San Juan Skyway

All-American RoadColorado

All Photos (99)

  • Autumn on the Red Mountain Pass

    Golden aspens grace the roadside on the Red Mountain Pass on a still autumn day.

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  • Backdrop of the San Juan Mountains

    The San Juan Mountains provide a majestic backdrop to the valley below.

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  • Stopping by the Roadside

    Adventurous road trippers stop for a moment just after traversing the labyrinthine mountain roads.

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  • Spruce Tree House Cliff Dwellings

    Ancient cliff dwellings are nestled along the San Juan Skyway in Mesa Verde, Colorado.

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  • Far View Visitor Center at Mesa Verde National Park, CO

    Travelers explore the Far View Visitor Center at Mesa Verde National Park on the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Spruce Tree House Cliff Dwelling

    The Spruce Tree House Cliff Dwelling is one of the largest of many cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park on the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Ouray Overlook on the San Juan Skyway

    From the Ouray Overlook, the community of Ouray, Colorado, can be seen nestled between rocky mountain walls.

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  • Ridgway Railroad Museum

    The Ridgway Railroad Museum preserves the history of railroading in Ouray County and other areas on the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Ridgway Visitor Center

    The Ridgway Visitor Center provides travelers with information on Ridgway and other places on the San Juan Skyway.

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  • San Juan Skyway

    The San Juan Skyway winds through the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado in May.

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  • Ridgway Reservoir

    The striking blue water of the Ridgway Reservoir is seen from near the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Ouray Hot Springs

    Ouray Hot Springs lies in the "Switzerland" of America, Ouray, Colorado, on the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Ancient Structures at Mesa Verde National Park

    The surreal Pueblo remnants bespeak the life and activity that once flourished here. These are some of the many ruins found in Mesa Verde National Park.

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  • Looking Down on the Anasazi Heritage Center

    This is a view taken from a plane or similar vehicle, looking south. McPhee Reservoir is to the right of the photo, the center to the bottom left. The photo appears to have been taken in late spring or early summer, because some of the trees and vegetation are bright green.

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  • Molas Pass

    Clouds fill the sky above Molas Pass and the landscape below.

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  • "Origins Room" in Telluride Historical Museum

    The "Origins Room" tells the extraordinary history of the Ute Indians in the San Miguel valley.

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  • Downtown Leadville

    The bustling, mining town of Leadville is rich in history and beautiful architecture.

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  • Dirt Roads of the Alpine Loop

    Off-road adventurers can explore the Alpine Loop of the San Juan Skyway by taking this dirt road.

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  • Climbing Dirt Paths

    An SUV takes to the dirt roads of the San Juan Skyway to catch a view of autumn leaves in the distance.

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  • Rocky Crags and Mountainsides

    The Alpine Loop off the San Juan Skyway leads visitors up a dirt path to panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains.

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  • Dirt Roads of the Alpine Loop

    Explore the Alpine Loop by taking this dirt road.

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  • Interpretive Sign on the San Juan Skyway

    Stop by this interpretive sign to learn more about the geology of the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Snowcapped Peaks of the San Juan Mountains

    Snowcapped peaks and spots of golden autumn color greet visitors to the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Mountain Majesty in the San Juan Mountains

    The lyrics "purple mountain's majesty" might come to mind while driving the San Juan Skyway.

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  • San Juan Mountainsides Speckled with Fall Color

    Saffron leaves speckle the mountainside during the fall.

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  • Engineer Mountain from San Juan Skyway

    Engineer Mountain rises over other peaks and evergreens.

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  • Historic Mine at Red Mountain Pass

    Learn more about the area's mining history by stopping at mining sites along the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Informative Kiosks on the San Juan Skyway

    Visitors stop by an informative kiosk at the Durango Visitor Center along the San Juan Skyway.

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  • A View of Telluride

    This interpretive site allows the driver to rest and focus on the view.

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  • Ouray Architecture

    Mountain peaks are echoed in the triangular facades of Ouray's buildings.

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  • Downtown Ouray

    Ouray is an ideal spot to rest, to gather supplies, or simply to tour this fascinating town.

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  • Remote Residential Areas of Ouray

    Residents of Ouray enjoy the serenity and scenery of country living.

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  • View of Ouray from Above

    With each mile up the San Juan Skyway, Ouray remains scenic as it is nestled in the valley below.

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  • Even Rocks Aren't Forever: Interpretive Sign at Mesa Verde

    Interpretive signs tell more about the geology of Mesa Verde.

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  • Mesa Verde

    Experience the history of the ancient residents of Colorado while visiting cliff dwellings such as this one, at Mesa Verde National Park.

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  • Interpretive Sign Along with a View

    Stop for both the view and the information on this interpretive sign on the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Road Damage on the San Juan Skyway

    Orange cones indicate some road damage along the Skyway.

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  • Road Damage on the San Juan Skyway

    Slight road damage, marked by orange cones, makes the passage around this mountain quite narrow.

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  • Driving into Telluride

    Surrounded by mountains and pasture, Telluride is a nice getaway spot.

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  • Telluride Run Trail

    Joggers, runners, and walkers alike will enjoy using this running trail in Telluride.

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  • Biking the Telluride Trail

    Enjoy the mountain scenery while biking the trail in Telluride.

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  • Baseball Diamond in Telluride

    Enjoy a community game of baseball while obeying this bike trail's traffic signage on the Telluride Run Trail.

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  • Telluride Run Trail

    The Telluride Run Trail makes exercising or just enjoying the fresh air safe and fun.

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  • The Durango-Silverton Train Coming Down the Track

    Tourists regularly ride this steam engine train near the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Red Mountain Reflected in Crystal Lake

    Red Mountain is reflected in Crystal Lake on a bright fall day near Ironton, Colorado.

  • Dichotomy

    The moon rises over the Rocky Mountains in the fading light of a snowy day.

  • Anasazi Heritage Center

    Greenery graces the grounds at the entrance to the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, CO.

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  • Snow-tipped San Juan Mountains at the Dallas Divide

    Autumn coats the shoulders of the San Juan Mountains in muted gold and amber while winter tips the mountaintops with white.

  • Balcony House Ladder at Mesa Verde National Park

    Visitors climb a ladder while touring the dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park.

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  • Balcony House At Mesa Verde National Park

    Visitors explore the Balcony House at the Pueblo dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park.

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  • Ouray, Colorado

    Trees deck this small town situated at in a valley formed by Uncompahgre and Redcloud Peaks on the San Juan Skyway.

  • Moonrise Along San Juan Skyway

    The moon rises over distant Rocky Mountain peaks

  • Sunset On Engineer Mountain

    The setting sun casts a red-orange glow around Engineer Mountain.

  • Peaks

    The sun shines through clouds over Sunshine Mountain and Wilson Peak.

  • Vermillion Peak

    Vermillion Peak is capped in snow from this view taken at the top of Lizard Head Pass.

  • Bridal Veil Falls

    On a clear day, Bridal Veil Falls tumbles over serrated rocks.

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  • "Hardships and Healthcare" Room in Telluride Historical Museum

    A group of first graders learn more about healthcare in historic Telluride in the "Hardships and Healthcare Room."

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  • Speaker at Fireside Chat Series

    This woman speaks at the annual Fireside Chat series, held throughout the summer in the Mountain Village Heritage Plaza.

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  • Telluride Historical Museum

    The Telluride Historical Museum looks charmingly historic and pristine after its complete restoration.

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  • An Overhead View Of Mesa Verde

    This overhead view of the dwellings at Mesa Verde reveals the site's architecturial majesty.

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  • Uncompahgre Gorge

    Aspens in their autumn glory adorn Uncompahgre Gorge along the San Juan Skyway.

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  • Durango Train

    A brightly colored train rounds a corner along San Juan Skyway.

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  • Old Cabin Along San Juan Skyway

    Along the byway visitors can see evidence of former settlements, such as this cabin.

  • Silverton, Colorado

    Silverton is part of Colorado's historic mining country.

  • Fire Damage at Mesa Verde National Park

    Fire has left its mark on the landscape and vegetation of Mesa Verde.

  • Biker at Molas Overlook on the San Juan Skyway

    A biker stands adjusts his bike at the Molas Overlook.

  • View from Molas Overlook on the San Juan Skyway

    Dark mountains dominate this view from the Molas Overlook.

  • Ouray's Hot Springs Facilities

    The hot springs at Ouray offer a massage facility along with other features to help visitors relieve stress.

  • The Hot Springs at Ouray

    Visitors can relax in the waters of Ouray's hot springs.

  • Snow Shield

    This concrete tunnel protects the road from the snow and common to the high elevations of the San Juan Mountains.

  • Evidence of a Mining Past Along the San Juan Skyway

    Old cabins and other relics from the area's mining past dot the mountainsides along the San Juan Skyway.

  • Driving the San Juan Skyway

    Visitors can enjoy high mountain scenery when they drive the San Juan Skyway.

  • Yucca Plant at Mesa Verde National Park

    Yucca plants like this one were an important part of life for the park's Native American inhabitants.

  • Old Mining Trestles Along the San Juan Skyway

    Evidence of the area's mining past, such as these trestles, is abundant along the San Juan Skyway.

  • Spruce House Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde

    The Spruce House cliff dwellings rest under a protective overhang of rock.

  • Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde

    The sprawling ruins of Cliff Palace are aptly named. View from overlook.

  • Ouray, Colorado

    The town of Ouray lays nestled between the peaks of the San Juan Mountains.

  • Telluride Wine Festival

    A banner hangs across Main Street in Telluride, calling attention to the Wine Festival taking place.

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  • Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

    This railroad, built for the mining industry, now carries tourists along the scenic Animas River from Durango to Silverton, CO.

  • Bridge at Bear Creek

    A wooden bridge crosses Bear Creek near Telluride.

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  • Bear Creek Signs

    These interpretive signs are located at Bear Creek, on the western leg of the Byway near Telluride.

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  • Visitor at Cherry Creek

    This visitor stops to read interpretive signs at Cherry Creek, located near Mancos.

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  • Dallas Divide

    Near Ridgway, the Dallas Divide provides views of fields, hills, and mountains.

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  • The Double RL Ranch

    Golden flora and snow-capped peaks surround the Double RL Ranch near Ridgway.

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  • Keystone Hill Overlook

    Located near Telluride, the Keystone Hill Overlook reveals the thriving green hills and mountains.

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  • Leopard Creek

    The paved trail at Leopard Creek cuts across the land, providing a peaceful walk through nature.

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  • Path at Leopard Creek

    Located on the northern leg of the San Juan Skyway near Placerville, Leopard Creek features a paved path surrounded by trees.

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  • Winter at Molas Pass

    A deep sapphire sky contrasts the stark white snow that covers the land around Molas Pass.

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  • Overlook from Red Mountain Pass

    This view of bronze and green mountains and serious switchbacks is from the overlook on Red Mountain Pass.

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  • Visitor at Red Mountain Pass

    This visitor reads the interpretive signs atop Red Mountain Pass and acquires a renewed appreciation for the region's spectacular sights.

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  • Overlook Near Telluride

    A woman stops to view the mountains from the Telluride overlook.

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  • Sign Along Uncompahgre Trail

    Uncompahgre Trail, near Ouray, lies nestled near the mountains.

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  • Trout Lake in Autumn

    Stands of deep green and bright gold trees thrive alongside Trout Lake during autumn months.

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  • Main Street in Telluride

    Even though winter months leave blankets of snow everywhere in Telluride, Main Street stays busy.

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  • Summer Fields and Alpine Snow on the San Juan Skyway

    The high altitude of the San Juan Mountains make this combination of summer fields and alpine snow common.

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  • A Farmer's Vista on the San Juan Skyway

    Hay bales lie scattered in a farmer's green field below the snow-tipped San Juan Mountains of the Dallas Divide.

  • Snow-tipped San Juan Mountains at the Dallas Divide

    Autumn coats the shoulders of the San Juan Mountains in muted golds and ambers while winter tips the mountain tops with white.

  • Riders on the Colorado Peace Ride

    A group of road bikers pedal along grassy meadows as mountain peaks tower in the distance.

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  • Road Biking on the San Juan Skyway

    A group of road bikers flash peace signs and smiles as they take part in the Colorado Peace Ride.