Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

11 days 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
14 days 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
20 days ago

off road driving
1 month ago

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

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

off road driving
1 month 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.

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
2 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
4 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
7 months ago

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

off road driving
11 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.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Heading out of Silverton, take Forest Road 679 for 4 miles to Ophir Pass. The road is unpaved and narrow and a little hairy in places, but then I don't have a great head for heights. We parked the car a mile from the pass (there is a small track that forks to the left and room for a couple of cars to park there) and hiked to the top. The views along this track are extraordinary - we were fortunate to have sunshine and clear skies. The wild flowers were amazing and we heard and saw pica. Now I have to admit we did not make it to Crystal Lake. The scramble up scree from the pass was beyond our capabilities - I would certainly not view this as a moderate hike... quite challenging due to the terrain and steepness, albeit quite short. We gave up a quarter of the way up and scrambled down. I would recommend this hike based on the views leading up to the pass and cannot comment on Crystal Lake itself.

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

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.

off road driving
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spectacular San Juan Mt. Jeep trail.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

This is a scramble up the talus slopes that are found up on Ophir Pass. The trail is fairly easy to pick out at the pass, on the south side of the road, but it can be hard to find when you are ready to head back down. It is a short little jaunt to this pretty high country lake. The hike is on loose talus the whole way. I'd like to return some day when it's sunny as the day I was there it was overcast and drizzling.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

I hiked to Columbine Lake by going over Oscars pass from the Ophir side. Super steep up to Oscars Pass, then down the other side into Bridal Veil basin. You leave the old road/trail shortly after going over the pass, and follow a use trail down to the basin and make a cross country trek towards Lewis Lake. Once around the lake, there is another faint trail that ascends to Columbine Pass. From the pass, Columbine Lakes incredible blue color can be seen. A short hike cross country from this pass brings you down to the lake. On the way back, I chose the opposite side of Lewis Lake just to mix it up. The views are stunning on this route. It took me just over 2 hours from my truck to the top of Oscars Pass. My Garmin read 2.45 miles, and 2,740' of gain. Then about another half hour to get to Lewis Lake and just about 4 miles. Then another 10-15 minutes and I was on top of Columbine Pass. 4.6 miles total to here. It was right about 5 hours to Columbine Lake from my truck, but I was in no hurry either. 5.4 miles per my Garmin. A good mix of steep and then mellow hiking.

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.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hike it; don't bike it. Hardest mountain bike ride I've ever been on. Spent 80% of the time pushing the bike. Trail conditions were extremely muddy and rooted.

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.

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