June 12, 2024
Red Mountain CO Photo by D.Saparow (Black Bear Pass Area)

Red Mountain CO Photo by D.Saparow 750

Welcome to Black Bear Pass, one of Colorado's most scenic and dangerous roads. This guide provides comprehensive information on the road conditions, and tips for driving safely.

Black Bear Pass – The Most Scenic AND DANGEROUS ROAD IN Colorado

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What is Black Bear Pass?

Black Bear Pass is the most scenic and dangerous road in Colorado. The Black Bear Pass is known for its tight switchbacks, dramatic landscapes, narrow passageways, and “The Steps”. The Steps are a particularly difficult part of the Black Bear Pass that many people find intimidating.

There`s a famous sign at the start of the Jeep trail that reads:

TELLURIDE – CITY OF GOLD

12 MILES – 2 HOURS

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE CRAZY TO DRIVE THIS ROAD – BUT IT HELPS

~JEEPS ONLY~

Black Bear Pass: The History

Black Bear Pass is a well-known off-road trail in North America. The Jeep trail starts from the 11,018 ft. summit of Red Mountain Pass and continues into Telluride.

The pass is located between adjoining peaks Trico Peak, T10 Peak, and Three Needles Peak, and is known for its dangerous cliffs. Every year there are accidents on Black Bear Pass, and because of the cliffs and tight switchbacks, the potential for fatalities is high.

  1. It is only suitable for experienced off-road drivers and vehicles with 4WD.
  2. The trail provides great views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular spot for hiking and skiing.
  3. The weekends are busiest in Black Bear Pass so it’s best to go on a weekday.
  4. The trail is open from July 15 – September 15.

The Legend: Black Bear Pass Death Toll

1. Black Bear Pass is a well-known off-road trail connecting Red Mountain Pass and Telluride, known for its 12,840-foot summit and tight, cliffside switchbacks

Black Bear Pass is known for its treacherous and dangerous roads. The winding mountain pass has led to a high number of accidents and fatalities over the years. The popularity of Jeep trips through the area has only made things worse, as drivers often underestimate the road’s dangers. Recently, the San Miguel County Sheriff’s office has closed the trail a few times a year, as they fear that another accident might be inevitable. In 2015, there was a discussion about permanently closing the trail after one of that year’s accidents.

2. The trail is treacherous, and has been the site of many accidents and fatalities over the years

The trail is particularly dangerous due to its popularity and the fact that drivers often attempt to cross it in a hurry. In 2015, there was discussion about closing the trail permanently after an accident. In 2020, disaster struck near this part of the trail again, emphasizing how dangerous it can be. Please be careful if you choose to drive on this trail!

Black Bear Pass – Hardest Trail in Colorado? – Full Trail Review – Blown Sidewall at The Steps

Watch on YouTube | Channel: Michael Tran

If you are thinking of taking this trail on, watch this video!

3. In recent years, the trail has been the subject of increased scrutiny, with some calling for it to be closed due to the dangers it poses

Due to the increasing popularity of Jeep trips on Black Bear Pass Road, the trail has been subject to increased scrutiny in recent years. This is due to the dangers posed by the trail, which has caused a number of accidents and fatalities.

The trail is extremely popular, causing long lines and congestion. The steps and switchback section of the trail are particularly dangerous, due to the high number of accidents there.

4. Despite the dangers, Black Bear Pass remains a popular destination for off-roaders and adventure seekers alike

Black Bear Pass is a popular off-road destination, but it is also one of the deadliest in the world. The pass is dangerous due to weather conditions and road conditions. You need to be prepared for the pass and know what to do if something goes wrong.

Black Bear Pass-Red Mountain CO 3 Photo by D.Saparow
Red Mountain CO 3 Photo by D.Saparow

What Makes Black Bear Pass the Most Dangerous Road in Colorado?

1. The tight, cliffside switchbacks are treacherous and have been the site of many accidents.

The Black Bear Pass is a dangerous place to drive. The trail is easy to follow, but drivers must be aware of potential danger. It’s important to stay on the trail and not go off-trail. Pay attention to the obstacles you are driving through and plan your descents accordingly. Rough terrain can quickly make you tipsy. Be careful on shelf roads – they can be treacherous.

Black Bear Pass is one of the most dangerous roads in the San Juan Mountains. It has steep, technical rock steps and a one-way layout. The danger of Black Bear Pass comes from its narrow switchbacks and steep elevation changes. Black Bear Pass is a dangerous area to be in.

2. There are no guardrails or barriers along the edge of the road, so one wrong move could send you tumbling down the mountainside

Black Bear Pass is a dangerous road and can be closed for off-trail driving. The sign warns drivers about the dangers ahead and provides instructions on how to safely navigate the pass. Be careful on the shelf roads – they can be tricky and dangerous.

3. What is the best time of year to drive Black Bear Pass?

The Black Bear Pass is a dangerous and narrow road that is only open for a short period of time in the summer. The best time to drive the Black Bear Pass is during the morning or early afternoon, when the weather is less unpredictable. The road is only open from July to early fall, and the peak elevation is at Black Bear Pass. The Black Bear Pass Steps are an intimidating drive due to the steep cliff drop and narrow trail.

4. The road is often covered in snow and ice, making it even more dangerous

The Black Bear Pass is only open for a few months each year. You need a 4WD to drive it and prepare for the conditions. Black Bear Pass is dangerous because of the snow and the fact that the road may not be cleared. The pass can be closed at any time due to weather conditions, and avalanches and landslides are a common hazard.

5. Black Bear Pass: The Weather

The pass can be closed due to snow, so it’s important to check the San Miguel County website for updates. The pass can also be closed due to wet weather and avalanches. It is best to check with the Ranger station the day you want to go up the pass in case it is closed for any reason. The San Juan Mountains can have sudden changes in weather, so it’s best to drive Black Bear Pass early in the morning.

6. What is the length of Black Bear Pass?

The Black Bear Pass is a narrow and dangerous one way Jeep trail that is only accessible by 4×4 vehicles. The trail is 2 miles long and takes 3 hours to drive from the highway to the trailhead. The difficulty of the trail depends on experience and weather conditions, but can be rated at 4-8 on a 1-10 scale. The pass is open late July to October/November and provides access to Telluride, Ouray, and Silverton. Camping and fires are not allowed in the vicinity of Black Bear Pass.

7. The high altitude of the pass makes it difficult to breathe for many people.

Black Bear Pass is a dangerous road because of its high altitude. Many people have difficulty breathing at high altitudes, which can be dangerous. Additionally, the terrain is difficult, and cold weather gear is essential for anyone planning to drive on the pass.

Red Mountain CO 4 Photo by D.Saparow
Red Mountain CO (Photo by D.Saparow)

How Can You Safely Drive on Black Bear Pass?

Step 1: Get a copy of the GPS Data Card Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails

The GPS Data Card Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails is a helpful resource that provides detailed instructions on how to safely drive on Black Bear Pass. The trail is 12 miles long, has an Advanced Rating System, and a Technical Rating. There are high water crossings that require caution when crossing, as well as deep sand, mud, and striping on the surface of the trail caused by rain or snowmelt.

Step 2: What are the road conditions on Black Bear Pass?

The trail starts from the summit of Red Mountain Pass and continues into Telluride. The peak elevation of Black Bear Pass is 12,840 ft and it is located between adjoining peaks Trico Peak (13,327 ft), T10 Peak (13,477 ft), and Three Needles Peak (13,487 ft). Black Bear Pass is known for its incredibly tight switchbacks, dramatic landscapes, narrow passageways and even more so for its “The Steps” section.

The Steps are considered to be intimidating because of the sharp corner, sheer cliff drop and hard jagged rock edge. Because the road conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly, it’s important to check the Ranger station the day you want to go up Black Bear Pass.

Step 3: Choose your route carefully–avoid Black Bear Pass if you are uncomfortable with heights

1. Black Bear Pass is a difficult off-road trail and should only be attempted by experienced drivers.

2. The trail is narrow and has steep cliffs, so it is important to drive carefully.

3. The pass can only be driven in one direction, so be sure to plan your route accordingly.

Step 4: Drive slowly and carefully

1. Drive slowly and carefully on Black Bear Pass.

2. Be aware of the weather conditions and drive defensively.

3. Make sure to gear down and use your breaks carefully when driving on Black Bear Pass.

4. Be extra cautious when crossing Ingram Stream – wet tires can make the journey tricky.

Step 5: Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and you have enough fuel

Below are some tips to follow when driving on Black Bear Pass:

  1. Only drive high clearance, short wheelbase vehicles as they are better equipped to handle the uneven and steep road surface.
  2. Have a skilled spotter with you to help guide you through tricky sections of the pass.
  3. Be aware of the potential for getting stuck in snow walls and be prepared accordingly.
  4. It may be helpful to have a second vehicle with you in case one gets stuck.
  5. Vehicles with wider tires and lifted suspensions will have more difficulty navigating the pass due to their wider turning radius.

Step 6. Pack plenty of food and water, and let someone know your route and expected return time

Black Bear Pass is a treacherous drive, and it’s important to be prepared for anything. Pack food, water, sunscreen, and recovery gear like straps, shackles, and winch hooks. Be careful of the rocky ledges and make sure your brakes are in good shape. Stop at Ingram Falls and Bridal Veil Falls for a break. Drive slowly near Ingram Stream, where the water can make your tires slip. Get down into Telluride!

Red Mountain CO 5 Photo by D.Saparow
Red Mountain CO 5 Photo by D.Saparow

Final Thoughts

The Black Bear Pass 4×4 trail is a great adventure for those who are up for a challenge. The Black Bear Pass road in Colorado is famous for its tight switchbacks and dramatic landscapes. The steps on the Black Bear Pass road are considered to be very intimidating. The Black Bear pass road is a challenging trail which is best avoided during the weekends.

Have you noticed a theme here? We take no responsibility for the decisions you make, the actions you take, or your safety!

Happy (Safe!) Trails,

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DEADLY BLACK BEAR PASS OURAY CO.

Watch on YouTube | Channel: Jeeping Mo

Read more…

Black Bear Road
Black Bear Road or Black Bear Pass, and officially Forest Service Road 648, is a dirt road that starts from the 11,018-foot (3,358 m) summit of Red Mountain

Telluride, Colorado
places in Colorado. Mountain passes There are two alternate passes to enter the town, namely Imogene Pass and Black Bear Pass. Both require high clearance

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