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Driving from Cortez to Montrose

Hervey Bay...
Level Contributor
67 posts
35 reviews
Driving from Cortez to Montrose

Hi

I May this year I am driving from Cortez to Montrose. Could someone advise me please on which would be the most scenic route. Cortez to Ridgway, or Durango to Ridgway.

Thanks in advance.

Wotacroc

Hervey Bay...
Level Contributor
67 posts
35 reviews
11. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

Thank you endosunshine. Sounds like this CO section of travel, will be the highlight of my trip to Chicago, then Route 66 to Los Angeles.

wotacroc

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
11,562 posts
178 reviews
12. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

As far as the scenic route to Denver, the route you were planning over McClure Pass to Redstone and Glenwood Springs, then Interstate 70 to Denver is very scenic and I recommend it often. There is some construction through Glenwood Canyon, I believe, and they are working on the Twin Tunnels (not the Eisenhower Tunnel) and have traffic diverted around it, one lane each way, as I understand it. I haven't driven it since the construction started but I have a friend who did, and she chose a different route when she returned from Denver. Highway 50 east from Montrose, then 285 would be an alternate route, or you could go through Colorado Springs. If you went that way, you'd go right by the entrance to the Black Canyon (of the Gunnison) National Park and you could easily drive up and see a few overlooks before heading on east.

Denver is not the best base for seeing Rocky Mountain National Park, although it can be done. You might consider staying in Estes Park.

And yes, I agree...this section of your route will be one of the highlights--if not THE highlight--of your trip. Hope you have a lot of fun! Please feel free to ask more questions if need be.

Edited: 20 April 2013, 23:25
Hervey Bay...
Level Contributor
67 posts
35 reviews
13. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

I probably won't be venturing into Denver City at all. At this stage we will look for accommodation in and around Georgetown, then head into the Rocky Mountain National Park, then stay at Estes Park.

Thanks for any future help.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
71 posts
7 reviews
14. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

May I ask the knowledgeable people here please??

I like the idea of these plans, but we plan to travel in MAY....I have looked at temperatures and they look pretty cold, maybe icy, or am I reading it wrong.

Would it be possible to drive from Greer to Cortez then Durango, Ouray and then to Grand Junction on then on the highway to Moab?

Advice on road/weather conditions would be very much appreciated.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
11,562 posts
178 reviews
15. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

Hi, Loopy L. Will your trip be early May or late May?

Well, either way... conditions can vary from gorgeous weather to rain to mudslide to sleet to blizzard, sometimes in the same day. In all likelihood, you will have cool to cold mornings and evenings and mild daytime temperatures, with it being colder at the higher elevations. Most likely, you will have some icy spots on the road in the mornings or in shady places where there might be melting snow from along the road shoulders that froze overnight. Some Mays there's been hot weather and no snow left to speak of, but some Mays are still winter! Hard to tell at this point.

So, keep your options open and check road and weather conditions a couple of days ahead of time. Www.cotrip.org and also maybe have the visitor center phone number for Durango and Silverton. If weather's looking iffy or there have been any road problems or closures, have an alternate route in mind, such as to Dolores>Rico>Telluride>Ridgway (which is my favorite route).

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
11,562 posts
178 reviews
16. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

Once you get to Telluride or Ouray, the road to Ridgway, Montrose and Grand Junction will very likely be clear and dry. Right now we're wearing tee shirts in Montrose, but that can change... we almost always get more snow in March, April and May, especially in the mountains.

I like late spring road trips because you have awesome scenery with snow still on the peaks, but usually the roads are pretty good. Usually. If you run into a day with a snowstorm, it helps to have a bit of flexibility in your schedule to wait a day to travel, as things generally clear up by the next day.

Edited: 18 February 2017, 15:03
WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
11,562 posts
178 reviews
17. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

Once you get to Telluride or Ouray, the road to Ridgway, Montrose and Grand Junction will very likely be clear and dry. Right now we're wearing tee shirts in Montrose, but that can change... we almost always get more snow in March, April and May, especially in the mountains.

I like late spring road trips because you have awesome scenery with snow still on the peaks, but usually the roads are pretty good. Usually. If you run into a day with a snowstorm, it helps to have a bit of flexibility in your schedule to wait a day to travel, as things generally clear up by the next day.

Edited: 18 February 2017, 15:03
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
71 posts
7 reviews
18. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

Thanks so much for that information its very helpful, glad to know you can wear t shirts in the winter,- sometimes!!!.... same as in Sydney,

I'll go to my Colorado map now and closely look at your suggestions. Trip will be mid-May.

NJ
Level Contributor
1,863 posts
57 reviews
19. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

traveling in May you should check RMMP website to see if trail ridge road is open. May not be an issue this year but in years past, it has opened as late as Memorial Day weekend.

20. Re: Driving from Cortez to Montrose

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