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Ouray, Silverton and the Mountains

October 15, 2011

After staying in Montrose for a couple of days to recover from some Traveller’s ailments we headed over the mountains through Ouray to Mesa Verde.

The drive through the mountains is very beautiful. The first stop is Ouray which is small mountain town. It is renowned for its 4×4 mountain tracks – unfortunately recent snow had closed all of these for the winter.

We stopped off at a local waterfall (Box Canon Falls) – scandalously they charge $4 to visit – which was very disappointing. Although the gorge that it was in was quite nice.

After this it was up into the mountains across Red Mountain Pass to Silverton. On the way there was quite a lot of snow – but the road was clear.

Silverton was another very pretty mountain town set in a much wider valley. Silverton’s main claim to fame is the narrow gauge railway which runs from Durango. The ticket prices for this are very high so we didn’t get a chance to ride it but we saw a couple of the trains come and go. The railway is responsible for a large amount of moneyed tourists hitting the town so there are a lot of restaurants and shops targeting this trade.

Once through Silverton there is another pass to climb – Coal Bank Pass and then it was all downhill to Durango which appeared to be a fairly nondescript American Town. Although we could be being unfair because we drove straight through on the way to Mesa Verde.

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