Ophir Pass Road

MODERATE 53 reviews
#16 of 99 trails in

Ophir Pass Road is a 9.8 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Ophir, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,794 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dog friendly

birding

nature trips

off road driving

scenic driving

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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.

off road driving
12 days ago

Fun trail. Different look than the rest of the others in the area.

off road driving
1 month ago

Great trail. We did it East to West which meant that we went downhill on the West side of the summit and the rocky road. Had our 4x4 Tacoma in 4Lo and 1st gear crawling down the rocky slopes - no problem. Very nice views and spots for photos.

off road driving
1 month ago

The views are incredible here. I did west to east.

On my way up 2 people had popped tires going east to west so I suggest driving slow! The first few miles were steep and knuckle clenching on the shelf. Basically climbing over large rocks. I have a 4x4 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and we bottomed a few times and had to almost gun it to get out in a spot. I’ll post pics once back.

Once you pass the top you’re out of the rock scrambling, and as another user mentioned is minivan worthy.

off road driving
1 month ago

Such an amazing drive over the San Juan mountains. I recommend going from Ophir to the Million Dollar Highway because climbing the rocks is much easier than braking down the whole pass.

off road driving
1 month ago

easy. beautiful.

off road driving
2 months ago

Went west to east. There's a bit of climbing early on then it gets extremely narrow, steep, and you're bouncing over relatively large rocks. I was carrying a lot of extra weight with camping gear in my 4runner so that climb was a slow, steady pace. After you get over the pass you're quickly on an easy minivan road.

off road driving
2 months ago

off road driving
3 months ago

Nice trail. Beautiful views and easy drive. Bring a camera.

3 months ago

Enjoyed this trail! Beautiful and felt comfortable the entire time!

off road driving
3 months ago

Drove this pass 4th of July, went over to Silverton from Telluride and back. Great trip! There are very large and pointy rocks on the shelf in several spots, so I was pretty concerned about my tires. My rig handled it fine though. I drive an all wheel drive Yukon. Beautiful photo ops.

off road driving
4 months ago

Trail open for the season. As others mentioned not to technical but driving a skinny rocky trail and meeting oncoming traffic can be intimidating for novice drivers and passengers

off road driving
6 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.

off road driving
9 months ago

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

off road driving
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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
Saturday, July 29, 2017

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
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

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
Saturday, July 15, 2017

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
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

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.

off road driving
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

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

The scenery was absolutely gorgeous!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Relatively easy Trail some Steep and narrow spots. We did it in a stock all wheel drive vehicle in June relatively easy beautiful views.
.

off road driving
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spectacular San Juan Mt. Jeep trail.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Took Ophir Pass in August of 2011, the quickest way from Ouray to Telluride and back (I think). Beautiful weather at the time and the pass is a pretty easy ride. The ride was good and the scenery was amazing. Not much traffic, the shelf road was the most exciting part of the pass. I would recommend it to anyone in the area.

off road driving
Monday, October 17, 2016

Not a bad little drive. The west side has a few rough bits, but nothing you can't handle with 4x4. Great views.

off road driving
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

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.

off road driving
Friday, July 08, 2016

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.

off road driving
Sunday, June 12, 2016

Very nice. Road was closed at the peak due to snow. Love the views and will absolutely do it again.

off road driving
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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.

off road driving
Thursday, April 25, 2013

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.

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