some roads can be and the conditions were good. (I’m sure in snow it would take a lot longer!)
Distance: 50 miles
Here’s the Colorado Department of Transportation’s map of the entire San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. The route we took today is highlighted in pink.
Click on the map to go directly to the San Juan Scenic Byway’s information on Colorado Department of Transportation’s site.