San Miguel County, Colorado
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Nearby Towns: Telluride, Ouray
Nearby Trails: Black Bear Pass, Yankee Boy Basin, Governor Basin
Trail Length: 13.2 miles
Elevation: 8,898 to 13.368 feet
This trail is a good one to do alone or after Black Bear Pass as a loop. It is the second highest pass in Colorado, making it a beautiful and thrilling ride. It has some rocky sections with some optional lines that give this trail its high rating.
Most people start from Telluride and go towards Ouray. The trail starts out in town and there are driveways and houses on both sides as you start a gradual climb. The trail is wide and surrounded by trees and is fairly easy.
The climb begins and the road gets narrower as you start a shelf road. You can see the Black Bear Pass trail across the valley in multiple spots. At the highest spot you can see Ingram Falls on the left with Ingram Peak behind it, the switchbacks in the middle, and the Bridal Veil Falls and the Powerhouse on the right. It really puts the trail in perspective, especially if you have just come down the switchbacks immediately before starting Imogene Pass.
At 4.5 miles you reach the townsite of Tomboy and a very large area to stop. It's a great place for lunch and you will probably see many other vehicles and people here.
Keep going past the townsite and the road becomes very rocky and a little steep. There are different lines you can take and some of them are quite challenging (though all have an easier route through).
Keep climbing until you get to Imogene Pass at 13,114 feet. There is a trail to your right marked as an overlook and an obvious way down the other side to your left. Take the overlook to get some amazing views of the surrounding area, but drive carefully. It would be pretty easy to accidentally drive off the side, and it would be a fatal mistake.
Once you start working your way down the other side of the pass it gets fairly easy. The road is flat and wide and it is easy to pass other vehicles. You cross Imogene Creek a few times as well.
There are lots of spurs and side roads to explore on the way. There is a large area of mine tailings at the Hidden Treasure Mine to the left, and the spur roads are fun to explore here. There is also a spur to a big waterfall hidden in the trees that is worth checking out.
When you get to the bottom at road 361 and another creek crossing you can either go right to connect with Ouray and highway 550 or go left to run Yankee Boy Basin and Governor Basin. The trails are well-marked with signs so it is easy to find the correct trail.
Information last updated on September 19th, 2014.
- September 19th, 2014: ran by Roger and Walt
- August 29th, 2008: ran by Don, Michael and Walt
- August 21st, 2004: ran by Aaron N., Bob S., Bob R., Brian E., Jon G., Ladd, Mike C., Mike S. and Monica
From the main street in Telluride (Colorado Street) take Aspen or Fir Street north one block to Columbia Street. Aspen and Fir are on both sides of Oak Street though Oak Street does not intersect with the main street in town. A few blocks further north on Oak Street and the street dead-ends. The trail is marked and starts on the right of the dead-end.
Meet in Telluride at the Visitor Center.