This autumn is a great time to drive through scenic Colorado and enjoy the colors of the trees changing. You can drive Colorado Highway 550 to see the brilliant colors, with the foliage peaking in late September and early October. This is one of the most beautiful drives through the Rockies and filled with so many opportunities for marvelous outdoor activities. And this route is ideal for an RV trip!
Begin this autumn journey in Ridgeway, Colorado surrounded by mountain ranches and towering peaks. The Uncompaghre River offers many unique opportunities to see wildlife, particularly bald eagles that nest in the trees lining the banks. This is a western town which holds a number of events throughout the year, so when you arrive you should check the town schedule. The time spent here allows you a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a while.
While in Ridgeway, be sure to visit the Ridgway Railroad Museum. They are open until the colder and snowy winter months arrive, but until then you can tour the museum to see exhibits that commemorate the significance of the railroads in area history. There are historic artifacts, railroad equipment and photographs you will love to see.
Ghost towns are always a pleasure to visit, particularly in the Rocky Mountains. Some were small and some were large, but all give testimony to the past fortune-seekers, folks who risked their life to mine valuable gold and silver from these hills. Camp Bird Mine was one of the richest, Red Mountain Town was one of the largest and Ironton one of the most fascinating. Don’t miss any of the ghost towns you have the chance to see on this route.
Besides marveling at all the amazing colors on display, you will want to stop in Ouray, Colorado and take in the sights. This community is at the head of a valley and surrounded by tall snow-capped peaks. At 7,792 feet above sea level, the air is clean and fresh. In town you can walk the streets and see the old Victorian homes that have been restored. Outside of town, you can take to the jeep trails and hike or climb the surrounding cliffs. Capture some of the lovely waterfalls with a camera so you can take some tangible memories home.
Next stop – Silverton, Colorado and its historic sights! This was a mining town which has attracted people for many years to come enjoy the scenic vistas and outdoor recreation. The surrounding San Juan National Forest offers landscapes conducive to many activities. Fish the streams or hike the forests. Mountain biking is also a favorite activity for those up to it. From Silverton, you can take the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to get even better views of autumn foliage.
Durango is your last stop on this fall drive in an RV. More history and lots of outdoor fun awaits you here. Vallecito Lake is a wonderful place to sail and soak up the last of the summer sun. It will be difficult to say goodbye to the Rockies and head home, but this region is going to be here for a long time to come. You are always invited to return.