Ophir Pass Road is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Ophir, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
off road driving
Convenient, beautiful 4x4 route between Silverton and Telluride Ophir Pass is a convenient and scenic way to get from Silverton to Telluride. Seasonal wildflowers grow thick at higher elevations. Unlicensed vehicles are allowed on Ophir Pass Road east of the town of Ophir; however, you cannot ride through town. Watch for signs. High Point 11,789 ft., Best time to go Late June-Sept. Located in San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests. For current conditions call Norwood Ranger District (970) 327-4261. Applies to one section of narrow, rocky shelf road on the west side of Ophir Pass. Everything else is easy. Passing an oncoming vehicle along the narrow shelf road west of Ophir Pass can be a little scary for a novice driver.
Not a bad little drive. The west side has a few rough bits, but nothing you can't handle with 4x4. Great views.
I wanted to share the following experience we had on Ophir Pass on July 31, 2016. I consider myself an experienced off road driver and have been on many 4X4 trails throughout Colorado. We were visiting Telluride and wanted to go explore Silverton so after some research we decided to take Ophir Pass from the town of Ophir to Silverton (West to East). We were in a 2001 Suburban 4X4 1500 - yes I realize this is not the best off road vehicle but with 4 kids and camping gear in tow, that's the season of life we are in right now. The trail starts out as a simple off road trail past the town of Ophir going through beautiful aspens meadows and wild flower areas. As we approached the 1/2 mile shelf road the trail becomes rocky and narrow. As we were about a few 100 yards on our accent on the shelf road the skies opened up with heavy rain, sleet & hail just as the shelf road quickly narrows with a 2000 feet drop off on the passenger side! We quickly realized taking a wide Suburban on this road was not a good idea. To make matters worse, there was rut with a 2' "hill" on the driver's side with no room to spare on the passenger side. If we went over this the driver's side would have been elevated while the passenger side (the 2000' drop side) would have been lowered with literally only a few inches to spare. We stopped before going over this and decided with all the factors involved (heavy rain, sleet, hail, wide Suburban, etc...) not to continue. At one point, we were concerned the sleet/hail would accumulate on the trial creating an even more dangerous situation. Luckily, it changed to just rain and the accumulation was minimal and melted quickly. We had to back down with very poor visibility about a 100 yards to a very small turn around area all while it was pouring rain - the rail & sleet was rushing down the trail as we were backing up. Ever inch we backed down was terribly frightening. Once we reached the turn around area and after the rain stopped we turned around and headed back to the town of Ophir.
I say all of this to warn those with a wide vehicle. I personally would not recommend driving a Suburban or equivalent on this trail - stick with a jeep or something similar. There just simply is very little room for error on the shelf road with a wider vehicle. It is an absolutely beautiful trail and if you have the right vehicle, are not afraid of heights and can avoid going during a heavy downpour I would highly recommend it.
First time over this pass. Used it as a return to Telluride after going over Imogene early in the morning. The views are spectacular. The narrow shelf section after the peak is tough to pass, will require the descending vehicle to yield and wait where there is room to pass if other vehicles are coming up. Ophir is a neat little town. Will do this again.
Very nice. Road was closed at the peak due to snow. Love the views and will absolutely do it again.
Nice road to take if you want an off-road short cut to Ouray or Silverton from Telluride or vise versa! Having decent clearance and 4WD will make life easier on this trail but any stock SUV can do it, and I was able to do it in 2WD. Near the pass it gets rocky and if you have street tires, you may want to take it easy, you wouldn't want to get a flat. And on most of the trail it is easy to pass but some sections might be hairy, so be cautious. But it's a beautiful little drive and if you're making a loop back to Ouray over Black Bear Pass or Imogene Pass, this is a good trail to take to get back and complete the loop.
A shortcut to Telluride from Silverton - (if you have a 4X4). It's a fairly easy climb to the pass, and the road is somewhat maintained.
Went over Ophir Pass in late September. It was dry, a little narrow and bumpy in a few spots but relatively easy to cross.
If you're traveling from Silverton to Telluride, and have a 4X4, this is the shortest way. (with the exception of Black Bear pass). Awsome scenery, and not that difficult. A short section is narrow, so you need to watch for oncoming vehicles.
We Jeeped from Silverton to Telluride via Ophir Pass Road. The trail in early June was recently plowed and took some great skill by my son Bob to negotiate the ice and snow pack. At times we had to get out and push. Great fun for Rhode Islanders.