It doesn’t get any better than camping by a lake in the San Juan mountains at the peak of leaf peeping season! It was such a lovely spot, I stayed 6 nights.
Driving here from Ouray was absolutely gorgeous. The Million Dollar Highway did indeed have million dollar views, especially given it was the prime of the fall colors.
I had read so much online about how dangerous that stretch of road is that I really wasn’t sure if I should drive it in an RV. My jeep guide the day prior drove me along the worst of the road which was only about the first 8 miles out of Ouray. I’m so thankful that he did because it really wasn’t that bad and it gave me the confidence to do it on my own. Sure, there’s no shoulder or guardrails but how often do you need either of those when you’re driving? I guess the risk is that if for some reason you needed either then you’d be taking a long plunge into the canyon below.
Once through the scary section the valley really opened up and I was treated to whole mountainsides of bright gold Aspens against the backdrop of Red Mountain. Wow! I’m so glad I decided to go this way! These pics are a mixture of both days, hence the weather difference.
Molas Lake Campground is run by the City of nearby Silverton. It’s a gorgeous spot sitting just below Molas Pass at 10,500 feet. It’s a well spaced out campground and is also popular with day visitors recreating on the lake.
The Colorado Trail runs right by the campground so we got in some great hiking. Millie seemed more settled in her carrier than when we were in Ouray and so we actually got in some good long hikes. The trail was absolutely stunning and on fire with fall colors. Lucky us!!!
We went into Silverton part way through the stay to empty the tanks and refill on water and propane. Millie slept through the dump station, hooray! I stopped by the propane refill place and the only way to get refilled was to find the truck, which was out refilling tanks. Luckily it’s not a big town and so I found the truck a block off main street and the girl refilled it for me right there. I took Millie out during the refill and so she woke up, but that was okay because we parked the RV right afterwards and went walking around town for a couple of hours.
Colorado has no shortage of quaint mountain towns and Silverton was no exception. A big wide Main Street and lots of historic buildings nestled below some towering mountains. The main steeet was paved but the side streets were dirt. This sure was a pretty town! To add to the charm the Durango to Silverton steam train pulled in right while I was there.
Aside from hiking and visiting Silverton we had a nice relaxing time hanging out in the RV. Millie turns 5 months in a few days so we had an early Millie Bday party and she got lots of fun gifts. She also continued her fascination with sticking her feet in her mouth, which was really entertaining when she had her little hiking shoes on.
Winter arrived on our last day and dropped a blanket of snow on the peaks around us. What a sight!
Driving out of the San Juan Mountains and Colorado Rockies was a little sad. When will I see them again? And do I need to stop listening to John Denver and Chuck Pyle now?
Next stop… I’ll give you a hint… Forrest Gump stopped running there.
Thanks for reading! -Elevated.