Engineer Pass Road

MODERATE 21 reviews

Engineer Pass Road is a 20.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Ouray, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

20.5 miles
1387 feet
Point to Point

dog friendly

kid friendly




nature trips

off road driving

scenic driving




wild flowers


An exciting trail that's great for new and experienced drivers alike. This trail, combined with Cinnamon Pass, constitutes the famous Alpine Loop. It is an exhilarating trip for drivers of all experience levels. There are many mines and points of historical interest along the route. The east side of the trail follows Henson Creek where you'll find excellent places to camp and fish. For current conditions, contact the San Juan Mountains Center in Silverton at 970-387-553 (closed in winter). Most of the route is easy, but there are still a few narrow, steep places on the west side of the pass that will get your attention. This is a very high pass and should not be treated lightly. Don't drive if snow covered. Caution should be used at all times especially in wet weather. Any 4x4 with moderate ground clearance and low-range gearing can do it.

off road driving
5 days ago

off road driving
11 days 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
15 days 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 Black Bear Pass, it's only for the experienced, seriously.

Happy Trails!

off road driving
18 days ago

Question for anyone who has done this. I have a Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon. I have lots of clearance, 35s, lockers....but is there any section of this trail that my width or lack of turning radius will make it impassable? THANKS!

off road driving
19 days ago

off road driving
22 days ago

off road driving
1 month ago

4 months ago

Rode it August 2013, absolutely love it. Going back July 2017!!

off road driving
Thursday, August 04, 2016

Very slow and fairly rough, but it gives you more time to enjoy the pretty surroundings. This trail is getting worse by year.

off road driving
Monday, June 27, 2016

Great trail with great scenery. This is definitely not a trail for the faint of heart but if you have some experience offloading and have the right vehicle this is a great trail to drive. There are some technical parts to the trail but nothing crazy.

off road driving
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Great ride!! Too much fun!! The entire Alpine Loop area is great for riding ATV

off road driving
Friday, July 31, 2015

Great trip over the mountain from Ouray to LakeCity.

off road driving
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Awesome views. Be sure to go out to Point Oh! near Engineer Pass.

cross country skiing
Friday, July 10, 2015

Enjoyed the hike, last 1/4 trail was very rocky on trail above Box Canyon

off road driving
Friday, July 03, 2015

scenic driving
Saturday, April 04, 2015

That was a fun 4 wheel drive road over the top. 1999,Sept. Snow right on the road when going through the pass.

off road driving
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Very beautiful trail, not that challenging at all but this is a good one to do along with Cinnamon Pass as part of the "Alpine Loop". Any stock 4x4 vehicle can do this if they have decent ground clearance. Make sure to go to the "Oh Point" near the pass of the mountain, it is breathtaking. Literally, you are above 13,000 feet, there is no air lol.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jeeped this one as part of the Alpine Loop. First part is somewhat technical, but certainly not all that bad - rocky with some tricky switchbacks. I always recommend people not take stock 4x4 vehicles on these mountain passes; rent a proper Jeep or ATV. But if you think you can do it, don't let me stop you. I just think it's a bad idea. Definitely no passenger cars....that's just plain dumb.

off road driving
Monday, March 05, 2012

We tried the Engineer Pass twice during our week stay in Ouray, but the plow had not completed its work on the other side of the Pass. So we returned via Cinnomon Pass. The Jeeping was awesome, sometimes we had to get out and push. All that snow in June?