Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

Highway 550 – The Million Dollar Highway
From Ridgway, through Silverton and Ouray, to Durango, the highway delivers jaw-dropping vista after vista. It was cut from the side of the mountain and became know as the “Million Dollar Highway”. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the USA.
The twelve miles south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge is challenging and potentially hazardous to drive; it is characterized by steep cliffs, sheer dropoffs, narrow lanes, and a lack of guardrails; the ascent of Red Mountain Pass is marked with a number of hairpin “S” curves used to gain elevation, and again, narrow lanes for traffic—many cut directly into the sides of mountains.

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 water over the falls. At this most spectacular geological formation, the 85 foot waterfall plummets into a narrow quartzite canyon. The narrow rock walls tower over the falls by nearly 100 feet.


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Return to Massachusetts to Canyonlands Trip