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Old 07-22-2014, 10:51 PM   #1
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Route Planning for Ouray

Planning a wheeling trip to Ouray with several folks. Looking for advice on the best plan of attack for running Black Bear, Imogene & Engineer in 3 days. We'll all be leaving from the Denver area, so about a 6 hour drive.

What's the best route to accomplish these trails in 3 days (Fri, Sat, Sun). We'll be driving down there very early Friday morning to be able to be on a trail at 10-11am. What's a cheap place for lodging? motel/hotel?

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Old 07-22-2014, 11:28 PM   #2
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Ouray to black bear yo telluride lunch then imogene back to Ouray. Then engineer the next day.

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Old 07-22-2014, 11:39 PM   #3
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Hello, I just spent 3 days in Telluride and 2 days in Ouray, returning to Los Angeles today. We did Ophir Pass from Telluride to Ouray, had lunch there, then Imogene back to Telluride one day. The Sydney Basin spur was the highlight of the day. From Ouray, we did Poughkeepsie Pass to Corkscrew one day, then Black Bear pass the following day. Poughkeepsie was challenging, we arrived at the wall just as it began to hail for 20 minutes, turning a nice dry rock area into slick hog snot. I had to winch up.
We saw 3 big horn sheep on Imogene Pass and a black bear in Ouray.
An absolutely gorgeous area.
We stayed at the Victorian Inn, right in town next to the river. Nice enough room with breakfast. You can walk to everywhere in town.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:51 PM   #4
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'06 LJ Rubicon. Such a great area, Colorado is amazing!
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:37 AM   #5
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I always go through Lake City stop in Wager Gulch and walk through the buildings in the ghost town of Carson, then take Cinnamon Pass to Animas Forks, check out the buildings in that ghost town and take either Mineral Gulch or Corkscrew Gulch over to Hwy 550 then head north into Ouray. (I find Engineer Pass to be long and boring). I always stay at Twin Peaks Lodge on the south end of town. Good pool and hot tubs. Rooms are nothing special. Very Jeep friendly place.
Day 2: Black Bear to Telluride, then Imogene back over. If you have time hit Yankee Boy Basin on the way back.
Day 3: Poughkeepsie Gulch to California Gulch, then down to Silverton and check out the town. Take 550 back up to Ouray.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:06 AM   #6
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LJ Dave, we did Wagner gulch when we were there as well. Was one of my favorite parts. Nice little run up to the ghost town.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:22 AM   #7
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I find Engineer Pass to be long and boring
Probably because most engineers ARE boring! (that was a shot at UnlimitedLJ04 ).

As boring as it might be, we at least have to experience it.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:25 AM   #8
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I also just wanted to make sure that if we tow our rigs, it's not a PITA the get back to Ouray when going over BB pass. Thoughts on the route back?
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:14 AM   #9
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Lodging should probably be planned several weeks in advance as things fill up fast. Camping is probably cheapest. I am heading up in 2 weeks, and for 4 nights in a hotel in Ouray is going to be over $500. Having a pet limits me a bit.

Last year when I made the trip I stayed in Montrose for like $250 total for 3 nights. But it was a 40min drive to Ouray each morning.

Here is what I did last year on a short time frame like you, and it worked out well (get the google earth tracks from traildamage to get a good visualization):

Day 1, Alpine Loop:
Mineral Creek to Engineer. Lunch in Lake City. Return via Cinammon Pass to Animas Forks. From there take California Gulch to Hurricane Pass to Corkscrew Gulch back to 550.

This makes for a LONG day, but also a very scenic drive.

What I plan to do this year is abbreviate it a little. Instead of going all the way to Lake City I plan to just go to the Engineer Pass saddle, then backtrack to Animas Forks, then up to Cinammon Pass saddle and back.

Day 2: Black Bear to Telluride. Have lunch, and return to Ouray via Imogene. This worked out well, but you will want to get an early start, as storms move in come early afternoon, and I wouldn't want to be on Black Bear when its very wet.

Last year it rained the return trip to Ouray via Imogene, with snow at the summit in the middle of August. It was easy wheeling, but scenery was hampered with the thick storm clouds.

Day 3: I ran Yankee Boy before returning to Albuquerque with a stop for lunch in Silverton.

I hope this helps.



Snow on Imogene in midlde of August:
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:55 AM   #10
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Probably because most engineers ARE boring! (that was a shot at UnlimitedLJ04 ).


Yes, I need a picture by the Engineer Pass sign...well, simply because I've got three degrees in disciplines of engineering.

thanks for the suggestions guys! this helps a bunch! keep em coming!

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Old 07-23-2014, 11:17 AM   #11
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I also just wanted to make sure that if we tow our rigs, it's not a PITA the get back to Ouray when going over BB pass. Thoughts on the route back?
Assume you will unload your trailer in Ouray and leave it there until your heading home to Denver. The routes back from Telluride to Ouray are Ophir or Imogene, and I recommend Imogene because it is a "must do" trail, a little more interesting than Ophir.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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Awesome
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:46 PM   #13
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Assume you will unload your trailer in Ouray and leave it there until your heading home to Denver. The routes back from Telluride to Ouray are Ophir or Imogene, and I recommend Imogene because it is a "must do" trail, a little more interesting than Ophir.
This is sound advise. Enjoy your time out there, it is awesome.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:20 AM   #14
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Leaving Ouray today. Did Imogene, Last Dollar, Corkscrew, Hurricane and California Gulches this trip. You must plan ahead as our place's owner said no vacancies anywhere in town last night. Lot's of traffic on the trails but still worth all efforts to be here. The FJ's are finally gone but left a bit of a bad taste in the local's mouths with the pretentiousness.

This is our third year here and we will be back.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:38 AM   #15
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Black bear to Telluride, then Imogene back to Ouray is a good plan, that's how I've always done it. Makes for a LOOONG day, especially since we always want to hang around in Telluride for awhile. I agree Engineer is long and boring. Instead of doing all of Engineer, I always take Engineer from the Ouray side, cut off at Poughkeepsie Gulch, take Poughkeepsie up to Lake Como, then over California pass down into Animas Forks and down into Silverton. I like the highway drive from Silverton to Ouray so we take the highway back to Ouray.

Another option we've done to get back to Ouray from Silverton is take Cement Creek to Corkscrew, Corkscrew dumps you back on 550 on the Ouray side of Red Mountain Pass.

One thing I've never done is, after taking California Pass down towards Animas forks, taking the Picayune Gulch trail. I've heard it's awesome, but I've never taken it because then you bypass Animas Forks ghost town which is a must see.

The problem with Ouray trips, is they really need to be about 2 weeks long to do everything you should do. Last fall when I was out there I did a short trip like you're planning. It was a blast because we just camped at the Poughkeepsie Gulch trailhead and wheeled from there every day. But we left Iowa Thursday morning, wheeled Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and drove back to Iowa Monday. It's about a 21/22 hour drive from here.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #16
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I also just wanted to make sure that if we tow our rigs, it's not a PITA the get back to Ouray when going over BB pass. Thoughts on the route back?
You guys are so lame towing.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:36 PM   #17
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You guys are so lame towing.
Being comfortable for 5 hours is not even close to lame.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:40 PM   #18
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Being comfortable for 5 hours is not even close to lame.
I know, I'm just jealous.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:44 PM   #19
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You guys are so lame towing.
Yeah....comfort is nice....but to be honest, I'd rather drive in the Jeep (still might). It's my wife I have to keep comfortable so she will continue to go on these trips. She told me if I can't keep her comfortable then I would have to start taking my girlfriend...
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:02 PM   #20
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Yeah....comfort is nice....but to be honest, I'd rather drive in the Jeep (still might). It's my wife I have to keep comfortable so she will continue to go on these trips. She told me if I can't keep her comfortable then I would have to start taking my girlfriend...
Who's hotter the wife or GF? and more importantly how do you afford a jeep a wife and girlfriend??
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:26 PM   #21
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Yeah....comfort is nice....but to be honest, I'd rather drive in the Jeep (still might). It's my wife I have to keep comfortable so she will continue to go on these trips. She told me if I can't keep her comfortable then I would have to start taking my girlfriend...
Driving your rig down there lets you knock off a few trails on the way in and/or out by going through Lake City.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:56 PM   #22
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here's my plan for towing of jeeps:
Day 1. Drive to Ouray, run up Engineer Pass to take pictures at the top, come back to Ouray via Poughkeepsie Gulch. stay the night in Ouray.

Day 2. Get up early. Ouray to Black Bear Pass to Telluride. Lunch in Telluride. Return to Ouray via Imogene Pass.

Day 3. Yankee Boy Basin in the morning/early afternoon, back to Ouray and head back to Denver via Gunnison/285 to avoid I-70 traffic. Back in Denver around 8-10pm.

possible addendum for no towing of jeeps:

Day 1. drive to Lake City, run all of Engineer Pass to Poughkeepsie Gulch to Ouray. Eat lunch on the trail. stay the night in Ouray.


What do yall think?
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:10 PM   #23
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Who's hotter the wife or GF? and more importantly how do you afford a jeep a wife and girlfriend??
I'm guessing his wife refers to his jeep as his girlfriend! The question then is, which gets the most pampering and attention?
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:31 PM   #24
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Awesome info on ouray trails. My 16 yo old son an I plan on coming out 8/4 possibly 8/11 if a fishing trip firms up. First trip in the jeep out of chicago area. Stock 13 unlimited. Any trails we should stay off due to stock setup ( no lift or winch). We plan on being there sun - w or th.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:25 AM   #25
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We had a great trip!

Everyone drove their Jeeps, no towing. The final trip plans ended up being:

Day 1. drive to Lake City, Engineer Pass to Mineral Creek to Ouray. Stayed the night in Ouray.

Day 2. Got up early. Ouray to Black Bear Pass to Telluride. Lunch in Telluride. Return to Ouray via Imogene Pass.

Day 3. Yankee Boy Basin in the morning. Hosejockey ran Governor Basin and stayed another day, but freeskier and I headed back to Ouray and back to Denver via Gunnison/285 to avoid I-70 traffic. Back in Denver around 8pm.

FWIW, LJ Dave I thought Engineer Pass was awesome!
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:56 PM   #26
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FWIW, LJ Dave I thought Engineer Pass was awesome!
Glad to hear you guys had a great time. I'm hoping to get down there in September.

Engineer Pass is just too much dirt road, not enough trail on the Lake City side for me. I guess I enjoyed it the first time I ran it, but by the third time, I decided I wouldn't go that way again as I really like Cinnamon Pass much better.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:31 PM   #27
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What an INCREDIBLY beautiful place! Here are a few pics from the trip...











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Old 08-04-2014, 10:33 PM   #28
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Who's hotter the wife or GF? and more importantly how do you afford a jeep a wife and girlfriend??
I don't know how I didn't see this before, but ain't none of them cheap!
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:12 PM   #29
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We had a great trip! Everyone drove their Jeeps, no towing. The final trip plans ended up being: Day 1. drive to Lake City, Engineer Pass to Mineral Creek to Ouray. Stayed the night in Ouray. Day 2. Got up early. Ouray to Black Bear Pass to Telluride. Lunch in Telluride. Return to Ouray via Imogene Pass. Day 3. Yankee Boy Basin in the morning. Hosejockey ran Governor Basin and stayed another day, but freeskier and I headed back to Ouray and back to Denver via Gunnison/285 to avoid I-70 traffic. Back in Denver around 8pm. FWIW, LJ Dave I thought Engineer Pass was awesome!
Leaving soon from Chicago.....planning Sunday as day 1 and doing day 2 Monday. Plus a bunch of others the rest of the week.....returning sat. Looks like 285 is the best route in and out. Thanks for the info/ posting helped make our plan for our first visit/ trip.....WF is the best.
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:04 PM   #30
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Great thread with lots of helpful info! I'm heading to Ouray from NJ in August '15 with a group of 4-5 Jeeps....can't wait!

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