First -- I'm assuming you are visiting during the summer.
I would suggest you stop in Ouray just to enjoy the scenery and check out the shops for a while on your travel day between Durango and Crested Butte, and then drive on to Montrose to spend the night. You'll find lots of restaurant choices in Montrose, and if you arrive in the afternoon, you could visit the Ute Museum or Museum of the West, which are both quite interesting.
The next morning, drive up into Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and visit several of the dramatic overlooks into this very deep, narrow canyon. That will still give you plenty of time to drive on to Gunnison and then to Crested Butte.
We had looked at staying in Montrose but wasn't sure if there was enough to do for an overnight stay there. Thought it was too far to do without a stop
Just a thought the road 12 is it two way???
Is there a way to Aspen through the Forest past the Taylor Park Reservoir or is it on the I 50 and up the 285 to 82.
On the way from Durango to Montrose, there will be plenty of sights to see to keep you busy for the day. Stop at overlooks, spend some time in Ouray, maybe a walk along the river at Ridgway and a visit to the railroad museum there to learn about the Galloping Goose or photos from Ridgway State Park over the reservoir looking at the San Juan Mountains to the south. In Montrose, there's the Ute Indian Museum, Museum of the Mountain West, the Historical Museum, antique stores, galleries, shops, Russell Stover Candy Factory Outlet, and several nice restaurants and a growing local music scene. Late afternoon is a good time to visit the Black Canyon, or visit the next morning as WingLady suggests.
From there to Aspen--one option would be driving up 92 for a few miles (10-20) as a side trip on your way to Gunnison, then return to 50. Drive from Gunnison to Crested Butte, then take the County Road over Kebler Pass to intersect 133. Proceed over McClure Pass to Redstone, then on to Aspen. Where do you go from Aspen? Over Independence Pass to Leadville or Buena Vista?
The Gunnison County Road over Kebler Pass is a two lane maintained gravel road. It is closed seasonally, so check to be sure it is open during your travel dates.
Thanks for the info. We travel from 10th July to the 24th July so most roads will be open.
In Montrose, if you like B&Bs check out www.canyoncreekbedandbreakfast.com. On Thursday night in the summer there is great live music. You can check it out even if you don't stay there -- all of downtown celebrates Main in Motion on Thurs evenings during the summer. If you're looking for a hotel, try the Holiday Inn Express (that's really as nice as Montrose hotels get) the Hampton Inn is nice too, but located on the north of town by the airport and not a central location.
Great places for dinner include Garlic Mike's, Camp Robber, Stone House - all in the $11 - $20 price range for dinner.
The Ute Museum in town is really good.
I would also recommend Canyon Creek B&B if you like B&Bs. If not, we've had guests stay at Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, and Best Western Red Arrow. If you like McDonald's coffee in the morning like my hubby does, there's one right next to the Quality Inn.
I'd vote Camp Robber or Stone House or Pahgre's for dinner. Or Belly, downtown. Unless of course you want to pack a picnic supper and take it to Sunset View at the Black Canyon ;)
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.