Last Dollar Road

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About

Summary

With very little through traffic other than the occasional jeep or four-wheeler, this approximately 20-mile (one way) dirt road is an ideal mountain-biking route with soaring panoramic views of Telluride’s most jagged peaks—the Wilson Range, St. Sophia Ridge, Palmyra Peak, and the Sneffels Range.

Written by

Yitka Winn

Distance

20.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

3.1 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

2 hours

Seasonality

Summer and Fall

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

No

Topographical Map

Telluride Trails

Land Website

Last Dollar Road

Review

Intro

Last Dollar Road is the unpaved back route between Telluride and Dallas Divide on Highway 62. Passing through Uncompahgre National Forest, expansive ranchlands, aspen groves, the pass between Last Dollar Mountain and Whipple Mountain, and across Hastings Mesa, this ride tops out at 10,600 feet and offers some of the best panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. If you’re a geek for peaks and trying to get a handle on where the major ranges and summits around Telluride lie in relation to one another, the views from Last Dollar can help you get your bearings.

You can ride this road as a long out-and-back, a short out-and-back, or a one-way ride with a car shuttle between Telluride and Dallas Divide.

The road itself is paved for several miles up to the Telluride airport, where it then turns to dirt and later, crushed gravel. Hang a right before the airport and enjoy undulating terrain from there on out, passing dozens of active ranches, abandoned barns, and other quirky roadside artifacts. At about seven miles in, the road narrows and begins climbing more steeply to the route’s 10,600-foot high point.

From there, it’s mostly downhill—first wending through the woods before spilling out onto the wide-open Hastings Mesa and eventually meeting up with the highway at Dallas Divide. If you plan to ride the entire route, do bring a map or GPS, as there are several country road intersections along the way.

This route is exposed, and on sunny days, hot, hot, hot! Wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water. If it has recently rained heavily—or if it’s mid-spring, when large quantities of snow are still melting rapidly—beware that this road turns into a shoe-and-tire-sucking mudfest, to the point of being impassable.

What Makes It Great

The views! High on a mesa and frequently skirting open hillsides, Last Dollar Road offers some of the best, most accessible views of the surrounding mountain ranges. It’s also prime wildflower territory in early summer, and an ideal viewing spot for fall colors in late September.

Who is Going to Love It

Because Last Dollar Road is a dirt or crushed-gravel road, it’s quite smooth most of the way—making this a perfect ride for the crossover road and mountain cyclist, looking for a mix of lung-busting yet non-technical climbs and easy cruising to the tune of soaring panoramic views.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Leave your car parked in Telluride, and ride the three short, flat miles from town to the turnoff for Last Dollar Road (follow signs for the Telluride Airport) on your right-hand side just before the Highway 145 roundabout.

Location

Last Dollar Road

Telluride, CO,
37.95073, -107.868227

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