The Gunnison valley (elevation 7700 ft) makes a good stop, with lots of hotels and good riding nearby. Click the photo for the larger map and directions. Here's more Gunnison travel info.
"Gunnison is located at the bottom of several valleys. Due to its location in the Rocky Mountains, cold air in all the valleys settles into Gunnison at night, making it one of the coldest places in winter in the
United States, especially when snowpack is present. The average January low is −8 °F (−22 °C), and the average July high is 82 °F (28 °C). The record low is −60 °F
(−51 °C), recorded at Blue Mesa Reservoir. The record high is 98 °F (37 °C), set on August 15, 1931.
The city typically experiences moderate snowfalls, with an average of 50 inches (130 cm) per year. Early fall and late spring snows are not uncommon, and snow can remain on the ground in town from as early as November to as late as April. Surrounding mountains experience very heavy snowfall with longer periods of snow on the ground. Many locations average 300–400 inches (760–1,020 cm) of snow annually."
Million Dollar Highway
South of Gunnison is the Million Dollar Highway, connecting Ouray and Silverton. Use care when navigating the tight curves and steep drops along this section of splendid scenic highway. At elevation 9300 ft, Silverton's main street has snow-capped mountain views.
Most of the downtown is a designated National Historic District and the San Juan County Historical Society, in the old county jail, is good for uncovering the past. Three other venues make for interesting stops: Old Hundred Gold Mine, Mayflower Gold Mill National Historic Site and the Victorian Grand Imperial Hotel.
Pinkerton Hot Springs
About 12 miles north of Durango on US 550 there's an unusual free roadside attraction, Pinkerton Hot Springs.