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Last Update:  08/17/2012

Sightseeing Out of Montrose

Montrose, Colorado -- A Great Place for Motorcycle Riding

The Influence of the Riding:

"This trip has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
The people, the ride, the places, the views, the contrasts and extremes, the smells...
the entire experience, is indelibly engraved deep within my spirit.
Pictures and words cannot even begin to convey the powerful beauty and awe of what I have experienced on this ride. But none the less, I humbly display here some of the images I was able to capture with my camera.
Images that are just miniscule representations of scattered moments in time that collectively comprise my attempt to portray to you the beauty and wonder of my experience,
and also act as a visual reinforcement to myself of the internal memories of this trip that will last forever."
Quote:  Soloquest, after Rockies-Gold 2007

Montrose, located on the western slope of Colorado, is a unique location in that it provides easy access to the San Juan Mountains, Colorado Plateau canyon country, and the unique Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  There are other areas in Colorado that also permit awesome riding, but it is difficult to match the variety of terrain that is accessible within a days ride of Montrose. 

Several day-trips are easily accessible from Montrose.  You may choose to do each ride as presented, or you might want to do a variation where you only do part of a particular ride.  As much as you can, you may want to choose your day-rides in advance to allow you to take-in areas that you did not include in your ride to and from Montrose -- a little planning can go a long way.  If you have never ridden any of these roads previously, then the Million Dollar Highway, Unaweep-Tabeguache Byway, and the route along the North Rim of the Black Canyon (CO-92) should not be missed.

Since most of you will be coming to Colorado from other parts of the country, you will need to travel through other parts of Colorado in order to get to Montrose.  To assist in your planning the "Other Colorado Rides" page provides information on other routes in Colorado that you might wish to include in your travels.  As with the rides out of Montrose, if you have never ridden across Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, you may want to include this in your travels.  If you have a couple of extra days beyond those that you will be spending in Montrose, you might spend them in the Silverthorne/Dillon area on I-70 and CO-9 -- from this location you can hit most of the great mountain roads that are located in northern Colorado.

Ahhh, so many great roads -- so many choices.  There just is not enough time.  Colorado:  Life is good!!!!

NOTE:  These routes are laid-out here in one direction, but they are also great rides in the other direction -- which way you do them is totally up to you.

Safe Riding

Riding safely is always of paramount importance, but particularly at Rockies-Gold.  Group riding can be a challenge, but particularly so in the mountains and canyons of Colorado.  You are responsible for your own safety.  If you are riding in a group and they are riding at a pace or style that is beyond your capabilities or comfort-level, safely drop-out of the group (let the tail-gunner know that you are not having a problem, but are just dropping back).  Before coming to Rockies-Gold please read the safety guidelines available via the link below.

Group Riding and Rider Safety

Rides out of Montrose

Other Maps and Descriptions at Colorado Directory

GPS Data Files:

[NOTE:  New for Rockies-Gold 2008:  Since some GPS units cannot invert the route from that planned, each of the routes is provided in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction, marked by the name followed by a CW (clockwise) or CCW (counter-clockwise), ie "Unaweep CW" and "Unaweep CCW" -- hopefully this will be helpful.

[NOTE:  After downloading these files to your computer, you need to re-calculate the route in MapSource or your software before transferring them to your GPS.]


Garmin GPS data file with all Montrose Routes and Waypoints (should work in most Garmin GPS units, but you will need to have your GPS recalculate the route using these points.


Click here to download an iWay GPS data file with all Montrose Routes and Waypoints (courtesy of Jon)


Click here to download a GPS Exchange data file with all Montrose Routes and Waypoints (should work in most GPS units, but you will probably have to have the GPS recalculate the route using these points)

[click on the name on the map, or on the links below]

[click on the name on the map, or on the links below]

bullet San Juan Skyway:  San Juan Skyway and the Million Dollar Highway -- 285 miles


bullet Unaweep:  Unaweep-Tabeguache By-way  -- 240 miles


bullet Black Canyon:  Crawford, North Rim, and Black Canyon National Park -- 165 miles


bullet Colorado National Monument and Grand Mesa -- 210 miles


bullet Glenwood:  McClure Pass, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Mesa -- 291 miles

Other Long Montrose Rides Worth Consideration

Either do during Montrose, or include portions of this on your ride to or from Montrose.

bullet Silver-Thread:  Million Dollar Highway, Wolf Creek Pass, and Silver Thread By-way -- 381 miles


bullet Independence:  Aspen and McClure, Independence, and Monarch Passes -- 347 miles


bullet Canyon Country:  Colorado River Canyon (UT), Moab (UT), Paradox Valley, and Unaweep By-way -- 392 miles

Other Great Colorado Rides  -- click here


Check these out to help you plan your ride across Colorado to Montrose