While we all have our favorites, I am lucky enough to live in western Colorado where you can take a ride that will thrill the pants off you as well as keep you awestruck at the beauty it affords those that live in the area of get a chance to visit.
The ride is rated as one of the top 10 in the U.S. by many motorcycle and sports car magazines.
The ride starts at the base of Red Mountain Pass, in a little tourist town of Ouray, Colorado, heading south on HWY 50, after some incredible climbs, twists, and hairpin turns and cresting 11,000 ft. you start a decent into Silverton, Colorado.
I use descent loosely, because you still are at 9,000 when you hit Silverton. You can stop there for a cup of coffee or a meal if you like, and then you continue south heading over another pass out of Silverton, called Molas Pass. You will climb back to 11,000 ft. before you start back down to the entrance to the town of Durango, Colorado. which is nestled at the base of Molas Pass at around 6,000 ft.
The total time of a drive like this if you don't stop too often, get behind a "flatlander", or a semi, is about 4 hours.
As beautiful as the drive is, ( we have taken it better than 50 times, either in a car or on the motorcycle, because it is the shortest way to get to our daughter's house in Alb, NM) you also need to keep your eyes on the road. I suggest if you would like to admire the scenery, you pull over at one of the many pull outs offered along the way. It only takes a fraction of a second of distraction to take a 1000' free-fall.
You will notice if you go over both passed, that there are several large clearings made in the mountain. These are landing pads for the "flight for life" helicopters, take that for what it is worth.
I don't find the drive to be dangerous, nor do I find it to be something that any normal driver using good sense and a sound vehicle can't just cruise through. What I am saying is the natural beauty distracts you if you aren't careful.
Having said all that, if you ever get the chance to take this drive, you will never forget it, and you will, if you want to push it, get a true feel for the handling of your car.
I actually have a personal favorite that is even more awesome in Colorado. If you ever get to Aspen, you can head east out of town and climb Independence Pass. It is only open about 4 months out of the year, but gives you an overload of scenery, and incredible driving.
If you are visiting the area, you can take both these drives if you run out of thrills, and I guarantee you will have some incredible pictures and stories when you get back home.
Vehicle: 2006 SLK55 AMG Red with Black int. 31k mi.
Other Toys: C32 AMG, Harley Davidson FLH-FSE, Ducati 900M, MR2 Turbo, Anschutz M54 Super Match
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Nice ride. I have been all around you but never there. Victor, Cripple Creek, Monarch, Grand J, Steamboat, etc. All killer pretty places.
When I lived in LA, the Hwy 2 Angeles Crest Highway was one or our go to places for riding the bikes or exercising the sports cars. Often met up with Leno up at Newcombs Ranch on pretty weekends (that dude is a serious, very knowledgeable gearhead and a genuine nice fellow). Once came across a duo who had finished brunch beside of us at the ranch and then drove their Ferrari 360 over a cliff and landed about 400 yds down the mtn and lived to tell about it. I still have a piece of that car.
There were other canyon runs in the area that are more challenging but the Crest was great for fast sweepers and amazing views.
These days I live a few hours north of Deals Gap and a few hours south of the Ohio loop that Car and Driver uses for sportscar testing. Plus the best road in KY runs thru my home town. KY Rt 32 is a ribbon of asphalt that was painted across the rolling foothills from the State line in Louisa thru my town or Morehead and on north toward Flemingsburg. The part to the east is great. Plus dozens of little side roads loop out and back over the bluegrass farms and Appalachian Foothill country. Not as rugged as Colorado but fun and challenging and nearly devoid of traffic or other distractions.