29 Jul 2020
So, you want to take a road trip to Telluride. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
While Telluride is obviously the main attraction, these stop-worthy spots will make your drive to Telluride more enjoyable - and make that final destination even sweeter when you arrive.
These stops are designed for anyone coming from I-50 through Montrose on the way to Telluride - and are certainly worthy of a quick stop on your way to town. Check out our top 5 (plus a bonus) spots to stop on your road trip to Telluride!
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
First things first, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a great place to stop and take in some epic sights - and to prepare you for more scenic stops coming your way.
For more than two million years, the Gunnison River has been sculpting this stunning exposed landscape, which can be seen at North and South Rim viewpoints. These viewpoints North Rim has five and the South Rim has 12) are easy to get to, and are a simple detour off of the highway to take in the sights. There are additional viewpoints, but may require some hiking.
If you’re looking for a great spot to kick off your trip, this is the place!
Cimarron Coffee and Books
You did it - you made it to Ridgway! You’re almost to Telluride - just a short 50 more minutes. Ridgway is a small neighboring town of about 1,000 people that offers dining, outdoor recreation, culture, and is a great place to stop for a coffee.
Our favorite caffeine spot is Cimarron Coffee and Books, located at 380 Sherman Street in a cute wooden building. The coffee is roasted locally and is absolutely delightful. Plus, it’ll fuel the last leg of your trip to Telluride!
Dallas Divide Overlook
Located just 12 miles from Ridgway on Highway 62, this may be just a parking lot on the side of the road, but the views are some of the most stunning in Colorado. Take in 360-degree views of the San Juan Mountain Range from this 8,983-foot pass, including Mt. Sneffels (14,150 feet), Teakettle Mountain (13,825 feet), Dallas Peak (13,809) and so many more. Don’t forget your camera!
You’re almost there! You just need a quick bite to eat before heading into town. Located in Sawpit along CO-145, the Sawpit Mercantile is the cheapest place to refill the gas tank, grab a snack and best of all, fill up on some of their famous BBQ! You may be thinking, “isn’t that a gas station?” But trust us, you’ll want to grab a sandwich - their pork is made fresh daily! An added bonus - this spot has been around since 1897, so history is abundant throughout the shop and restaurant.
Just as you get up Keystone Hill heading into Telluride, you’ll be overwhelmed by the stunning view of the Telluride Valley and Ajax Peak. Now’s your chance to pull off and grab a pic! You’ll see a Uncompahgre National Forest sign on the right-hand side of the road; pull off! Here you can grab some pics before descending down the Valley Floor to our stunning town.
A Special Detour - Last Dollar Road
For those with a 4WD vehicle, there’s an unbelievable alternative route to take in the views. Sure, you’ll miss the last three stops on this list, but the views are worth it.
Shortly after hitting the Dallas Divide, you’ll run across signage on the left-hand side of the road for Last Dollar Road just past mile marker 12. This 13.1-mile road connects the Dallas Divide to Telluride - all while passing stunning fields of wildflowers and the filming site for “True Grit” before emerging on the Telluride side with views of the Wilson range.
Please be aware of road conditions before traveling - Last Dollar Road can be treacherous when wet and there are often mudslides and impassable puddles.
Enjoy Telluride! Let us know if you have any other must-stop spots on your drive into town.