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I just got back from a pre-summit trip to Ridgway last night to deliver some furniture and work on my house and thought I would throw out an alternative routing for the trip I like. If you pull up Google maps and plot a course from Fort Worth to Ouray it will show you three alternative. The first is the traditional route through Albequrque and shows to be 906 miles and 15 hours 34 minutes. The third route takes you north from Amarillo through Raton and eventually to 50 and into Montrose which is 886 miles but 16 hours 12 minutes. Shorter in distance but longer in time. I think the time difference comes from the extra time you spend on I40 with the 75 MPH speed limit which does not help me at all when pulling a fully loaded trailer and FJ's don't really like going 80 much anyway. If you are staying in Ridgay, Montrose, or anywhere north of Ouray obviously the advantages of this route increase.

Also on the plus side of this alternative route you get to go through some nice cayons and drive along Blue Mesa Lake which you will not otherwise see. You will get pleny of chances to see the Million Dollar highway during the Summit.

I did it from my house in Arlington straight through both ways. It took me 17 hours and 10 minutes including stops on the way up and 16 hours 30 minutes coming back, down hill, with the trailer empty. If you are not a glutin for punishment like myself I would recommend Salida, CO as a good over night stopping spot. A nice little town in its own right that anually hosts a white water kayaking event. Salida is 723 miles from Fort Worth so a long first day but then a leisurely second day to explore Salida and the rest of the sites along 50 which includes Black Canyon National Monument.

Or if you just want to see something different go up one way and back the other.
 

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I'll be doing the Dallas-Walsenburg-Gunnison-Hotchkiss-Delta-Montrose-Ouray going there.

On the way back probably head south after Gunnison and swing by the Great Sand Dunes.

Always like to try different routes.
 
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