Summer has arrived, and it is beautiful in the San Juans! Road crews have been diligently making the high country safe for us, and I myself am extremely happy to be out exploring again. As temperatures soar at lower altitudes, a journey to one of the several four-wheel drive trails is, as always, a wonderful respite.
Animas Forks: OPEN
Black Bear Pass: CLOSED – estimated open before July 4, 2018
Bolam Pass – CLOSED
Brown Mountain – OPEN – Based on Switzerland of America Jeep Tours: “Open to top, but there will be muddy ruts and snow melt draining into trail. Be careful! And PLEASE do not take vehicles on Grey Copper Gulch!! “
California Pass – OPEN
Clear Lake – CLOSED
Cinnamon Pass – OPEN to Lake City
Corkscrew Pass – OPEN Based on Switzerland of America Jeep Tours: “Open over summit to Gladstone. Snowbanks can fall into switchbacks as they melt, creating sketchy conditions. Also, very muddy over last 3 switchbacks. Use 4 low and try not to spin tires as Ouray County just fixed deep ruts on the trail.”
County Road 110 – OPEN
County Road 2 – OPEN
Divide Road 564 – CLOSED
Engineer Pass –OPEN – Based on Switzerland of America Jeep Tours: “ Open all the way over to Lake City. Expect water run off to be icy in morning hours.”
Hurricane Pass – OPEN
Imogene Pass – CLOSED
Kennebec Pass – OPEN
La Plata Canyon(County Road 124) – OPEN
Last Dollar – OPEN
Lobo Overlook – OPEN
Maggie Gulch – OPEN
Mineral Point – CLOSED
Minnehaha – OPEN
Minnie Gulch – CLOSED
Norwood/Dolores Road – OPEN
Ophir Pass – OPEN – Based on Switzerland of America Jeep Tours: “ Open to summit from hwy 550 entrance. Still closed on Ophir townsite side. No word from San Miguel County as to when they will send out their equipment.”
Owl Creek Pass – OPEN
Picayune – OPEN
Placer – OPEN
Poughkeepsie – CLOSED
Red Mountain Town – OPEN
Scotch Creek – OPEN
South Mineral Road – OPEN
Stony Pass – OPEN
Treasure Mountain Loop – OPEN
Yankee Boy Basin – OPEN – According to Switzerland of America Jeep Tours:” Dry until the Governor Basin intersection. Beyond that point, expect sections of ice and slush…especially towards the falls. Exercise caution with falling rock during this time of the year.”
As always, regardless of the time of year, please remember to be safe in the high country! Weather can change quickly and dramatically. If you come across a portion of road or weather that makes you uncomfortable, turn around. With over 500 miles of four wheel drive trails in easy access of town, there is no reason to put yourself at risk.
Remember to always bring layers. The sun might be shining one minute, and a downpour hit the next. With that in mind, sunscreen might sound ridiculous, but sunburns do hurt. Check either with us, or one of the many jeep rental/tour companies for the most up to date road conditions. There is no sense in getting yourself stuck in a bad spot if you don’t have to. Please remember the rules of the road when adventuring on the high country. Be considerate of your fellow jeepers and four wheelers!
As OHV’s become more popular, we get a lot of questions regarding in town usage. Please read our town ordinances by clicking this link, as the Ouray Police Department has been working diligently to enforce the laws pertaining to OHV’s and will no longer be giving warnings to individuals who are violating the ordinance; instead, they will be cited with a ticket. The first offense is a $100 fine, the second is $300 and anything after that, will be a court summons with a $300-$500 fine.
There are some amazing jeep tour and rental companies in Ouray, who are always happy to help with information, and of course a tour means you don’t have to worry about where you’re going, just whether there is enough memory on your camera!
No matter what, HAVE FUN! The San Juan Mountains are beautiful, and never quite the same.