Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Red Mountain Pass

Red Mountain Pass is part of the Million Dollar Highway, which is highway 550 from Durango to Ouray. This is probably my favorite of the paved mountain passes and is one that has always scared my mom and grandma because of the steep drop-offs. We were there on Monday, July 21, 2008, on our way to Black Bear Pass. They are re-paving Red Mountain Pass this summer so there is a good chance that you will have to wait 30 minutes in the area where they only have one lane open. It's not a bad place to have to wait on road construction!
Looking ahead at the snow shed as we drove through the one lane that is open in the area of construction.

The pass has scattered abandoned mines and old buildings all over the place. This is the area of the Yankee Girl Mine and also the part of the highway where you feel like you are turning around in circles. There are a couple of areas on the Ouray side of the pass where the speed limit is 10 on the switchbacks.

This is the new summit sign for Red Mountain Pass. Yes, that says 11,018 feet in elevation! We didn't get out for the summit sign picture because we were ready to get out of the traffic jams caused by the road construction. The entrance to Black Bear Pass is just a little ways past the Red Mountain Pass summit.

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