Ophir Pass

Silverton, Colorado (SanJuan County)

Last Updated: 10/28/2019
4.9 /5 ( 14 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 06/15 - 09/30
Length: 10.1 miles
Highest Elevation: 11789 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Silverton
Nearest Town w/ Services: Silverton
Official Road Name: 630, 679
Management Agency: United States Forest Service
District: Grand Mesa Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forest Offices
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Ophir Pass
Ophir Pass is often noted as possibly the easiest of the well-known passes in the area and climbs to 11,789' Ft. The trail takes you along the San Juan Range towards Telluride and ends up in the town of Ophir. This old mining town started in 1881, peaked at about 500 before the mining ended and now has a bustling population of roughly 180 people. These lucky folks sit in a bowl surrounded by beautiful 13,000 ft peaks all around. You actually travel through two forests here and at waypoint 6 the trail designation number changes from 679 to 630 as you move over the pass and move from the San Juan Forest to the Uncompahgre National Forest. While some of the shelf roads may test your fortitude, the views off of this iconic trail is well worth an afternoon. For Jeep owners, there’s a special note here. Jeep has designated some trails as Badge of Honor trails and this is one of the few in Colorado. Its fame means that Jeep will recognize if you ran it and provide you with a badge to put on your rig showing you completed the trail.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Ophir Pass

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(EASY )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Start of Trail at National Forest Sign (0.00 mi)
The trail starts right off pavement and has a lot of signage to indicate the entrance. There is a small area north of the entrance that a group can air down at before heading down into the trail. Follow the signs for Ophir Pass and the National Forest.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.847564, -107.724762

Starting Point: Silverton

Head northwest out of town on the Million Dollar Highway (CR 550) Travel 4.2 Miles along the highway to reach the trailhead on the left side of the street.

Camping

Not allowed

Land Use Issues

Typically, this trail opens in June, however there is no standard date to give out. This trail and area is completely governed by snow and unstable rock in the region. The San Juan Forest Service maintains a list of the trails in the area and what is open to the day. We will update this page as the trail is open or closed seasonally. In summer, it's a good idea to check this page directly for updates that can close the trail in summer for sort periods, like rockslides and accidents. Click here for the most up to date information.

Trail Reviews (29)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
The county has announced that the high passes are closed for the season.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran this pass from 550 to CR 145. This pass was ran from silver ton to telluride, wasn't too bad and not too diffuclte

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ophir Pass at sunset, late in the season--fantastic! Found the road in good condition, remarkably still pretty wet at the lower elevation near Ophir. Red Mountain/Silverton side was dry and good condition, nearly as if it has been graded recently on the lower elevation segment.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Started this on the 550 side and easily cruised up the east half. Starting down from the summit, the downhill on the west side is much different than the easy dirt you just drove up. As others have said, the rocks are 4-7 inches and loose in areas. Passing areas are limited/ non-existent in the shelf area, so I highly recommend waiting to start your descent until you've made sure nobody else is coming up the road for as far as you can see. I'm not sure I agree with the recommendation to take a stock vehicle on this though. I know it must be doable, but I wouldn't take my stock 4WD daily driver on this due to this section I described, and the potential that you may have to back up hill in a rocky shelf section to allow an uphill person to pass. Dont let the fact that this trail is rated a 2 make you think it's a walk in the park for your stock 4WD car.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
First trail we hit in the area, was a great way to break into the mountains. Once we came to the pass there were a few motorcycles trying to make in up the rough part of trail, there's some rough rocks leading up to the pass from the West side, a bit much for the motorcycles coming up. We had to get out with some other Jeeps and help a couple motorcycles up the trail so we could make it down. Overall a great trail with some beautiful views.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great views, in good weather its doable in any SUV/crossover with an experienced driver (must not be afraid of heights/shelves). Highly recommend making a loop with Imogene Pass, stop midday in Telluride. Summit is a little anti-climatic. One interesting section on the downhill to Ophir you are driving entirely on 4-6 inch rocks, sounds like you are driving over broken glass. If you're looking for a great mountain pass experience, without the pucker/damage factor of a Black Bear or Poughkeepsie - this is the trail for you!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Easy trail, the pass has a nice view, the ride down to Ophir has a few pucker spots but all in all fun.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Update from a High Country Status update: 071219 Completely open with lots of snow slide debris and some muddy spots

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the trail from east to west. Cool going through the snow walls up top. The switchback going down the west side was pretty scary. Freaked the family out a little bit. We haven’t done many switchbacks that tight, that high, looking down.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the pass from East to West on opening day. The crews did a good job clearing the road and left it in great condition. First switchback west of the summit along shelf road caught me off guard, a lot tighter due to snow bank but a cautious 3 point turn was all it took. This is a good beginner pass.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Trail will open tomorrow, June 27th.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ophir is open to the summit on the Silverton side (waypoints 1-8). San Miguel County is still clearing their side from the top down to the town of Ophir.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great day to be on the trail! The fall colors are amazing right now in the area. Saw quite a bit of traffic, but probably not as busy as peak summer season. I would say the only thing this guide is missing is the historic post office on the west end between the highway and ophir. It's a really cool building to stop and visit.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Beautiful trail and relatively easy. The rock shelf road sections are a bit narrow and there are few places to pass, but you should have good visibility to identify oncoming traffic.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Wonderful 4x4 road, and exceptionally well written and photographed guide on this site. I drove the Ophir Pass road from Highway 550 to Telluride on a weekday after Labor Day. Traffic was light (saw fewer than 20 other rigs from start to finish).

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This trail is awesome. Nothing challenging as long as you're comfortable on a shelf road on the west side It's one car wide but you can see almost the whole road before going up or down so just make sure no one is on the road. Absolutely stunning views and a great way to pass over to Telluride from the east without going all the way around. Ran it in a stock Grand Cherokee.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fantastic. The view when you cross the pass is breathtaking. Not very difficult. Was a perfect trail for my first Colorado off road pass.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun, easy trail. Scenery is top notch. Approached from the Ophir side. Exposure isn't bad. Good beginner trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ophir Pass is a fairly straight forward pass, but is absolutely picturesque from top to bottom. We headed up Eastbound from Ophir towards 550. The going is a bit rough down low between Ophir and the talus field. Once up to the edge of the talus, the trail is completely comprised of large talus rocks that you can feel move under the weight of your 4x4. It's a little unsettling, given the steep slope of the field, but it's very stable as long as you stay away from the edge. We had the added excitement of a radiator cap failing on us as we reached the talus. - A small, but easily overlooked part when you're restoring a 20 year old vehicle, but a solid lesson to remember the finest details for safety sake. Instagram: @overland_pajero

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
CDOT has announced that there is a semi rollover on 145 that is going to be cleared on 6/20. There will intermittant closures while they recover the truck and they note that this is near the entrance to Ophir. Be aware of potential backups on 145 for the day.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
San Miguel County has taken steps to Ophir Pass open during this closure. Stay the trail and make sure to follow ALL fire restrictions and notices. The area is open but is still a tinderbox. We are in communication with the County and will update if road conditions change.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Closed
Offroaded on:
Per the Forest Service office in Durango, Ophir Pass is CLOSED under fire restrictions.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Per local resources, Ophir is 100% open and dry.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
As of this morning, San Miguel County has CLOSED Ophir Pass for the season officially. No part of the trail remains 'partially open'. trailsoffroad.com will update this page again in the spring the day that the trails open.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
The FS has announced that as of today this trail is closed at the top by snow and that they will not recover vehicles on these trails until spring. The trail is impassable at this time but trailsoffroad will update the status as soon as the trail opens back up in the spring.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Please note that the time of year where daily closures are upon us in the San Juans. While they have not closed the trail yet, Ophir Pass is on a daily watch for weather. It's been closed on past days but is open as of this report. There is snow and ice reported by the county. While trailsoffroad will try to keep the trail as up to date as possible, please check this link to the county for the latest. We will update this page when the trail is officially closed for the season.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Beautiful drive over Ophir Pass. The visual combination of snow above 10k' with fall colors below was stunning. We were a little worried the day after a snowstorm but most of the snow had been driven over enough to be packed down or melted. A little icy above ~11k. Passed a handful of other drivers on our way up (we were eastbound) that provided reassurance on the trail conditions. Smooth enough that my son slept through the whole thing. Also, a convenient route from Telluride back to Silverton if you don't want to drive all the way up to Ridgway.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This was our group's first of four trails in two days and was a great intro into the San Juans. The shelf areas were rough on those with heights issues but the beauty more than made up for the pucker factor. Everyone made it through this trail safe and the trail appeared to be in good shape all the way through.

Author:
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I think this trail should be rated 3 because of the rocky narrow shelf section on the west side. Paradise divide is rated 3 and this trail is definitely more challenging than that. It is still a relatively easy trail and can be done in stock vehicles with good clearance, I just think it is better to be more consistent on the ratings.

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: Looking at taking this trail in early September with my Stock 2017 Subaru Outback. I have upgraded tires and full skid plates, but no other upgrades... think we will be ok?
–Ryan Guthrie (08/11/2019)
–Jen & JD Marshall (08/11/2019)
Q: This is not a one way trail is it? I plan on taking it from Telluride to Silverton this weekend!
–Andrew (08/27/2018)
–Jen & JD Marshall (08/27/2018)
Q: So, Ophir Pass is open, correct?
–Sean (07/17/2018)
–Jen & JD Marshall (07/17/2018)

Writer Information

Jen & JD Marshall

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Jen & JD moved to Colorado from Chicago in May of 2015 for work and brought with them a 2001 stock Jeep Wrangler that had been garage bound for two years. Within a month of arrival, all rusty 170,000 miles of it was shaking on Colorado trails and they've never stopped. As time as gone on, their 2001 TJ has been upgraded and a 2015 Jeep JK has been added to the family. JD works as a Systems Engineer for a cable company and Jen runs a business from their home during the week to pay the bills. When the weekend hits, they're almost always hitting the trail. When Sunday night rolls around, the question turns to, 'so what's next week?!'.
For individual use only, not to be shared.