Video of the Day: Million Dollar Highway

A stretch of mountain road connecting Durango, Colorado with our next stop in Ouray is often referred to as The Million Dollar Highway. Nobody knows if that dollar figure refers to the value of the gold and silver ore thought to be mixed in with the fill underneath the pavement or an attempt to put a price on the accompanying views. One thing everyone seems to agree on though is that driving the Million Dollar Highway, with its steep grades, hairpin turns and absence of guardrails can be one of the most dangerous trips in the country. It even made an appearance on an episode of Speed Network’s Dangerous Drives. So naturally, it’s a road we just had to drive.

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20 Comments on “Video of the Day: Million Dollar Highway”

  1. RedRoadDiaries August 3, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Nice video, it didn’t look too bad.


    • Brian August 3, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      It’s not, really. The absence of guardrails, no shoulder, and sheer drops makes it scary for some folks. The good paved road also allows you to drive fast, which is the really dangerous part. As long as you stay on the pavement you’re fine. LOL. Beautiful drive, though.


  2. Rotten Ray August 3, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    There are worse roads to drive on in Colorado. The drive south towards Durango is not quite so hairy as the drive north. Colorado does not seem to believe in guard rails on many of its mountain roads. They would probably just get in the way during the winter plowing months. The road to Mt. Evans had some quite scary sections.


    • Brian August 3, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Probably the worst road we drove in North America was the drive to Mogollon in New Mexico. Mountain driving, gravel roads, no guardrails, two way traffic, one lane roads, tons of switchbacks and speeding locals. Going around those turns I couldn’t decide what was the bigger risk, falling off the edge or a head on collision. It was so tight I could almost hear the rocks falling down the cliff that were kicked off the road by our tires. Fun.


  3. fulltimeusa August 3, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Yikes! Be well and safe travels, Ann and Jerry


  4. Karen Purcell August 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Great video! Loved the choice of music too!


    • Brian August 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      It wouldn’t be the same without the Bond tune.


  5. Betty Londergan August 4, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    So happy you made it to the MDH … isn’t it spectacular??!!! Whoeeee … you guys rock!


    • Brian August 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      Thank you for the recommendation!!


  6. earthriderjudyberman August 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Love the James Bond music from “Goldfinger.” Great choice for that hairy drive. Lovely views.


    • Brian August 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      I got a kick out of the music, too. Thanks.


  7. the drunken cyclist August 7, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Just curious–did you see many cyclists on the road? Are they forbidden? Tons of other cars?


    • Brian August 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      Tons of bicyclists working those mountain roads. In fact, we saw the start of some kind of bike race in Silverton (which is at the southern end of the Million Dollar Highway).


  8. carolnbill August 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Very cool! Love your blog!


  9. travelgardeneat August 12, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    Great snapshot of the views folks will see driving the Million Dollar Hwy — I remember a few white knuckle moments here and there, but the scenery made it worthwhile!


    • Brian August 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Definitely a great drive with great views. Thanks.



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