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

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hiking
24 days ago

Great trail, whether you start at the top and head down to the dunes, or start from the dunes and head up. Includes canyon, alpine aspen forest, and open meadow. The earlier or later you get there, the more wildlife you'll see. Bears and mule deer are usually gone by 10am, and don't get back out until later in the evening. Evening shadows on the dunes are incredible photo ops, from 1/4 to halfway up the trail. Take in the history, knowing that this was a pass used by the Native Ute, cattle drivers and stagecoaches. There's even an old Model T rusting down by the creek. Best hiked in the spring or fall, but even during the summer there's shade here and there. But bring plenty of water. Mosca Creek may have water running, but it's not safe to drink, and if you have a filter, it's not easy to get to for a majority of the trail.

stick time in 2008 jeep jk sport with 2018 rubicon wheels and tires minamal. off road experienced only. stock jeep WITH large tires made it no problem. NOT for faint of heart but completely navigable with patience and good equipment. Steps is only technical portion. you will know when u reach them. weather comes out of nowhere. worth the trip and understandable why it's on jeeps badge of honor trail list.

off road driving
2 months ago

Fantastic off roading experience. Snow and rain made it a bit slippery and had to take it real slow but crazy beautiful views.

off road driving
2 months ago

Always a fun trail. It is fun to go down and drive into such a scenic area. The problem with this trail is the idiots who think they are cool or something and take their dads Rav4 down. It clogs up the trail and is moronic. T-case and transmission are your friend on this one.

off road driving
2 months ago

Great little trail. Not too difficult at all. We took it on a very rainy and overcast day. It made the ascent a little harder than most days, but that’s what made it fun. The switchbacks going up were a blast.

off road driving
2 months ago

Another trail off my bucket list

off road driving
2 months ago

Amazing views, one challenging section. Lots of fun!!

off road driving
2 months ago

Great trail

hiking
3 months ago

When you reach the end of the trail, don't stop. The view east is a bit further along. Follow the dirt road and stay to the right up the hill, maybe 1/4 mile further. You will be rewarded with a view of the valley beyond. Enjoyed the hike very much.

Good trail with pretty awesome views!

little water this time of year. late August.

I didn't hike the full trail, but it is somewhat shielded from elements, has a beautiful view of the dunes, and was overall very enjoyable

on Corkscrew Gulch

off road driving
4 months ago

Did this as a 4x4 tour. Lots of fun, want to come back and drive it myself.

off road driving
4 months ago

Pretty intense trail. Was doing great until we hit the steps, scraped the side of the truck a bit. All in all well worth it!

Made this trek in my 2012 Nissan Titan crew cab, pretty much stock with slightly oversized tires

off road driving
4 months ago

Cruises up the first chunk to the bathrooms. Amazing views, not too crowded. All types of vehicles including a mountain biker crushing it uphill. Understandable why this is a popular trail. Continued to California Gulch onto animus forks. It got pretty busy after that.

One of the top trails in Colorado

great views easy drive didn't do poncha creek

I actually drove Medano Pass in Chevrolet Suburban 12 years ago. the sand dune portion was tricky in that vehicle. Looking forward to driving it in a RZR.

off road driving
4 months ago

off road driving
4 months ago

Hands down my favorite trail in the area. It is difficult, and you should be an experienced off road driver, but its not completely insane or anything. We did it in a (brand new) stock TRD Pro 4 runner, and I scraped the drivers nerf bar a couple times, but that was the only thing that touched.

The climb up is moderately difficult at most, the only thing i would consider an "obstacle" is the waterfall at the summit, which is a fun little climb, but you can bypass it, we made it up with no contact or wheel spin.

The summit is amazing as it opens up and there is plenty of room for parking, picnicking, etc. The views are absolutely stunning and might be my favorite point in Colorado. (See the photos from my drone in the photo section)

The descent starts out moderate, with a drop off on you left, but the trail is still decently wide (relative term), just pay attention and there won't be any issue.

The steps are a bit tricky to navigate, and you may pull a wheel off the ground depending on your line choice, but the risk of catastrophe is relatively low as long you're paying attention.

The road is very narrow past the steps and is basically a rock shelf at points, with a drop off on your left and a rock wall on the right. Its not terribly challenging, but it may get to the nerves of some, This is where the trail gets its fame as the descent into Telluride starts, the road is narrow, rocky, and shows you a 1000' drop at points, but again, its just your nerves that get to you, its really not super challenging. The switchbacks are tight, but have room for a 3+ point turn depending on how close to the edge you're comfortable getting.

As i said, we did it in a Stock TRD Pro 4 runner, but i never even locked the rear end, just used 4L over the majority of the pass, and mostly for engine braking purposes. Other vehicles seen that day that did the whole trail were an Unlimited Jeep JK (Duh), A Crew Cab Tundra, A GMC Suburban, and another Identical 4 runner to ours. Shorter is definitely better, but anything shorter than a full size crew cab pickup (F-250 etc) with a decent amount of ground clearance will make it, anything longer than a crew cab, short bed, half ton pickup would have hell, and even those will need a bit of lift and 33's or so. Longer vehicles will most likely drag bottom or rocker panels in a few spots, so use that info as you will! Enjoy!

Very scenic trail for off-roading purposes. You occasionally run into a hiker or mountain-biker, but for the most part, it’s all 4x4’s. The views are spectacular throughout the trail but the best views are when you come down the waterfall. To all those wielding a camera and shooting in daylight hours, jump (at your own risk) across the waterfall and get a shot of your vehicles coming down. The switchbacks are technical but not overwhelming. We were in a long bed company truck and successfully maneuvered the turns with little effort.
Happy trails!

off road driving
5 months ago

I decided to drive to Telluride, Colorado from Purgatory Resort. I found a short cut and found this amazing trail (Black Bear Pass). Of course, I did my research before going. I read some reviews on how technical and dangerous it can be. To be honest, it was fun and not as bad as it looks. As long as you are paying full attention, focused, and staying within your limits you will be ok. My wife was a great spotter to make sure I did not fall off the cliff on those tight switchbacks. This is the most scenic and beautiful off-road trail I have ever been to. It may be short but seems like a lifetime of amazing views. I would highly recommend this trail.

off road driving
5 months ago

This is a sketchy trail. Incredible though. Not a super difficult drive but if you make a mistake in the wrong area it could be your last. I did it in the rain and that added to the sketchiness. The worst part was the steps... just take it slow and you’ll be fine. I would recommend airing down and taking it super slow. A spotter helps but is not a must. Took us about 3 hours. Gorgeous views all over the trail. Did it in a 2017 Tacoma with a 2 inch lift and wrangler duratrac tires.

hiking
8 months ago

Just went on this trail this morning! It was a decent hike but very anticlimactic ending. We took the nature loop on our way back down, which adds hardly any milage, and that was probably the best part of the whole trail. Coolviews of the dunes on this end.

Fantastic hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful spring hike! It’s a long hike to the end, but the views throughout were awesome! We saw big horn sheep and a followed the creek throughout. Afterwards we hit the dunes. Made for a great day.

walking
10 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.

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