Imogene Pass

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4.9/5 (168 reviews)
Telluride, Colorado (San Miguel County)
Last Updated: 10/26/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Forest Category Icon Forest
Ghost Town Category Icon Ghost Town
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Mine Category Icon Mine
Overland Category Icon Overland
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Water Category Icon Water

Imogene Pass offers gorgeous scenery and traverses a backcountry rich in mining history. It offers an opportunity to look back in time and relive what it would have been like to live and work in harsh alpine mining environments. Immense mining structures and machines are plentiful along what was once the most prosperous gold and silver mining area in Colorado. Book-ended by the beautiful towns of Telluride and Ouray at either end of the trail, it is no wonder this is a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail. 

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Imogene Pass is a straight-through route connecting San Miguel County and Ouray County, crossing an elevation of 13,114 feet.

Ascending from the quaint town of Telluride, aspen trees surround the rocky dirt road. The road is narrow, but there are several places to get past oncoming traffic. The trail climbs sharply at times, where low range is needed for extra gearing. On the way to Tom Boy Mine and the summit, the trail becomes an even more narrow and intimidating shelf road 1-1.5 vehicles in width. Generally, a good line of sight is available to see oncoming traffic easily. Although uphill has the right of way, it's a good idea to use any pullout opportunities you might come across, no matter your direction of travel.

The trail is significantly more rocky and bumpy downhill from the summit towards Ouray, where you will encounter several sections of rock shelves, many with blind drops. This portion of the trail is the most challenging side and offers spectacular views as you drop into the valley. The trail's north end offers a few water crossings that can be powerful in early summer during peak runoff but are generally less than a foot deep. As you descend, you pass through a dense forest with several water holes and small rock ledges before intersecting with Yankee Boy Basin.  


Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (169)
This trail guide's difficulty was changed on 12/25/2023
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Official Crew
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150950
Impassable
Visited: 10/26/2023

Snow has made the trail impassable
Impassable
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/04/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Attempted today approaching from Telluride. Talked to several folks who attempted to summit today and had to turn around. No one was making it above ~12.5k ft due to their inability to get traction on the slush. We paired up with a Jeep (photographed) that was able to make it about 100' further up the road than we were. I would expect the summit is feasible Thursday or Friday. We went back to Telluride and took Ophir Pass instead to get over to Ouray for the night—no snow on that road. Absolutely beautiful weather up there today with amazing views the entire way. I have run this trail before in September 2022. It's absolutely a 5/5 DO NOT MISS tier trail.
Trail Review: Imogene Pass - Evan Fletcher
Trail Review: Imogene Pass - Evan Fletcher
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Official Crew
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142950
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Where do I start, this was easily my favorite trail on the west side of Ouray. The views were just one legendary view after another. I can't even get started on how epic this trail really is. We ran the trail opposite of the way it is written and I feel like we are lucky we did because we saw things that were just overlooked as you would have to look backward to see them. We spent roughly 5 hours on the trail and it flew by. While on the trail, we experience every season. Started out in summer with 70's and sunny, while going up the trail got fall when it started raining, near the top it was snowing, and temps around 30 degrees and winds easily over 70mph. I would mostly agree with the rating with traction modifiers. To me, the hardest obstacle isn't listed here which is a 3-4 foot waterfall rock climb between waypoints 22-23. Size wise it could be a 4-rated trail, but add that it was super traction going down, I could see why a 3. The spot they show as hardest, I could see how that was hard at one point, but when we did it, there was a smooth bypass around it. But we did the hardest lines up it making it for some real fun. All in all, this is a must-do trail, I would definitely do this trail every time I am in the area. It is just legendary. PS - I was doing a bit of jogging up on the shelf road at the top. All I can say is at 13k feet, that was hard. I don't see how the people we saw jogging the trail were doing it.
Trail Review: Imogene Pass - Josh Noesser
Trail Review: Imogene Pass - Josh Noesser
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Official Crew
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150950
Open
Visited: 09/18/2023

Trail is back open again per San Miguel County officials.

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