Imogene Pass

Telluride, Colorado (Ouray County)

Last Updated: 10/28/2019
5 /5 ( 25 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Impassable
Typically Open: 07/01 - 11/01
Length: 11.8 miles
Highest Elevation: 13151 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Telluride
Nearest Town w/ Services: Telluride
Official Road Name: 869
Management Agency: Uncompahgre National Forest
District: Montrose Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Imogene Pass
Imogene Pass is truly an icon of the beautiful state of Colorado. Offering gorgeous scenery and traversing Colorado backcountry rich in mining history, Imogene Pass offers an opportunity to look back into time and relive what it would have been like to live and work in this area. What was at one point one of the richest gold and silver mining areas in Colorado, the remnants of huge mining structures and machines are plentiful. Information about these areas are documented along the route on permanent signs and placards. Book-ended by the beautiful towns of Telluride and Ouray at either end of the trail, Imogene Pass offers travelers the ability to get away from civilization yet never being very far from a warm meal and bed if that's what is desired. More information, as well as an intriguing look at some of these mines in their heyday is available from Miningartifacts.org

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Imogene Pass

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0.00 mi)
The trailhead appears to be an alley behind neighborhood homes in the area. However, the trail is well marked and the Forest Service signs are present from the very beginning. Be advised that this first stretch of trail is a residential area, please make sure to keep noise levels to a minimum.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.940130, -107.811700

Starting Point: Telluride, CO

This trail can be run from west to east (Telluride to Ouray), or from east to west (Ouray to Telluride). **Telluride to Ouray:** As you drop down into Telluride on Main Street, Turn north on Fir Street, make the first left on Columbia Avenue and then take the first right onto North Oak Street. You'll be headed uphill on Oak Street in a residential area. At the very end of the street, turn right...You'll feel like you're driving in an alley behind people's houses, but this is actually the trail head. (see route description from here). **Ouray to Telluride:** From the south end of Ouray, turn right at the entrance to Box Canyon Falls (first left handed switchback heading south). This is Camp Bird Mine Road. This is the same road that will take you to Imogene Pass, Yankee Boy Basin and Governor Basin... It's is a fairly well maintained dirt road with a few pot holes and wash boards, but is used daily by trail users and miners (The Camp Bird Mine and Virginius-Revenue Mine are both currently active). Follow Camp Bird Mine Road approximately 4.8 miles. The entrance to Imogene Pass is marked and will be a left turn at the driveway into the Camp Bird Mine. There is an alternate entrance 1.3 miles further west, trail information on that route can be found HERE.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

Trail Reviews (37)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Currently, San Juan County has issued CLOSURES on all their backcountry passes. San Miguel, Hinsdale, and Ouray County issued a travel at your own risk advisory. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/maps-pubs/?cid=fsbdev3_002300

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I have not been to Imogene to verify, but according to San Miguel County Imogene is open. Be cautious with changing weather conditions as this could change at a moments notice but I will do my best to update the trail guides in this area as soon as the county announces their closures for the season. https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/406/Road-Conditions

Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
I attempted to cross the pass this morning in my Rubicon with 37” tires and 4” lift. Aired down to 10psi, I was foiled by 2’ snow drifts about 800 feet from the summit, traveling from Telluride. I suppose it is possible that someone traveling from Ouray might have made it today. More snow predicted for tomorrow.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great scenery, fun trail! It was open, no snow or ice. A bit cold when the wind starts but nothing to keep from calling it a great day! A note, there is no staging area if you're riding OHV's.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fair bit of ice and snow on the east side of the pass coming from Ouray to Telluride. Went up on Friday morning and just a single set of UTV tracks ahead of us. Dead other than that. Started in Ouray at 8 and was drinking a beer in Telluride by 12:30 with a 20 min summit stop to take in the views and let a family in a rental Suburban climb the last push from the Telluride side. I expect the trail to be closed in a week or two because of the weather. Not super hard, just pick the right lines if you have no spotter.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this pass from Ouray to Telluride started out in Ouray on the trail to Yankee boy basin then turned off into Imogene pass. This pass was moderate with some shelf road before you get to the top of the pass at 13,114 ft. Going on the back side down to telluride, was amazing, we saw black bear pass before entering into telluride

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
If my review sounds like I'm complaining, I'm really not because this was a cool drive, but I want you to be aware of how busy this trail can be, and that can really hamper your fun. Extremely busy, and probably the busiest road I've driven. Jeeps, SxS's, dirt bikes, ATVs, trucks, tour guides, rentals, you name it and it was driving on this road. I got caught behind several large groups of anywhere from 5 to 20 Jeeps at a time. At one point on the way down the Ouray side, an old truck had about 10 vehicles stuck behind it because they were barely making it down the road and also refusing to pull over. At the same time while waiting for the truck to finally yield to all of us, a couple dirt bikes come out of the blue and pass on the extremely narrow shoulder. This road was a complete zoo at times. Also, because I had to make this an out and back type of drive, I had to cut off the last portion of my drive towards the bottom on the Telluride side due to the next group of almost 20 Jeeps coming up. Sure wasnt going to risk getting stuck behind that (again). Also tried a few times to get my picture with the Imogene Pass Summit sign and that wasn't happening. Way too many people at the summit trying to do the same thing both times I summited. The old mine ruins and awesome views were worth it though. Road was also somewhat challenging, but very fun. A special shout out to all the wonderful drivers who did allow others to pass, and who did know the right of way rules. Thanks!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Best trail I've ever been on. I've wanted to do this trail ever since my dad did it in a rental Kia Sorento. Was able to easily complete this trail in a stock 2019 Tacoma Off-Road. We started in Ouray and did the trail backwards according to the way points. This trail is less likely to cause body damage but you have a higher chance of flipping. Just take your time and spot out obstacles. Going on labor day weekend meant there would be a lot of traffic. The cliffs on the Telluride side were a little sketchy. Make sure you know where your tires are and take it slow. Absolutely amazing trail. Nothing else like it. Highly recommend.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Best trail I’ve ever done. I’m already planning my trip back next year. I found the rocky sections on the east side between upper camp bird and camp bird to be the most challenging. There are a lot of off camber sections that are a little spooky if you’re not used to it.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail. Ran this as part of the 2019 Unlimited LJ Adventure. The views were not as good as usual due to smoke from a nearby prescribed burn. It was very thick at times. There are no longer bathrooms along any parts of the trail, so don't rely on that.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Amazing views! Imogene Pass has a little bit of everything for each type of vehicle. Was a busy trail but nothing to complain about really. There's plenty of places to pull off and take in the beautiful views. We ran the trail in both directions and both ways offer different obstacles and scenic views. I highly recommend Imogene Pass, you can make it in a stock Wrangler. But take extra care on some of the narrow parts of the road. The few days we were in the area there was a couple accidents on the trail from people sliding off the side.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Imogene was great fun and scenic as always maybe even more than usual because of the interesting year we've had. It was open all the way despite there still being a small sign on the Telluride end saying it was closed. Ran in my stock full size Chevy with no issues.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail, probably the highlight of our Ouray/Telluride trip. So much cool mining history, great views, varied terrain. Snow banks still exist up high, saw some fresh new dustings of overnight snow - thank you to the road crews for the insurmountable task of opening this trail this year. For a group of slightly modified rigs it was perfect, a challenge here or there but nothing that made me feel uncomfortable having a 2-yr old in tow. Took about 5 hours to soak in all the sights, absolutely recommend making a loop with Ophir (or Black Bear if it's open and you are more adventurous) .

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Per Ouray County Road an Bridge Department Imogene Pass is now OPEN on both sides from Ouray to Telluride. Be aware that snowy road conditions may still exist and be cautious in the narrow areas for oncoming traffic.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Imogene Pass is closed on the Telluride side until approximately July 31st. “There is a portion of the road that slid near the top of the pass that will be repaired before the pass can be safely opened. The Ouray side is open to the top.”

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Imogene Pass Update Ouray County has their side open - the San Miguel County side is to remain closed until mid-week. There is a section of road that slid off that needs repaired before it can be opened. There will be a dozer parked at the top so that jeepers coming up from the Ouray side cannot try to go down and not be able to get back over the ice to return.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Wow! If you are new to trail riding, this trail is doable but will certainly take you to the fringe of your comfort zone. The scenery is literally and figuratively breathtaking. Recommend taking the trail from Ouray to Telluride. This will give you the option to take Ophir Pass trail or the highway back to Ouray. Getting an early start will ensure you can stop in Telluride for lunch.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
(Note – Crew 1 and Crew 2 work concurrently) Crew 1: Yankee Boy -- OPEN Crew 2: Red Mountain Town Open the Main Loop-- OPEN Crew 1: Corkscrew -- OPEN Crew 2: Engineer Pass (in progress) Crew 1 & 2: Imogene (in progress, began 7/9) Updates will be posted periodically on the Ouray County Website (www.ouraycountyco.gov) and on the Road and Bridge Facebook page.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Due to the heavy, late snows San Miguel County is not going to be able to start clearing the high mountain passes as early as usual. Plans are to begin Ophir Pass mid-June, followed by Imogene and then Black Bear. Updates will be posted on the County Web Page www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov

Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:

Ouray County has announced that plowing operations have begun for these trails. From the county:

High Country Roads Opening Priority

May 6, 2019 Update

Crews will begin work May 6, 2019 with the goal to have all High Country Roads open by the July 4th weekend.

***Please be aware: Southwestern Colorado received an exceptional amount of snow during the 2018-2019 winter. Roads may be cleared later than usual, and dangers like avalanches may still exist into the summer months. Please use caution when venturing into these areas.***

(Note – Crew 1 and Crew 2 work concurrently)

Crew 1: Yankee Boy (Depending on snowfall, anticipated time to reach the Outhouses is 4 days.)

Crew 2: Red Mountain Town – Open the Main Loop

Crew 1: Corkscrew

Crew 2: Engineer

Crew 1: Imogene

Crew 2: Crews will move to help open Imogene after the completion of Engineer


Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Beautiful Trail and is in great condition other than the last 100 or so feet near the summit of Imogene Pass. The summit was very slick with snow starting to accumulate (1-2 inches) and tracks icing over. Coming down was very sketchy and slow but doable. We ended up sliding about 20-30 feet when descending the Ouray side. Be aware and cautious this time of year. I would recommend chains or waiting till next year.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did the trail from telluride to ouray in a 2015 Ford f150 2.7l EcoBoost. While it's not truly built for off roading it adds a challenge to the trail. The top of the pass was snowy and slippery on the way down to ouray (there was some uncomfortable times sliding). The trees were beautiful and there was a large shelf towards the end of the trail that scraped my undercarriage a little (long vehicle problems). Over all I'd do it again but in a jeep or shorter vehicle earlier in the season.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the trail from Telluride to Ouray in a 2005 Xterra with 2" lift and 33's. The trail never felt too difficult and I imagine a skilled driver in a stock high clearance vehicle should have no problem. A few obstacles bypasses were still somewhat technical so don't run this expecting to have an easy way around difficult terrain.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Imogene will be closed 9/8/2018 from early morning until mid afternoon.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I drove Imogene from Tellluride to Ouray on Tuesday (September 4th). The weather became stormy (mixed rain and hail) before reaching the summit, so conditions were cold and wet. Our small group of three included all stock rigs--me in an '88 Isuzu Trooper, Kyle in a '70 Land Cruiser FJ40, and Chera in a '17 Wrangler JK Sport. We had no problems, but I think the road is rougher than it was one year ago--the ledges and ruts seem to be eroded more--so choose your line over/through them with care.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran it from Ouray to Telluride in my 80 series, it was rainy and slick on the Ouray side but overall the conditions were decent. We had beautiful views and had a great time! I'm not sure if its because we're at the end of season and things are a little rougher or we just missed the bypasses, but the "3" rating is a little misleading (maybe its easier going Telluride -> Ouray). There were definitely a few obstacles that required retries and even hit sliders and diff cover (probably user error) on the trail. If you're new to wheeling, I'd recommend going with someone experienced, the pucker factor is still pretty high on this trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Started in the Morning from Ouray. Stunning views, great water crossings. The day was nice and clear. During the weekday there was still light to moderate traffic in some places maybe a quarter way into it was big rock feature. Ive seen the photo online with vehicles up on it. It was dry so I didn't think I would have much of a problem. Some parts can be longer and tedious. With breaks and snack stops with pets expect 4-6 hours, maybe longer with pictures A must when you visit the area and don't forget poser point

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Had a blast! Great weather, water levels were low crossing streams. Completed in a stock 2006 Land Rover LR3 and a lifted Toyota FJ62. We went from Ouray to Telluride and I believe that direction is more adventurous (fun!!), as all the technical terrain is on the Ouray side of the pass, while going uphill.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was announced as reopened late last night. Imogene is clear all the way through today.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
The county has reported that the trail is closed on the Telluride side due to a rockslide though the rest of the trail remains open. Crews are working to clear it all the way through.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Officially open ber San Miguel and Ouray Counties: https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=34

Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Officially closed for the winter per San Miguel County, CO. https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=34

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Per San Miguel County, CO, Imogene Pass is not recommended for travel from the Telluride side: Imogene Pass- Telluride to Tomboy is passable, a few small patches of snow in shady areas. Tomboy to the countyline, travel not recommended. Road is extremely snow packed and icy. http://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=44

Author: Official Crew
Status: Closed
Offroaded on:
Announcement. The trail is closed on September 9th for the annual marathon run there and should reopen to traffic on Sunday. Read more about the race here: http://live-raceresults.com/imogene/

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Came over Imogene from Telluride after starting the day on Black Bear Pass. We had fantastic weather all day and by the time we started the trail about 3pm, most of the traffic was on its way down the hill, including the tour jeeps. The first 3 miles of the drive are narrow and definitely make it hard to squeeze by vehicles. Yes there are spots, but it's just a pain with the amount of traffic both ways. Luckily the traffic didn't last too long and we were on the trail pretty much all alone after a little while. On the north side of the pass, between waypoints 10 & 11, don't miss the opportunity to drive up the short spur to an awesome overlook of Ptarmigan Lake. At the top of the ridge, the road to the lake is blocked off, but there is a very large parking area and views from there are gorgeous. You can also see highway 550 from that vantage point. If waterfalls are your thing, just before waypoint 17 you will see a sign that reads, "Recommended. High clearance four wheel drive short wheel base". Across the road from that sign you will see a small waterfall. You can also take the spur road to the south of this sign parallel to the main trail where you will quickly find another awesome waterfall on Imogene Creek.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Imogene Pass is a stunning 4WD route from Telluride to Ouray, or visa versa. The cliffs do create a lot of exposure where there is little room for error, so it's not for the squeamish. Just ensure you're vehicle is in good working order before heading up and that you're aware of your surroundings at all times. Along the way, keep an eye out for traffic coming from the other direction, as the trail is a two-way road. The juice is certainly worth the squeeze. - At over 12,000' at the pass, the view is tremendous in every direction. Pictures below are in chronological order, but are in reverse. The last picture is the very beginning of the trail in Telluride. You can drive it in either direction though. Instagram: @overland_pajero

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This trip was done in an original Swiss Army Pinzgeuar. 6 wheel drive and 3 locking diffs (see pics). Roughest ride I have had in my life. I had to ride in the back so the wife got the front seat. The trip went up Yankee Boy basin, then to Imogene pass trail and then up a more rugged road to a ski in/out being built on a peak. Couldn't see a lot out of the back, even with the side open, but the stops were beautiful. This vehicle climbs hills like a cat.

Questions & Answers (17)

Q: Good morning Greg... Leaving Durango this morning heading to Ouray. Looking for info on some trails and passes... any info would be appreciated Thanks...
–Bryan Pierce (07/01/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (07/01/2019)
Q: Is the pass open as of 7/1/19
–Bryan Pierce (07/01/2019)
–Greg Stokes (07/01/2019)
Q: I am headed to Colorado this weekend. Is the pass open and doable with the snow?
–Dan Troxel (06/07/2019)
–Greg Stokes (06/07/2019)
Q: I'm helping my mother move (and towing my JKU behind the U-haul) from Wisconsin to Arizona in the first half of August. The way back, I've decided, will be my much needed break from that journey, and I have flexibility at work to kind of "wing it" so I can play! I want to do Engineer, Yankee Boy, and Imogene for sure and am curious about the narrow road situation... I know uphill bound vehicles have the right of way, but if you encounter a vehicle and there isn't room to pull over, what is typically done? Or are the narrow sections easy to see what is coming at you so I shouldn't worry about it?
–Yan Y Saillard (06/06/2019)
–Greg Stokes (07/02/2019)
–Yan Y Saillard (07/02/2019)
–Greg Stokes (06/06/2019)
Q: is Imogene Pass doable in a lifted jeep JKU rubicon with 35's & a small overlander trailer .
–Clint Stringer (06/02/2019)
–Greg Stokes (06/06/2019)
Q: While I know this site is primarily for 4WD vehicle enthusiasts, I'd like an opinion for taking on Imogene in a 50" side by side UTV with stock clearance. In some regards the smaller size I would think would be an advantage but can't speak to ground clearence needs and other hazards. I appreciate the consideration.
–Gregg Macaluso (05/08/2019)
–Gregg Macaluso (05/08/2019)
–J Ranello (05/08/2019)
–Gregg Macaluso (05/08/2019)
–J Ranello (05/08/2019)
–Greg Stokes (05/08/2019)
Q: Can you do the trail from either direction? What makes it best done going east?
–jeff swarts (04/28/2019)
–Greg Stokes (04/28/2019)
Q: I'm planning on doing the pass this weekend in a stock f150, does anyone know of any closures or forsee any problems with a large truck?
–james cardinal (10/03/2018)
–james cardinal (10/07/2018)
Q: Is there dispersed camping any where in the area that is accessible for a 30 foot toyhauler?
–pamela shaw (09/07/2018)
–Greg Stokes (09/10/2018)
Q: Thanks for the great overview. It looks like late September could go either way, what’s the best way to find out conditions closer to later this month? Anyone want to join up September 26?
–Lee Fraser (08/31/2018)
–Lee Fraser (09/24/2018)
–Lee Fraser (09/23/2018)
–Doug Tomlinson (09/23/2018)
–Lee Fraser (09/10/2018)
–Greg Stokes (09/05/2018)
Q: Approximately how long did it take from Telluride to ouray?
–Angela gathe (08/24/2018)
–Tracy Barker (08/25/2018)
Q: I’ll be traveling solo from Ouray to Telluride in a Stock 84 Landcruiser. Think I will have any issues?
–Shawn Evans (07/26/2018)
–Tracy Barker (08/10/2018)
Q: Would I be able to do Imogene in a lifted and off road upgraded 2018 Toyota Tundra? it's a fairly wide truck
–Sean (07/17/2018)
–Lorenzo (07/22/2018)
Q: can trip be done on off road bikes
–Michael Swiderski (06/22/2018)
–Greg Stokes (06/24/2018)
Q: Panning to do this trail in a Jeep WK2 with a 2" Lift and 33s in Middle to late June as I trek from California to Georgia. Any thoughts on snow/water making it impassable? Thanks!
–Bennett (05/13/2018)
–Ryan Boudreau (05/22/2018)
Q: is Imogen pass doable in a stock 4Runner TRD Pro? I’m planning a trip this summer with the family and would like to get in several passes. Thanks.
–Tom (04/16/2018)
–John (06/28/2018)
–Greg Stokes (04/16/2018)
Q: Is this trail typically passable by early July or is there still too much snow?
–Brandon (12/07/2017)
–Brandon (12/13/2017)
–Greg Stokes (12/12/2017)

Writer Information

Greg Stokes

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Greg Stokes Is a Colorado native, born and raised in Colorado Springs. He has been off-roading since childhood, his parents say his first trip was a Jeep run over Medano Pass when he was only 14 Months old. Greg has been at the wheel of everything from dirtbikes, ATV's, early Jeep CJ5's that he has restored, Wranglers, and presently explores in a 1997 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser and a 2016 Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. Greg is a proud Husband and Father of 3. His passion in the off road world is the vehicle-reliant world of Overlanding. He hopes to one day make it to Canada to Explore the Yukon and Northwest territories.
For individual use only, not to be shared.