We may not have all of our trails open, but what we do have to experience is spectacular in terms of roaring waterfalls, vivid spring foliage, and snow banks still present in 70 degree temperatures... Get the picture? Get out there and enjoy it!
Here are the FAQS:
Reports suggest that the higher elevations of the San Juan Mountain range received nearly 600% above normal snow accumulation. With warm winter temperatures and the depth of snow, there have been avalanche runs not seen in the last century. The landscape has definitely changed on several of the trails.
This week has been warm and dry with temperatures in the upper 70's with a little afternoon rain expected on Saturday and Sunday. (Just about perfect!)
To help you plan, we’ve outlined what is currently available and what we predict based on County progress. Don't let the idea of not getting over the summits deter you from enjoying the lower elevation beauty!
In summary, Ophir and Last Dollar are OPEN. Gladstone to Hurricane is OPEN. South Mineral Springs to timberline on Clear Lake is OPEN. Cunningham Gulch is OPEN. East Dallas is OPEN. Yankee Boy to Twin Falls is OPEN. Red Mountain Town is OPEN.
Use your imagination and build an exciting itinerary!
OPEN to the Falls. Lower elevations of the road are dry all the way to the intersection of Governor and Yankee Boy. Snow melt is gushing through the Overhang and down every available crevice. There are turn-around points above the intersection, but they are narrow, so please DON'T park on the sides of the narrow trail above the intersection! And, use 4 low with high clearance above this point.
Expect vivid green aspen in the lower sections and winter-like landscapes up higher.
This trail typically has to melt out on it’s own. We probably won’t see it dry out enough to complete until the 1st or 2nd week of August. Can we just say…Wildflower Haven?
Ouray and San Miguel Counties always shoot for July 3rd as the official opening of Imogene. However, we are now hearing reports that they may not be able to completely clear the summit until after the 4th because of snow depth. Worst case? Enjoy the trail as far as you can go while it’s quietly “not open’ and have a picnic at Yellow Rose Falls!
Ouray County has cleared to the top on the Ridgway side, but there is a Forest Service gate at the top. Gate should be opened by June 30th.
Here is what we love about Engineer Pass. It gets SO much sun on the Ouray side. BUT, there are 2 significant avalanche paths on the lower elevations that will take a some effort to clear. Ouray County will move equipment to Engineer after Corkscrew. Silverton just finished Hurricane and we hope they can clear California Gulch down to Animas and up to Engineer to give us an additional loop.
This trail is a life-line for Lake City and Silverton. Look for Hinsdale and San Juan Counties are currently working on snow removal. We are hoping for a full opening soon!
OPEN from both sides over the summit
Ouray County has 2 dozers in the upper elevations of Corkscrew. There are some deep avalanche runs above the creek crossing that may take a week to clear. Once over the top, Hurricane and Gladstone will be accessible. This is one of our favorite trails for the awesome 15-20 ft snowbanks on the switchbacks.
All efforts are on Corkscrew to Gladstone, so Ouray will move equipment to finish clearing this trail once the latter is open.
OPEN and cleared from Gladstone to the top of Hurricane
There is less mileage on the Tomboy side, but don’t expect them to send equipment up until the third week of June. Based on reports from their superintendent, the summit may not be fully passable until the middle of July. But, the town of Tomboy should be accessible soon as snow is melting fast!
OPEN from both sides and over the summit
This is an enchanting day long trip out of Placerville into the wild. You could end up in Dunton Hotsprings later in the summer. Look it up! Good fishing along the way. Worth taking the road out of Sawpit to Woods Canyon Lake.
Great News! San Miguel has just reported this trail as OPEN!
Be patient and cautious as you will still be traveling through single lane portions of the trail at times.
OPEN from 145 below Last Dollar to Ophir turn off. A gorgeous byway running adjacent to the San Miguel River. Get a glimpse of the very first Tesla AC generating electric plant in the country!
OPEN and clear to the summit from the hwy 550 side. 15ft snow banks over the summit. Check out the shared drone footage on our FB page of the summit. Crazy stuff!
Road work will began shortly. Stay tuned.
OPEN to the campgrounds and to tree line of Clear Lake. Have you ever seen the views from Clear Lake trail. Take it just to get out your camera!
Chant with us….”Open…Open…Open!” San Juan County (Silverton) gets on this trail as soon as the lower elevations are open. It’s one of the highest points for snow accumulation on the 4×4 trails, but no avalanche paths to speak of, so it should be cleared to the summit on the Silverton side by 1st week of July. That said, although the Telluride side often melts out on it’s own, we have to wait for them to clear the stairs and switchbacks of rock and debris sometime towards the middle of July. We anticipate an opening a little later than normal...maybe 3rd or 4th week of July.
An awesome and ‘must-do’ all-day trail that goes clear into Creede. (Plan an overnight trip) The hiccup with Stony is that Pole Creek will be subject to higher than normal waters due to snow melt. Silverton is already working their way over the summit towards Pole Creek. We hope to see it passable by the middle of July.
OPEN through 15' snowbanks to the Old Hundred. Impressive.
Silverton is currently working down this trail towards Animas Forks. If mother nature allows, we should see a complete loop in about 10 days.
Passable to approximately half way up each trail. Pay attention to avalanche debris.
Our information comes from being up on the trails ourselves or updates from those that have been on particular trails in their own vehicles. So, as with any high mountain terrain, be CAUTIOUS! If you start up a trail and you are uncertain, don’t go any farther.
Remember, the adventure lies in exploring the beautiful scenery and seeing what's around the next corner... not just a destination. Take water, layers of warm clothing, and maps. Allow plenty of time.
See where our Jeep Tours go, or discover where you can go on your own in one of our rental Jeeps. Click on trail map below for a specific tour (like Alpine Loop,or Black Bear Pass), and it will take you directly to that tour for a full description and booking information. To page through the maps, click on the little red arrow, right or left side. Although these maps are related to specific tours, you may also rent a Jeep and try it on your own (except for Black Pear Pass.)
Map of Black Bear Pass
Map of Engineer Pass
Map of Corkscrew Gulch
Gift Cards are a wonderful way to treat someone special to an outdoor adventure in Ouray, Colorado! Easy to purchase and give as surprise, gift cards may be used towards any Scenic Tour, Safari, Wedding Adventure or Jeep Rental.