Explore the most popular birding trails near Ophir 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
14 hours ago

Ophir Pass was a beautiful trail due to its easy going to moderate terrain. It allowed you to take in the sights - snow capped peaks and valleys. Definitely a must do, but can be challenging once it snows. I felt the sliding of the tires over the snow, and shot my adrenaline up with the steep edge so close most of the way. Would love to do it again in August-September!

off road driving
18 days ago

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

Fun, steep and primitive! Some great times getting lost and bushwhacking up the mountain. Above the treeline is very steep, and there is a short scramble and a little exposure right before the summit. Not for the faint of heart. Car to car took me just over 8 hours (might take 6 if you know EXACTLY where to go/ done it before). Expect to get lost in the woods!

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.

backpacking
1 month ago

A hidden gem in my opinion. Packed in and camped at the top of the lower valley. Had the Canyon to ourselves. As others have said, the trail is not well marked.
For day hike, we scrambled up the drainage and eventually met up with another trail that follows the perimeter. Learned that this trail can be found if you take a right turn on to a single-trek trail off the main road you come in on. The trail was a saving grace after scrambling through the scree field. Be prepared for quick weather changes at this time of the year.
Eventually scrambled to the saddle for a view of Island Lake. All in all, a beautiful Labor Day adventure.

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
2 months ago

easy. beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike. Scramble up the saddle and drop into island and ice lakes.

I may not be socially acceptable with the hikers and mtn bikers but I also ride a trail bike, legal in July and August, on this trail. Huge aspens, views wildlife and a few streams and few miles of road in the middle to cool off. I had a 650 dr dualsport with loaded saddlebags (not recommended) but still made the ride through and really enjoyed it. I checked surfing for the category in hopes they will put a trail bike category in someday.

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.

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.

on Swamp Canyon Trail

hiking
3 months ago

The start of the trail is accurate, and we drove (high clearance 4x4) up to a gate prior to the true trailhead.

Followed what seems to be an old mining/now USFS road all the way up past marshlands (past cairn-designated trail off to the right that shows on this app but is not named) into the basin before realizing we were actually on a local single track trail. Could not find the shown Swamp Canyon trail past this point - The single track turns back toward Ophir Pass and we wanted to go further up the basin to summit the pass and look over to Island Lake. So we bushwhacked up to the point where we ran across the previous cairn-designated trail we’d decided against.

Following this up to the pass, the last mile is loose scree. The scramble up and over the pass is exactly that - take a hard look at it! We spent over an hour getting up and down this short section and while the views are beautiful, it wasn’t exactly safe or designated route. There’s a reason the highlighted Swamp Canyon trail ends well before the summit of the pass!

Overall, beautiful adventure of a morning. Tons of wildflowers, columbine everywhere in the lower meadows, lots of waterfalls and creeks flowing.

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
7 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
10 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

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

The views are terrific, but this hike is not for the faint of heart. It is VERY poorly marked. The first ascent from Ames to the cliff tops is well marked, and the path on the ridge is fine, but in between there is a dense woods and the trail completely vanishes. I got lost both on the way up and the way down and had to forage and follow deer paths for almost an hour each time. GPS would help.
For a day trip, park at the electric power plant in Ames (very historical) and follow the road up along the creek until you get to a foot bridge over the creek. The trail begins at an unmarked gate on the other side of the bridge.
Dense brush waist high that you have to push through, for most of the low-altitude trail.

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.
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off road driving
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spectacular San Juan Mt. Jeep trail.

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