Touring the Byway
233 Miles | 5 Days/ 4 Nights | Gateway City: Durango, Colorado
Since Mesa Verde National Park and other ancient sites are featured on the Trail of the Ancients, we’re going to leave that story for that Byway and concentrate here on the great story of the Old West you’ll find on the San Juan Skyway. Your journey starts in Durango, which still looks like it dropped out of the old west. Plan to arrive early enough to enjoy lunch and a ride on the Durango and Silverton Railroad, a coal fired steam train that chugs up into the mountains. Explore the art galleries in the historic downtown and visit the Animas Museum to start to learn the story of the Old West in Colorado.
On Day Two, it’s time to head out on the San Juan Skyway toward Silverton. Not much has changed here since it was founded in 1876. Explore the region’s mining culture and how it affected every aspect of life, before visiting the Old Hundred Gold Mine to see for yourself how gold was dug out from deep in the mountainside. After a couple of ghost towns, it’s time to drive the Million Dollar Highway on the way to Ouray, scenic driving that’s as good as it gets! Arriving in Ouray, you’ll discover an entire town on the National Register of Historic Places.
View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!