Last Dollar Road, from Colorado Highway 62 at its north end, down to Colorado Highway 145 at its south end, has assumed mythical proportions. The road has stunning views any time of the year, but when the aspens turn color in late September and early October, it affords some of the best color views in Colorado.
Last Dollar Road is also a great motorcycle road—I traveled it last Friday on my way to a much longer loop. Much of it is well-graveled, wide road suitable for any vehicle, but the middle stretch is best attempted in a four-wheel drive vehicle or a carefully-driven sedan—you will need to ford a couple creeks. Right now the main creek ford is a bit deeper, but it’s easy to splash through to the other side. I would rate this road as easy and suitable for a beginning off-road motorcyclist, but do pay attention to occasional ruts. Also, there are some sections that are not only narrow but do not afford any visibility around cornerd. Stay way to the right and be prepared for the pickup trucks that sometimes barrel through! I’ve put the GPS track at the very bottom of the post because it’s a rather large image.
The north end of the road is a well-marked turn just west of Dallas Divide on Colorado Highway 62, west of Ridgway. As a motorcyclist, note that the road often has fresh gravel, which can make for squirrelly riding. As you travel the road from the north, you’ll go up a canyon and then come out onto a mesa near Last Dollar Ranch. The panorama below is taken at that point. Click on the image for a bigger and wider version.
After traveling down the road seen in the image above, the road climbs into the trees. There are a few tight switchbacks here. Watch for vehicles coming the other way—this is a popular road!
The road improves considerably at a panorama point. From there the road is wide and well-graveled. You’ll be traveling past several multi-million-dollar trophy homes. You’ll also see the backside of the Sneffels range. Here’s a sample:
The GPS track below is almost complete. One little section, along the range where the conifer shot above was taken, was too deep in the canyon to get good GPS coverage. I’ve now changed where I put the GPS receiver. It’s on my back rather than on my chest. It seems to do better that way. Note that the 4WD portion of the road can get very muddy and slippery when wet.