Black Bear Pass Trail

  Total Distance: 8.9 miles
  Elevation: 8,998 - 12,841 feet
  Technical Rating: 6
  Scenic Rating: 10
  Season: June - September
Southwest Colorado Unpaved Backroads
Black Bear Pass Trail
Map created with Garmin BaseCamp ©  NAVTEQ 2008-2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.  All rights reserved.
Black Bear Pass Trail
Map created with Garmin BaseCamp ©  NAVTEQ 2008-2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.  All rights reserved.



East end is on US 550 just southwest of Red Mountain Pass on FR 823.

West end is at the Telluride Vistor Center on West Colorado (main street).

History: The Black Bear Pass Trail was originally constructed in the late 1800s to provide access to the Black Bear Mine. This pass has also been know as Ingram Pass, named after J. Ingram who discovered the Smuggler Union Mine in 1876. From the early 1900s until 1959 the route fell into disrepair. In 1959 the route was reopened as a 4WD route via the efforts of the Telluride Jeep Club.

Landmarks: Ingram Falls, Bridal Beil Falls


Description: When I think of Black Bear Pass, I think of the "FUD" acronym, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. I personally think that it is overrated with some of the difficulty ratings but people are still dying on this trail so maybe it's best that it remains overrated in it's technical difficulty.

The east end of the Black Bear Pass Trail is just south of the summit of Red Mountain pass on the west side of the Million Dollar Hyway, US 550.

The trail has different obstacles for different vehicles. The stair steps and the switchbacks are difficult for the four wheeled vehicles, the longer the wheelbase the higher the difficulty. For two wheeled vehicles I think the boulder field above the switchbacks presents the biggest problem. If you are afraid of heights, it might be a good idea to pass on Black Bear Pass.

The switchback portion of the trail is one-way , east to west.

Connecting Routes: Bullion King Lake Trail
Road Condition Information:

Uncompahgre National Forest
Norwood Ranger District
1760 Grand Avenue
Norwood, CO 81423

Map Information:

USFS Uncompahgre NF or San Juan NF
USGS San Juan County
USGS San Miguel County #3
Trails Illustrated, #141
The Roads of Colorado, pp. 114-115
DeLorme Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer, p. 76

Check Price or Purchase Southwest Colorado Unpaved Backroads
Modified On: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 8:34 PM
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