Trails Conditions Updated as of March 22nd, 2019
We know many of you are worried that our trails will open very late, or not at all this year.
- HERE ARE THE FACTS…
This winter has been what the locals consider ‘NORMAL’ in terms of historical snowfall. Isn’t that crazy?? The difference is the warmer temperatures have caused a lot of avalanche activity in between storms. But what this really means is that Ouray, Silverton and Lake City (notice we didn’t say Telluride because we might be putting a little pressure on them?) will be working tirelessly to open the trails for all the folks that are looking forward to visiting this summer. If you encounter someone in a yellow county dozer, PLEASE stop and thank them with a thumbs up! (Cookies might be nice too).
So, to put your mind at ease, we’ve outlined what we expect in terms of anticipated openings based on historical data and County expectations.
See below for updates to Ouray Jeep trails:
Some trails are linked back to their tour pages for additional details. Click here to see a map of Jeep Trails.
- SEASONALLY CLOSED Uncompaghre and Gunnison Forest Trails Include:
- Yankee Boy Basin – Want the good news? This trail will open on schedule because the mine operates year round. So expect Alaskan like landscapes and tall snowbanks up to the restroom around May 20th…maybe earlier. It’s pretty cool!
- Governor Basin – 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?
- Imogene – Ouray and San Miguel Counties always shoot for July 3rd as the official opening of Imogene. If temperatures stay ‘spring-like’ through May, we have no reason to believe this trail won’t open on time. 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!
- Owl Creek – Probably 1st or 2nd week of June.
- Engineer – Here is what we love about Engineer Pass. It gets SO much sun on the Ouray side. However, the avalanche paths towards the top and over can be considerable. Ouray and San Juan work diligently to get it open at least to the Mineral Creek junction and down to Animas by the 2nd week of June. We hope for a full open by the middle of June.
- Cinnamon Pass – This trail is a life-line for Lake City and Silverton. Look for Hinsdale and San Juan Counties to start working on snow removal in April with an opening of late May.
- Last Dollar – Most of this trail is plowed all winter due to the residential areas. Look for an opening around the 1st to 2nd week of June.
- Corkscrew – OMG! We can’t even begin to explain how awesome this trail is with 15 ft snowbanks on the switchbacks and we can’t wait!! Ouray County will hit this trail as soon as Yankee Boy is cleared to Twin Falls. 1st or 2nd week of June.
- Brown Mountain Gulch – Ouray opens this amazing ‘in and out’ trail in the Red Mountains. Hopefully, the 2nd week of June. Don’t tell anyone! This is our little secret.
- Hurricane to California – also Silverton/Hinsdale County, it is typically cleared about the 2nd week of June. This year, give it 1 more week as there are a lot of wind/snow drifts across the lower section.
- SEASONALLY CLOSED San Miguel (Uncompaghre) Forest Trails Include:
- Imogene – on the TELLURIDE side. There is less mileage on the Tomboy side, but don’t expect them to send equipment up until the middle of June.
- Last Dollar Pass – probably open to nearly the summit out of Telluride early on. May 30th?
- Fall Creek – What? Where? This is an enchanting day 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.
- SEASONALLY CLOSED San Juan Forest Trails
- Ophir – Generally the first trail that San Miguel (Telluride) tackles, it may take a bit longer due to the Avalanche paths over the top. Expect an opening over the second week of June. However, Silverton will have cleared their side by the end of May.
- Kendall Mountain – Silverton. stay tuned
- Lime Creek – This is out of our area, but such a great trail just above Purgatory. Stay tuned.
- South Mineral Springs and Clear Lake – Trail will be open to the campgrounds by early June. Generally, Clear Lake has to open by natural melt. Maybe middle of July?
- Black Bear – 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. Don’t worry…that’s normal.
- Stony Pass – A mysterious but ‘must-do’ trail that goes clear into Creede. (Plan an overnight trip) The hiccup with Stony is that Pole Creek will be running voraciously due to snow melt. We hope to see it passable by the middle of July.
Please visit our Facebook Page for current trail pictures and updates.
–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. The adventure lies in exploring the beautiful scenery and not just the destination. Take water, layers of warm clothing, and maps. Allow plenty of time.
Additional Information & Links
Local Weather – NOAA