The Million Dollar Highway

While in Durango, we took a day to drive on the Million Dollar Highway, from Durango to Ouray, Colorado.  Technically, I think the part from Silverton – Ouray is the “million dollar” part (it isn’t clear whether it is so called because of the “million dollar views” or because it cost $1m per mile to build), but we drove the whole way.  On the way up, we stopped at a nearby ski resort, Purgatory, where we got Total Adventure tickets for a bunch of summer alpine activities.  The boys had a blast on the alpine slide, ziplining and bouncing in a bouncy house.  We got tickets online in advance, so it wasn’t too expensive, and we all enjoyed the activities (and the view!)

getting ready for the alpine slide

The boys went on the alpine slide at least 3 times each! Then A & C ziplined off the 6th floor of a building!

A on the zipline
C on the zipline
Fun in the bouncy house (with a mountain view in the background)
A on the adventure course
love his smile!

After using up our adventure tickets, we continued north on the Million Dollar Highway – destination Ouray, Colorado.

Taking after L, I am also not a huge fan of heights (or is that the other way around), so I was somewhat apprehensive about the drive, but I like nice mountain scenery, and figured as long as I lean to the left while we are on the sharp curves, I would be fine.  And I survived, so all’s well that ends well.  The drive took about two hours, and I can tell you how beautiful it was, but it is better to just add a few pictures (disclaimer – these were taken on my phone through dirty windows, so just assume the real thing is like 100x better).


Silverton as we passed by
Pretty view – check out the drop off at the edge of the road!
Road drop off – at least I’m on the inside for this one!
one more of the road – just so you will see how brave I am 😉

Once we arrived in Ouray, we had lunch.  Like Silverton, this was an adorable little town, but Ouray seemed a little bigger and somewhere you could actually live (if you didn’t mind being snowed in the mountain valley like 8 months of the year!).  One of the restaurant employees told us about a nearby park, and we let the boys play while we enjoyed the views.  It was actually right next to a famous hot spring, but we didn’t have time to check it out. Maybe next time!



nice place to play catch!

After playing at the park, we decided to check out a waterfall that was highly recommended. It was a city park, and we had to pay an admission to get in, so I was a little skeptical whether this waterfall would be worth the $12 we paid for all of us to get in, but in the end it was worth it.  It was only a short hike to the waterfall, and unlike a normal waterfall spilling over rock, this one was kind of hidden within the rocks.  It made an amazing noise as it came through the rocks – not a steady stream but more like spurts of water flow.


After viewing the waterfall, we chose to hike up above it, and it was a pretty steep climb, but the boys were champs.  From the top of the hike, you could see all of Ouray spread out below.



river from above, before it hits the waterfall
Ouray from above

After the hike, we headed back toward Durango.  We started with a few miles of road where I was on the edge, and just didn’t look down, but most of the rest of the way, we were happily on the inside, against the mountain.


We made one last stop during our drive for a quick snowball fight!


What a fun day we had!  Ouray is totally worth the visit, and somewhere on our list to go and see again (and next time, we will bring our swimsuits to check out the hot springs!)

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we attempt camping again. Will we make it this time? Wait and see…



  1. Donny drove the million dollar highway on his motorcycle a couple of years ago. He said it was beautiful! His friend, who is scared of heights, hated it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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