What a winter we had in Colorado!
After one of the driest summers in Colorado history last year, no one can complain about all the snow we got this winter. Despite how grateful we are to finally be free of extreme drought conditions, such a high accumulation of snow in so few months can create new and interesting situations.
Mother Nature has been kind so far. Temperatures have remained low, allowing melt off to occur at a pace that is filling our reservoirs and turning our fields green and lush. Of course, the mild weather keeps all of that snow from melting right away, which means most of the four wheel drive roads are still officially closed. Road crews for Ouray, San Miguel, San Juan, and Hinsdale county crews are all working diligently to safely open each pass as soon as possible.
Jeep tours are going strong right now, and that is a great option when the conditions are questionable. Switzerland of America Jeep Tours has compiled a wonderful update page of all accessible trails and conditions on their website.
The San Juan National Forest website has listed the following conditions report as of June 14, 2019:
Animas Forks – Closed by snow*
*The main road to Animas Forks is blocked by a large avalanche and it may be July before it is cleared.
Black Bear Pass – Closed by snow
Bolam Pass – Closed by snow
California – Closed by snow
Clear Lake – Closed by snow
Cinnamon Pass – Closed by snow*
Corkscrew Pass – Closed by snow
County Road 110 – OPEN
County Road 2 – OPEN to Eureka*
Cunningham Gulch – OPEN to the Old Hundred Mine
Divide Road 564 – Closed by snow
Engineer Pass – Closed by snow*
Engineer Pass – Lower end to 550- Closed by snow
Hurricane Pass – Closed by snow
Imogene Pass – Closed by snow
Kennebec Pass – Closed by snow
La Plata Canyon (County Road 124) – OPEN to Lewis
Last Dollar – OPEN
Lobo Overlook – Closed by snow
Maggie Gulch – Closed by snow
Mineral Point – Closed by snow*
Minnehaha – Closed by snow
Minnie Gulch – Closed by snow
Ophir Pass – OPEN to top on east side
Owl Creek Pass – Closed by snow
Picayune – Closed by snow*
Placer – Closed by snow*
Poughkeepsie – Closed by snow
Scotch Creek – Closed by snow
South Mineral Road – OPEN to campground
Stony Pass – Closed by snow
Treasure Mountain Loop – Closed by snow*
Yankee Boy Basin – Closed by snow
Please remember as always that passes can vary with weather any time of year. Some may be slick in areas, have high water situations at creek crossings (especially during our June-early July runoff season), or be washed out or snow covered, even if they are listed as OPEN. Please don’t go beyond where you are comfortable driving.