Route 550 out of Albuquerque?

Blackstorm

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Feb 29, 2020
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Central NY
Forced to do my driving for this years western hunt from my winter home. I got a couple of 4th season tags for unit 11 outside Meeker Co, last year came in from the 80 and dropped down and ride was great in 4 th. Season last year. I need to avoid the 70 and Denver if at all possible. Was thinking of taking 40 to Albuquerque and taking the 550 north. How is that route ? I’m figuring a little less snow and ice. The 80 was wicked windy with a lot of overturned vehicles go thru the passes, anything like that to be aware of on the 550? I have driven from grand junction to our Meeker and that section I’m ok with. Just looking for a steady route with less traffic and no rock slides.
 

swavescatter

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Apr 3, 2021
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Weather happens but normally that's an easy drive. Don't speed going through those small towns where the speed limit drops...
 

Billy Goat

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May 6, 2018
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Shenandoah Valley
It's a nice drive, but depending on weather, million dollar highway stretch might be sketchy. The no guard rails in winter thing.


I mean, they got a monument to all the plow truck drivers.
 

butcherboy

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Jul 20, 2014
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Kirtland, NM
I live in the Four Corners area and drive 550 a lot. Easy drive, 4 lanes all the way to Bloomfield. Slow down in San Ysidro, Cuba, etc or the State Troopers will nail you. You don’t have to go over Red Mountain Pass in CO going into Ouray. You can detour around to Dolores then to Telluride going over Lizard Head Pass. Then over to Ridgeway, Montrose, and GJ.
 

Theringworm

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Jul 30, 2019
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I drive this route a lot. Small town cops are a guarantee. Obey speed limit signs in those towns. There is a local “Reservation Peace Officer” that patrols one of the stretches of reservation highway on 550. Real nice guy. If you are going to get a speeding ticket he is the one to get it from. It’s not reported to your insurance. Just mail the reservation a check and it’s like it never happened. 😂. I would not even consider million dollar Highway that time of year if weather has moved in. Lizard Head pass ain’t no cake wall either if the weather is bad. It’s a steep grade down into Telluride.
 

Nickofthewoods

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Oct 5, 2018
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Colorado
If you are trying to avoid mountain passes that could be difficult to drive in bad weather, 550 north of Durango will not be your cup of tea.

You can skip those passes as well by going to Cortez from Durango, then taking a tour through Monticello and Moab Utah to get back to I-70 near Grand Junction. It will add about 1.5 hours to your drive but there isn't anything resembling a mountain pass.
 

thegrouse

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Feb 11, 2021
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Texas
It is a good road, there is a big truck stop probably 2/3 of the way to Bloomfield. I have driven it in the snow, but not a bad storm.
 

Kevin_t

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Dec 2, 2012
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Colorado
I live just off 550 ... Great scenery .. sometimes weather can close it down or make it sketch. Hardest section is Silverton to Ouray. Its usually easier Dolores to Telluride .. if weather is bad you can do Dolores -> Naturita - Gateway ... or go Monticello - Moab

If there is a lot of snow ... its best to get through before 4 PM in the Uncompahgre Gorge sometimes it can get icy
 

roadrunner

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May 10, 2015
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Timberline
Gallup then north on 491 to Monticello. North on 191 to I-70. East on I-70 to Rifle, then north to Meeker is how I'd go.

I guess it really matters more where your winter home starting point is...
 
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Blackstorm

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Feb 29, 2020
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Central NY
Just finished my fall hunts in Colorado and took the 50/550 route to Albuquerque, route was one of the most beautiful routes I have ever taken, but it was so twisting and winding that it added hours to the trip. I had never been thru that section of Colorado and I am glad I took it. I will visit a few of the towns in the future. New Mexico was the surprise to me in its beauty and viewable wildlife, I'm going to have to explore in the future for elk and deer

 

butcherboy

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Jul 20, 2014
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Kirtland, NM
NM is definitely a beautiful state and the food is incredible. The politics are very bad. I’m glad I live in a Republican county. At least it is for now.
 
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