Explore Black Bear Trip - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Black Bear Trip Map
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walking
2 months ago

Very scenic, with tight switchbacks. I've driven Black Bear several times. Yes, you must aware of your surroundings, but you don't need to air down or need a spotter. Your on a Mountain made of rock and can't get stuck, unless mechanically deficient.

Bring a camera and a lunch. Bridal Falls is a must! You drive past it toward the end. Enjoy the scenic views and bask in the beauty of Colorado! I've done Hole in the Rock in Utah. There you must air down. Very steep crevices.

off road driving
4 months ago

Fairly easy trail but one of our favorites in the area. We did it in a stock jeep unlimited sport with no problems. Great views. Passes by the waterfall they use in the Coors commercials.

Did this hike on December 16, 2017 during a month lacking normal snowfall. Although there wasn't much snow on the road leading up to Bridal Veil Falls, we weren't able to drive all the way up to Bridal Veil Faills. We had a 4WD vehicle but didn't want to attempt it with the icy sections (and we're glad we didn't). We hiked two miles up to Bridal Veil Falls and continued on to Blue Lake.

There were plenty of areas completely void of snow on the trail, but as we got higher, the icy sections increased. Microspikes were very helpful, but my husband did the entire hike without them. The trail was steep the entire way, but easy to navigate until about two miles in.

When the ground became covered in snow, we just continued to follow tracks that apparently follow Bridal Veil Creek up to Lewis Lake. We followed this incorrect trail until we reached a high point and thought we would run into the lake and there was nothing but an icy basin (not very scenic in the winter and we never reached Lewis Lake, which was even further past the steep section we hiked).

We turned around and eventually saw that we missed the sharp left turn on the trail because there were no other tracks on the trail. This turn off was probably somewhere around mile 2, but we have no idea for sure.

We continued on the correct trail up to Blue Lake and this last mile or so up to the lake was very steep and icy. The lake was gorgeous and icy, but after getting lost, we didn't have time to hang out before racing back down before sunset. I get the sense that this hike would be much prettier and scenic in the summer when the creek isn't icy and the trail isn't buried in patches of snow, but the winter hike was alright, too.

worth the hike! beautiful

off road driving
4 months ago

Great pass

off road driving
4 months ago

Great trail lots to see not very hard, some off angle places that want to take it slow, I almost rolled my Jeep due to my own ignorance of playing around

Great trail, awesome views and not as hard as people make it out to be if you pay attention to the trail

beautiful views of red mountain

off road driving
6 months ago

Gorgeous scenery. Easy for high clearance Jeep.loved it.

off road driving
6 months ago

Beautiful Jeep road, and I mean BEAUTIFUL! Not super difficult but a couple parts might get you if you have a fear of steep drop offs. We have done all the trails around Ouray and this is our favorite. Make time to sit by Lake Como and take it all in!

off road driving
6 months ago

Heavy 1 ft snow at the top
Too difficult for a stock
Had to return from just .5 miles from the top
Will be back for sure

off road driving
7 months ago

Beautiful views but you need to be a confident off roader without a fear of heights. Tight steep switchbacks are tricky.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful lake with tons of wildflowers, marmots and old mining equipment. Definitely worth the hike up - I recommend driving to the base of bridal veil for the hike - otherwise it'd be a tad long.

on American Basin Trail

off road driving
7 months ago

We rented a Jeep in Silverton and drove over Cinnamon Pass to American Basin arriving around 11:30 AM. We spent some time walking the trail to the south, taking lots of pictures of mountains and wildflowers. We were in a monsoon weather pattern so our time here was cut short by rain, but it was well worth the journey. The flowers were amazing, expecially the Columbine. There were quite a few people here on July 21, 2017. I'd love to come back and spend some time in this photographer's paradise.

A little creepy in the dark! We drove up at 5am in an Acura sedan, made it just fine!

off road driving
7 months ago

7 months ago

A lot of scramble. Need to be in good shape.

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off road driving
8 months ago

Had a great trip and amazing scenery. Took the Jeep all the way to the top with no problems. Beautiful trail with Twin Falls and many other sights along the way.

off road driving
8 months ago

We took this pass two years ago the day after it opened. It was a blast. We rented a keep for that trip. We are back this year and might do this one again on our Polaris. We are for sure doing engineer pass this time also.

off road driving
8 months ago

WOW!

off road driving
8 months ago

Didn't finish the whole trail because we kept taking the tangents. Gorgeous scenery and some snow in July at the top. Did it in a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 with Off Roading tires and a HEMI. We had one little iffy on a rocky area but we took it slow and didn't have any problems. Cheers!

off road driving
8 months ago

If you make one wrong move it's over. Don't kid yourself. Don't think owning cool equipment can make up the difference. The 'Steps'... you will slip left toward the creek some 20 feet ish below the ledge. This is your first wake up moment. It's gonna get real or more real. Don't begin any of this without airing down first. From here to the falls is seriously for people who have experience only. Given all this, if you still feel this is for you, then proceed lol. Stay safe.

off road driving
8 months ago

This IS the place for taking pictures. We will go back with that in mind. We prefer the Ouray to Yankee Boy to Imogene to Telluride route. Late lunch in Telluride. Then your preference back.

off road driving
8 months ago

There's a few spots on the west side of the pass that are challenging but doable in just about any 4x4 especially if you do this side going down. Honestly, I think an expert driver might be able to do this whole trail in 2 wheel drive if done East to West and in a short wheelbase vehicle so they didn't have to use reverse. The miles and miles of views both horizontally and vertically from both the pass and Oh Point are more than worth the drive.

off road driving
8 months ago

This is a great "first trail" when starting a week in the area. On the west side, just after starting the trail, the steep rocky part begins. If you don't have low range or 4x4, this part will be difficult to very difficult. After this section, we took the Jeep out of 4x4 completely and didn't put it back in 4x4 until we were a long way back on Engineer. East of the pass is very easy.

off road driving
8 months ago

It's a beautiful drive with lots of waterfalls, nothing to difficult for stock 4x4's, some tricky switchbacks that may need a spotter and a few tight shelf roads but lots of areas for passing. Enjoyable.

Matthew, I think you could do this since you have plenty of clearance.

If you want something challenging....do Black Bear Pass, it's only for the experienced, seriously.

Happy Trails!

off road driving
8 months ago

We took 550 from Ouray at the bottom we air down to half the tires capacity to grip and smooth the ride. From the beginning this is a moderate trail with many switchbacks but enough room to pass by others from the opposite direction. Then you will come up to an area with signage saying from here on it is a one way road, so from there on you are committed to it. Check the weather before going if you are serious otherwise you could spend a lot of time waiting for it to clear! Next, the moderate trail narrows and you will come to a fork in the road, if you take the right fork the road will become a rocky and lead to a 4 foot steep rock stepped waterfall that you have to climb over....we did fine in our stock 4 door jeep rubicon although you could get into trouble depending on your approach. The safe way is to take the left fork which is an easy loop around the obstacle both connect and go to black bear pass.

At the summit it flattens out with plenty of parking....so you can take your time and take in the beautiful scenery! The road continues moderate for a few miles until you see Telluride down in the valley at this point the trail becomes difficult. Look for the old cables in the air across the trail this signals the start of "the steps". The trail narrows and this area has a canyon to the left with jagged slate rocks to your right, also the trail drops down at a 45 degree angle and tilts towards the drop off. The trail is huge steps of slate, you must go slow and it will push the capacity of stock 4x4, 4wd low with downhill assist and disconnected sway bar is highly recommended!! If you don't have downhill assist put your emergency brake on about 3 clicks!! After surviving the steps the switchbacks begin, the first switchback is the hardest and a spotter is suggested, but you must back up to make the turns on several of them, each of the switchbacks are fairly tight but they get easier as you go. Once you reach bridal falls the road is no longer one way and you will meet local traffic of vehicles, ATV's, motorcycles and hikers. The trail takes right into Telluride!!

Happy trails.....we experienced rain and hail on our trek doing this trail!!

Ps....the closest gas station we found to add air up our tires was a mile and half north of Telluride!

off road driving
8 months ago

Epic scenery and a road that will keep you honest. The connections to Animas Forks and Gladstone, which in turn get you to Silverton add immeasurable opportunities to sightsee and really appreciate Mother Nature at its finest!

off road driving
8 months ago

Epic scenery and a road that will keep you honest. The connections to Animas Forks and Gladstone, which in turn get you to Silverton add immeasurable opportunities to sightsee and really appreciate Mother Nature at its finest!

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