San Juan Skyway featured on website’s list of adventurous roads

Monday, July 16, 2018 3:47 PM
The sun sets along the San Juan Skyway in November 2017.

The San Juan Skyway is the latest Montezuma County attraction to receive attention on a national travel website., a website run by the Expedia travel company, featured the road in the top spot in a blog post listing “Five Roads in America that Define Adventure” on June 16. The blog, which regularly publishes articles recommending driving destinations across the U.S., described the Skyway as a “must-do road trip.”

The article, written by Chris Killen, promises visitors to the Skyway “rugged mountain passes, sheer cliffs leading down to raging rivers, and some of the best ski towns in the country.” It recommends tourists stop along the way to visit attractions like the San Juan County Historical Society Mining Heritage Center in Silverton, the Uncompahgre River Gorge and Allred’s Restaurant in Telluride.

Although the CarRentals article recommends tourists start in Durango, the scenic road’s true beginning is just east of Cortez, where Trail of the Ancients, also known as U.S. Highway 160, turns into the San Juan Skyway. It makes a turn at U.S. Highway 550 in Durango to pass through Silverton and Ouray before reaching Telluride.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation website, the road covers about 236 miles and takes an estimated six hours to drive.

Killen said in a July 2 email that he chose the Skyway for the article because of its exciting scenery.

“It hugs cliffsides, dips into river gorges, and offers views you thought only existed in National Geographic,” he said.

The Skyway was the only Colorado highway included in the article. The other entries on the list were the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway in New Mexico, Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina, the Centennial Scenic Byway in Wyoming and Route 100 in Vermont.

Although parts of the San Juan National Forest are currently closed due to wildfires, the Skyway remains open.