Is Ouray still OK to travel to in Colorado with the wildfires this summer?

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SopranoKris

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Jun 1, 2017
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We've had a vacation planned from August 6th through the 23rd to travel around Colorado in an RV (picking it up in Loveland, CO). We've been seeing snippets of wildfire news in the San Juan mountains. Is that area completely out of the picture due to the wildfires right now? We've never been to CO (other than Denver) before, so we're not sure if our route is going to be OK.

We've planned on:

Loveland (pick up RV)
Rocky Mountain National Park
Steamboat Springs
Vail
Aspen
Glenwood Springs
Grand Junction
Ouray
Silverton
Durango
Garden of the Gods
Back to Loveland to drop off the RV

Do you think any of our destinations (particularly Ouray) will be closed or too smokey due to the fires?

 

Koodog

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Boncarbo, CO
As far as I know you are good for all destinations.
I believe the fire in Durango is pretty much out.
Lots of rain here lately.
 

Lou Schneider

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I'm in Bayfield, CO just east of Durango.  The only worry is the area is finally getting some good rainfall and this is causing some rockslides and mudflows off of the burn area, intermittently closing Highway 550 between Durango and Silverton.

The 416 Fire is expected to continue smoldering in inaccessible terrain until the winter snowfalls finally smother it, but there is little or no smoke impact to populated areas.

Also on the good side, the rain has allowed the San Juan National Forest to re-open after their total closure, the Durango-Silverton steam train has resumed regular operations and the area is open for business.
 

Debra17

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Colorado
Are you planning to drive Hwy 550 between Ouray and Silverton?  If so you might want to research it beforehand.
 

Heli_av8tor

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NW Illinois
Hi Debra, I was thinking the same thing. Theresa forbids me from travel on 550 between Ouray and Silverton in the motorhome. She doesn't want to do it in the car again either. That said, semi's drive it everyday...

Also, I understand that Hwy 84 coming from the east into Aspen has restrictions on that eliminate many RV's.

Just check your routes carefully.

Tom
 

Debra17

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Colorado
Hi Tom, have you driven that section in your MH?  I?ve debated whether to drive it towing my trailer. It?s been 2 years since I?ve been that way and I did see several semis. If I recall, I think north to south would be somewhat less scary. I believe the worst places like Red Mountain Pass the southbound lane would be on the inside. There are still plenty of big drop offs though ?

Yes, Hwy 82 over Independence Pass between Aspen and Twin Lakes is restricted to vehicles under 35 ft. I have driven it in my F250 and wouldn?t want to take anything wider over it. The lanes are very narrow and tight switchbacks. There are a couple places on the Aspen side that are one lane.  It is a beautiful drive though and worth doing if in the area.
 

SopranoKris

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Jun 1, 2017
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43
Thank you all so much for the great info! I've had my heart set on visiting Ouray after seeing some YouTube videos. Glad to know we might not get smoked out from the fires :)

We'll be in a 24 ft Class C (Coachman Freelander)
 

Heli_av8tor

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NW Illinois
Haven't driven it in the MH. Think I could handle the switchbacks ok but I worry about a tranny failure that left me reliant upon the brakes. Wouldn't take long to smoke them and there's lots of sections with no escape other than the cliff.

We will be in Ouray mid-September and taking 550 towards Silverton numerous times in my friends Jeep to get to mountain trails. (Don't tell DW).  ;)

Hope to see you in KOFA ! (?)

Tom
 

Debra17

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Colorado
Heli_av8tor said:
Haven't driven it in the MH. Think I could handle the switchbacks ok but I worry about a tranny failure that left me reliant upon the brakes. Wouldn't take long to smoke them and there's lots of sections with no escape other than the cliff.

We will be in Ouray mid-September and taking 550 towards Silverton numerous times in my friends Jeep to get to mountain trails. (Don't tell DW).  ;)

Hope to see you in KOFA ! (?)

Tom

Mums the word, haha. I planning on Kofa. Look forward to seeing you and Theresa.
 

Debra17

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Colorado
SopranoKris, hope you have a great tour around Colorado. You?ll be seeing some beautiful country. RMNP is amazing as well as the San Juans.
 

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