Explore the most popular scenic driving trails in San Juan National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

off road driving
20 hours ago

Great easy off-road trail. 1 downed tree that was easy to pass under in my wrangler. Stopped about half a mile to the lake due to snow about 3 feet deep covering the remainder of the road. Hiked to the lake and it is currently completely frozen over. Few washouts on the trail at the start of each switchback you will have to straddle to get up in a vehicle. 4 wheel drive recommended but wasn’t needed in the Jeep. Medium clearance would be my suggestion. Plenty of rocks in the road but only had to move one to make it with no scrapes.

Went up the trail 5/14/2018 during a perfect sunny warm day. The spring of 2018 was extremely dry so the climb up was overall pretty easy and dry. Came across a few down trees during the climb but our Land Rover Discovery fit under them with a few inches to spare. I assume the trail isn’t cleared very often. As we approached the summit we came across some drifted snow which blocked the trail as well as a fair amount of 1-3’ rocks that had fallen on the trail so we hike the last section up to the falls. Beautiful scenery and long range views. Great trail but as you reach the summit the trail narrows however there a several places to pull off on the way up. Passed only one other truck on the climb. Had a great time, great trail.

230 miles of Pure beauty. Start early, as you will want to stop for many pictures and a lunch, weather a picnic or stopping at an eatery. I highly recommend Baked in Telluride. All homemade and very reasonably priced.

off road driving
2 months ago

I have done this trail several times, I live near Chicago and drive to CA every year for business. Every year I do some trails in route and Ophir, usually my first of the season. It is a good road for me to get my off road juices flowing for the rest of the trip, it is easy, scenic & fun.

3 months ago

I saw beautiful nature during Autunm season! Very beautiful!

off road driving
5 months ago

Fun jeep trail. Not technical but the drop offs can be intimidating for people who aren't used it.

off road driving
6 months ago

One of our favorite trails while we were in the silverton area! Beautiful lake!

scenic driving
6 months ago

On our July vacation drive from Mesa Verde to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, we made the difficult decision to take the western side of the San Juan Skyway (so we could stop in Telluride), bypassing the Million Dollar Highway section. We were not disappointed in the least though...with continuously spectacular views and numerous mountain peaks, including fourteeners El Diente Peak, Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak and Mount Sneffels, plus the uniquely shaped 13,113 foot Lizard Head Peak. And the panorama just before the spur road into Telluride is gorgeous. It reminded me of pictures that I have seen of the Swiss Alps. At some point, we definitely need to make it back to complete the loop!

scenic driving
7 months ago

The most iconic to me were Silverton, Ouray, a little past Ridgeway and that turn before Telluride. Molas Pass is also great. Everything is Gorgeous as always. Just about any car would do the job. If you aren’t from the area and are afraid of heights... this will become a bit challenging.

off road driving
7 months ago

Very nice view when you reach the top. It's a slow drive with narrow parts, and many switch backs, but well worth the trip.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trailhead with map. Pretty area but trails not marked at all! Great vista!!

off road driving
8 months ago

Beautiful drive up the mountain. The view is breath taking all the way up!

off road driving
8 months ago

Beautiful trail!

hiking
8 months ago

If we didn't have All Trails we would have gotten lost. Not well marked! Other than that, beautiful trail with incredible vistas!

off road driving
8 months ago

We took our stock 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sahara through this pass. We had just enough clearance for the moderate portion of this trail and used four-low in this area (shale). This was a good trail and we enjoyed the trip.

off road driving
9 months ago

amazing views and easy drive from Silverton to Ophir.. watch for vehicles coming up Ophir on the long narrow road on the west side of the pass for there is little to no room for vehicles to pass! worth the drive for sure!

off road driving
10 months ago

Beautiful scenery and wildflowers. Quite cold at the crystal clear lake. Easy in-and-out road.

off road driving
10 months ago

amazing views! easy trail to drive and can be done in 2wheel drive all the way up. Will deff do it again but hopefully the sun will shine next time. . cold wind blows off that lake!

off road driving
10 months ago

very easy but very hard on tires. We went from Ophir to Silverton. I would not try that direction without a real four drive with low range. I used my low range and was glad I had it and several places I could feel the four wheel drive digging in to get taction on the loose rock. Lots of one lane but everyone was supper respective and took their turn. Fantastic views.

off road driving
10 months ago

I've been over Ophir Pass a few times, always a nice drive. My brother followed us once over this and he did it in his 2 wheel drive truck. So not a real tough road. The drop down towards Ophir from the pass goes over a pretty steep stretch of talus though. Definitely have to be sure no one is coming up from that side before you start down. Very scenic drive. I've only driven it from Silverton to Ophir, never the other way. yet.

off road driving
10 months ago

I am glad I didn't read any reviews of this drive before I went because I likely would not have driven it.

My girlfriends and I drove my 2010 Subaru Forester from Silverton to Telluride via Ophir Pass last Labor Day (2016). The drive up from Silverton was not only gorgeous, but had more structure. It was more of a dirt road. The drive down to Telluride after going through the pass, was straight rocks. My girlfriends were worried about my tires, I was worried about my breaks. We made it, and now jokingly discuss the experience as if I was trying to murder us. Seriously, I know the locals drive the pass frequently, but you HAVE to have 4 wheel drive and decent tires. We had zero weather issues besides it being a bit windy at the top. So all-in-all we picked a good weekend to do it.

Keep the car in low gear, have some decent tires, drive slow, and enjoy the experience. That is what I would call it, an experience.

10 months ago

Parts were very extreme and snow still present in early July. I was worried about the length of my truck (tundra crew max) but all went well. I believe 4x4 low is a must.

scenic driving
10 months ago

off road driving
10 months ago

This was so much fun. We rented the Jeep from Colorado 145. Great jeep, great maps.

The scenery was absolutely gorgeous!

11 months ago

Relatively easy Trail some Steep and narrow spots. We did it in a stock all wheel drive vehicle in June relatively easy beautiful views.
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scenic driving
Friday, May 12, 2017

From Mesa Verde, we drove 57 miles to Durango, a neat little town and then traveled the beautiful San Juan Skyway and Million Dollar Hwy two and a half hours north and 110 miles to Montrose. The mountains were beautiful, green with aspens and firs, with blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Here were the largest mountain ranges in Rockies…Known in some circles as the most beautiful drive in America – it ranks up there with the Beartooth Hwy and Trail Ridge Road. Leaving Durango, the first major site is Trimble Hot Springs at milepost 30. Although we didn’t see it, hot sulfur water is supposed to simmer along the road… Then the route climbed 4000 ft to Coal Bank Pass- Some people detour to Alpine Slide at Purgatory (Durango Mtn. Resort) at MP 48 while others veer off on Lime Creek Rd MP 51 to see the aspen. We stopped at beautiful Andrews Lake just before the Molas Pass, with gorgeous views of the Rockies and a great picnic area among the fresh smell of fir trees. It was a nice stop – people were fishing the lake and picnicking on a knoll nearby. At MP 63 was Molas Pass (10,910 ft). This was one of the most beautiful spots on the trip, with a wide expanse of space, green meadows, fir trees, mountains and Little Molas Lake to the north. This air claims to be the cleanest in America so we took a deep breath…we could see CO’s largest wilderness (Weiminuche), and a glimpse of the CO Trail (500 mile footpath connecting Durango to Denver). Although we didn’t stop, Little Molas Lake is accessed from gravel rd. on the Hwy’s west (left) side ½ mile north of the Pass. Next came Silverton, a small mining town and the “million-dollar” highway section 23 miles from Silverton to Ouray, a beautiful drive winding along the iron stained (where Red Mtns get their name) Red Mtn skyway and cresting at 11,075 ft at Red Mtn Pass (highest paved pass in the San Juan Mtns.) then descending to awesome Uncompajgre Gorge. The Red Mountains were a beautiful contrast with the green aspens, blue sky and white clouds. We slowed down at MP 90 where Bear Creek Falls plummets 227 ft to canyon below. In quaint Ouray, we passed on walking to Box Canyon Falls at MP92 near the Box Canyon Motel South of Ouray off 550. We could have taken a left onto a gravel road (for a small fee), and seen views beneath the falls, or climbed to a steel bridge spanning the gap above the falls or taken a steep rocky trail to the top. The Uncompahgre River tumbles 285 feet through--not over, through--a cliff - the trail to the bottom of the falls is easy; to the top it is moderate to strenuous. After leaving Ouray the skyway opened wide with lots of valleys and into Ridgway. At Ridgway, we spontaneously took a left at Junction 550 and 62 toward Telluride – a 76 mile RT side trip - the Ralph Lauren ranch (with its white split rail fence) and Mt. Sneffels at 14,150 ft dominated the view at a scenic pullout at MP 14. Telluride was awesome, took the gondola up and did a couple of hikes, then stopped in the gift shop, and headed on up to Montrose as the sun was setting. Absolutely beautiful drive!

off road driving
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spectacular San Juan Mt. Jeep trail.

scenic driving
Saturday, April 08, 2017

My favorite travelling partner (my wife) and I did this road in 2015. It has some really nasty spots, but our Expedition handled them. I figured we would bottom out a few times but never did. This is a 4 x 4 road!!! The views from the high point on this road are worth the gnarly sections for sure. We dropped down into Placer Gulch, but headed towards California Pass and back to Silverton that way. That was an awesome day trip through some of the best of the San Juan's. If you have the time and a good 4 wheeler, this is an excellent jeep road to check out.

hiking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Just hiked to the first basin and a little up the trail.Along hike for me,maybe nest time to the lake.

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