Heading south from Montrose, the most direct route to reach Durango is US Highway 550. The road is a part of what is called the “San Juan Skyway”, as it travels through the San Juan Mountain range of southwestern Colorado. In particular, the portion of this highway between Ouray and Silverton is known as the “Million Dollar Highway”. This road is hung on the face of the mountain and has narrow lanes, no shoulders, no guardrail and steep drops as you can see in the above photo. A little dicey in a motorhome towing a car. The origin of the name is in dispute. Some of the possible explanations: it cost one million dollars per mile to build; the fill dirt contains a million dollars in gold ore; or, I wouldn’t drive that road again for a million dollars.
Continuing west from Leadville, we arrived in Glenwood Springs which is located at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. As you might infer from its name, it is also home to numerous natural hot springs. As you approach the town from the east, you pass through the beautiful Glenwood Canyon through which flows the Colorado River. In Glenwood Springs we parked at Ami’s Acres Campground.
Situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. It is located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies about 100 miles west of Denver. For our visit to Leadville, we parked at Sugar Loafin’ Campground. From the streets of Leadville, looking west you will see the two tallest of Colorado’s “fourteeners”: Mount Elbert which peaks at 14,440 feet and Mount Massive at 14,428 feet. After California’s Mount Whitney, Mount Elbert is the second highest peak in the contiguous United States.