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.

According to the crews with San MiguelOuray and San Juan counties , Switzerland of America Jeep Tours, and word of mouth, these are the current conditions of four wheel drive roads in the area:

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 topbut 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 sideNo word from San Miguel County as to when they will send out their equipment.”

Owl Creek Pass – OPEN

Picayune – OPEN

Placer – OPEN

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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.

 

4 Comments

  1. Gary Turner June 18, 2019 at 4:53 am

    Thank you. My family has been on the high mountain trails many times through the years, but we are bringing relatives in this year who have never been there. We were just wondering how accessible the trails are becoming with the cooler temperatures and heavy winter snowpack that remains.

     
    • Maria Ziemba June 19, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      The heavy snow accumulation in the high country does mean that many trails will be opening later this season. County road crews are working to clear the snow, as well as debris from avalanches in the high country. Be sure to check out blog for updates as we receive them. Another great resource for road conditions are the jeep tour companies in town. They are out every day, and have excellent information on how to have a fun and safe jeeping experience!

       
  2. Travis Cole July 11, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Is the trail from lake city to ouray open? What condition is it in?

     
    • Maria Ziemba July 24, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Engineer Pass is now open from both the Mineral Creek side as well as Animas Forks, all the way to the summit and over to Lake City. According to county websites, the trail is in good condition, however as always, this is subject to change based on weather and melt off conditions in the high country. Have fun and be safe!

       

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