2 - 3 Hours
One Per Car
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Million Dollar Highway Audio Tour
Strike out for the wild west with this self-guided driving tour of Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway. This remote, jaw-dropping stretch of roadway was once the site of booming mining towns and railroad tycoons. Today, it’s a unique blend of jaw-dropping natural beauty and rugged western charm. But you’ll do more than just see the sights with this tour—you’ll also learn the wild history of this area, from boom to bust.
About the Tour
Your tour of the Million Dollar Highway begins in Durango, once little more than a ragtag railroad camp. As you learn how it went from that to the bustling town it is today; you’ll get a good look at the Animas River, an essential water source for the area. Continuing, you’ll hear about Otto Mears, the man behind the road you’re driving on.
One of the first major landmarks you’ll reach will be the Pinkerton Hot Springs, once believed to possess magical healing properties. After that, you’ll have the chance to see Baker’s Bridge, where Paul Newman and Robert Redford took their famous leap in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Next is Haviland Lake, a pristine body of water framed by ponderosa pines and with a great mountain view. As you continue past the lake, toward the breathtaking heights of Molas Pass, you’ll hear all about the gold rush and the formation of these impressive mountains.
Continuing, you’ll arrive in the town of Silverton. Once a humble mining camp, this settlement has retained plenty of its old-timey charm! Around here, you’ll also have the opportunity to detour to a hidden waterfall off the beaten path.
Up next is Crystal Lake, a great spot to take a break and spot some of the local wildlife. Then you’ll come to one of the highway’s most prominent attractions: the 200-foot-tall Bear Creek Falls.
When you’re done admiring the waterfall, you’ll head to the quaint town of Ouray, which some have nicknamed “the Switzerland of America.” Featuring an ice park, a canyon full of great views and hikes, a bustling historic district, and another huge waterfall, this little town has no shortage of activities and sights. Your tour concludes at the Ouray Visitor Center.
Starting Point: 1621 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301, USA
Reverse Tour: 1230 Main St, Ouray, CO 81427
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How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
Welcome to the Million Dollar Highway
So Why "Million Dollar"?
Otto Mears and the Ouray Toll Road
Geology of the Plateau
Pinkerton Hot Springs
History & Formation of the San Juan Mountains
History of the Gold Rush
Coal Bank Pass
Is It Dangerous?
Andrews Lake Trail
Detour to Clear Creek Falls
Red Mountain Pass
Mineral Creek Staging Area
The Saint Germain Foundation
Bear Creek Falls
Ouray Ice Park
Ouray Historical District
Architecture of Ouray
Cascade Falls Park
Ouray Visitor Center
Preview The Tour
Running all the way from New Mexico to Colorado, US Highway 550 is also referred to as The Million Dollar Highway.
The 25-mile Million Dollar Highway between Silverton and Ouray in Colorado is one of the most scenic drives in the US. We recommend driving it if you can.
The speed limit is typically between 25 mph and 10 mph (around some turns).
The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado is kept open year-round for anyone to travel. However, taking this route during the winter can sometimes be tricky or even dangerous, so make sure you’re prepared.
Guard rails are absent in some areas as the road is too narrow to install them.
Silverton is a historic mining town (hence the name). Many mining operations can be seen on the hillsides as you leave Silverton (if driving south to north) or just before arriving in Silverton (if driving north to south). Silverton is well known because of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado is one of the most scenic stretches of highway in the country, running about 25 miles between the towns of Silverton and Ouray. Read more in our blog post.
The Million Dollar Highway travels between the small towns of Silverton and Ouray in Southwest Colorado. The highest point in the San Juan Mountain Range is Red Mountain Pass at 11,018 feet.
The Red Mountain Pass is a mountain pass in western Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. The Red Mountain Pass is named after the Red Mountain, which can be found on the pass’s northeast side. The Red Mountain’s name is also derived from the iron oxide-laden rock that forms its slopes. During our tour, you’ll get a closer look at the same.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on your next trip within 1 year of your purchase.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.