Corkscrew Pass

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4.8/5 (75 reviews)
Ouray, Colorado (Ouray County)
Last Updated: 12/07/2023
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Trail Information


Corkscrew Pass, located between Ouray and Silverton, Colorado, is one of the more significant four-wheel-drive roads that people from all over the world want to drive, and for good reasons. Most notable is the contrast of colors viewed while driving the trail and the "up-close-to-it" experience in the area. The vibrant rust and reddish mountains contrasted by the dark greens, blues, and bright whites make you want to stop and take it in. There is ample opportunity to find dispersed camping as a basecamp or just a one-night stop while you overland across the San Juan Mountains. All this while giving you a dose of shelf road and switchbacks leading to icy cold glacial ponds filled with Old Man Winter's snow melt. It is perfect for those looking to try shelf roads for the first time and, indeed, anyone who is looking for a stimulating burst of color experience.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

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Check out our Poughkeepsie Gulch (2.88 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (76)
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Seasonal Closure
Visited: 12/01/2023

Trail is closed per dates on MVUM.
This trail guide's difficulty was changed on 11/07/2023
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/01/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

One of our favorite trails in Colorado. Majestic views. The trail is also fun to drive.
Trail Review: Corkscrew Pass - Roger P.
Visited: 09/26/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This trip was beautiful. Definitely not a difficult trail but was definitely tense right along the cliffs. The views at the top were incredible - definitely worth the trip.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/22/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran this today as part of Jeep Jamboree. My wife and I agreed, this is one of our new favorites. Ran it from Silverton to Ironton. Stunning views, and the road is just FUN! We could definitely see where rain/snow could make this road impassable in a hurry. Most of the surface is dirt vs the rock commonly found in San Juan trails. We will absolutely be adding this to our rotation when in the Ouray area.
Trail Review: Corkscrew Pass - Matthew Griffin
Trail Review: Corkscrew Pass - Matthew Griffin
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