Adventure & History: Million Dollar Highway

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The canyon-clinging stretch of spectacular roadway between Silverton, Durango and Ouray is called “The Million Dollar Highway” either because it cost so much to build, the amount of gold ore that remained in the roadway’s fill or the figurative price for those amazing San Juan Mountain views.

Sustainability Activity
Travel Like a Local

There are special places and unique vistas around nearly every Colorado corner. You can help ensure these places exist for generations to come by staying on roads and trails, keeping speeds in check, leaving campsites and picnic spots just as you found them, and following instructional signs while you’re out and about in our state.

Day
1
Activity
Stroll Downtown Ouray

Some call the mountain town of Ouray the Switzerland of America, as it’s situated in a river valley at nearly 8,000 feet, surrounded by the snow-capped San Juan Mountains. You almost expect to hear yodeling echo from these high hills.

Ouray Brewing Photo
Lunch
Ouray Brewing

The Ouray Brewery is open daily. Our brewery has three levels with fine food and outstanding craft brews offered on each floor. Level one houses…

Activity
Mouse's Chocolates & Coffee

Handmade chocolates toffees caramels and truffles made in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Ouray.

Dinner
Bon Ton Restaurant
This historic establishment with a low-key, homey vibe serves old-school Italian & American fare.
Activity
Fellin Park

Fellin Park — the Ouray Hot Springs Park — is located just south of the natural hot-mineral springs pool, a perfect place to relax and soak up the scenery. The gazebo and picnic area are available.

Lodging
Matterhorn Inn Ouray

Ouray Premium Lodging when staying in the southwest region of Colorado. Close to Telluride, hiking, skiing, climbing, biking.

Day
2
Breakfast
Artisan Bakery

Come enjoy breakfast, lunch, or just a pastry and coffee, in a cozy little restaurant on main street, Ouray CO. Located at the south side of town,…

Activity
Drive the Alpine Loop 4x4 Scenic Byway to Lake City

The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, a network of four wheel drive roads that connect Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton, traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife.

Insider's Tip
Stay the Trail

When riding OHVs through the Alpine Loop, make sure you follow Colorado's off-roading motto of "Stay the Trail."

Lunch
Climb Elevated Eatery

Elevated comfort food and craft cocktails served with attentive, friendly service.

Activity
Switzerland of America Jeep Rentals & Tours

Switzerland of America Jeep Adventures is Ouray Colorado's hometown tradition for exciting Jeep adventures. Rent a Jeep Rubicon, treat your family…

Dinner
Outlaw Restaurant
Tthe Outlaw Restaurant still has the same sign hung in 1969. Those who return come back with happy memories of the past, while newcomers take away…
Activity
Ouray Hot Springs Swimming Pool

Nearly one million gallons of clear hot springs water, without the sulfur smell common in many hot springs. There are 3 pools ranging from 80 to…

Lodging
Beaumont Hotel & Spa

The historic Beaumont Hotel & Spa is the only luxury hotel in Ouray, Colorado. Modern amenities include wireless high-speed internet &…

Day
3
Breakfast
Outlaw Restaurant
Tthe Outlaw Restaurant still has the same sign hung in 1969. Those who return come back with happy memories of the past, while newcomers take away…
Activity
Hike to Blue Lakes

Take Dallas Creek Road 14 miles to the Blue Lakes Trailhead. The lower Lake is a rewarding destination for a day hike of 6.6 miles round trip with an altitude gain of 1,600 feet.

Lunch
Taco Del Gnar Ridgway
An “elevated fast food restaurant” with the mantra that a tortilla is solely a vessel to sail fresh thought-provoking cuisine with amazing flavors to…
Activity
Box Canyon Waterfall & Park
The "Box Canyon" Falls, Ouray's own wonder of the world, is the culmination of Canyon Creek narrowing and spilling thousands of gallons a minute of…
Dinner
Brickhouse 737
BrickHouse737 is a gathering place that focuses on community, farm fresh ingredients, hospitality & travel inspired dishes.
Activity
Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings
Continually flowing, all-natural hot springs Vaporcave, outdoor pool & private Lorelei. Charming accomodations, rooms, apts and 3 houses on Historic…
Lodging
Matterhorn Inn Ouray

Ouray Premium Lodging when staying in the southwest region of Colorado. Close to Telluride, hiking, skiing, climbing, biking.

Day
4
Breakfast
Artisan Bakery

Come enjoy breakfast, lunch, or just a pastry and coffee, in a cozy little restaurant on main street, Ouray CO. Located at the south side of town,…

Lunch
Steamworks Brewing Co.

Steamworks Brewing Co. offers much more than just award-winning craft beer. Our "gastropub" fare includes regional meats and sustainable seafood…

Activity
Durango Arts Center
DAC is a multi-faceted hub for community arts that hosts and promotes contemporary visual and performing arts, arts education, dynamics exhibits, an…
Dinner
James Ranch Grill

Our delicious meats, cheeses and vegetables are produced on the James Ranch using organic, sustainable, grass-based practices and have been for…

Activity
Million Dollar Highway

Offering breathtaking mountain, valley and gorge views, the Million Dollar Highway cost a reported million dollars a mile to build. The road winds…

Insider's Tip
Head to Silverton

Take the highway from Durango on to the alpine mining town of Silverton, where you'll stay the night.

Lodging
Inn of the Rockies at the Historic Alma House

We are a traditional and historic Bed and Breakfast located in Silverton, Colorado.

Day
5
Breakfast
Coffee Bear Cafe
Iced Espresso Drinks, Iced Chai, Other Cold Drinks, Extra, Italian Sodas, Frappes, Smoothies
Activity
Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

Visit the secret underground world of the gold miner! Ride electric mine train then easy walking. See live mining equipment demonstrations. Pan…

Lunch
Handlebars Food & Saloon

Savor the flavor of our Wild West atmosphere in Silverton while enjoying some of the best grub around.

Activity
Stroll Downtown Silverton

Stroll the shops, cafes and saloons of this old mining town.

Dinner
Avalanche Brewing Co.

Whether you're fueling up for your next adventure, or winding down from the end of your last epic, we strive to bring you the best food and…

Activity
Golden Block Brewery

Fresh and bursting with flavor is the experience Golden Block Brewery provides. Serving Silverton, CO we offer great tasting craft beer brewed on…

Lodging
Inn of the Rockies at the Historic Alma House

We are a traditional and historic Bed and Breakfast located in Silverton, Colorado.

Day
6
Breakfast
Kendall Mountain Cafe
A hidden treasure off the beaten path. Good homestyle food!
Activity
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum

Experience the adventure of traveling by a historic steam-powered or diesel locomotive on the same tracks miners, cowboys and settlers of the Old…

Insider's Tip
Lunch in the Trees

One of the most unique parts of your day at Soaring Tree top Adventures is the dining experience. You are provided with a four-course gourmet lunch served on a suspended platform overlooking the beautiful Animas River. Take in the view while you enjoy the tasty lunch of your choosing and a relaxing break during the middle of your day.

Activity
Rock Pirates Backcountry Adventures

Located in Silverton, Colorado, Rock Pirates Backcountry Adventures is part of the new nationwide Polaris initiative called Polaris Adventures…

Dinner
Thee Pitts Again

Take a scenic drive up the Million Dollar Highway or ride on the train from Durango to Historic Silverton. While visiting look for our Pink…

Activity
San Juan County Historical Society Mining Heritage Center

This three-story, 14,000-square-foot mining heritage center interprets the local mining history with comprehensive environmental exhibits,…

Lodging
Inn of the Rockies at the Historic Alma House

We are a traditional and historic Bed and Breakfast located in Silverton, Colorado.