Jan 25, 2024
1 0

Black Bear Pass Road, Colorado’s Rugged Mountain Drive

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Black Bear Road, officially Forest Service Road 648, is a famous and challenging off-road trail located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Starting at an elevation of 11,018 feet (3,358 meters) near Red Mountain Pass, the trail reaches a summit elevation of approximately 12,840 feet (3,914 meters). Connecting the area around Red Mountain Pass to the town of Telluride, both situated in southwestern Colorado, Black Bear Road is known for its challenging terrain and breathtaking mountain views.

LocationSan Juan Mountains of Colorado
Length17.86 kilometers (11.1 miles)
Elevation11,018 feet (3,358 m) to 12,840 feet (3,910 m)
DifficultyModerate to difficult
Vehicle requirements:High-clearance, 4WD vehicle
SeasonalityOpen from May to October

Driving the Black Bear Road

It’s known for its difficult terrain, steep descents, narrow shelf roads, and breathtaking mountain views. The trail is popular among off-road enthusiasts and provides access to several scenic attractions, including the famous Bridal Veil Falls and the historic mining town of Telluride. Keep in mind that trail conditions and accessibility can vary based on weather and maintenance, so it’s advisable to check for the latest information and trail conditions before planning a trip.

  • Start early: The road can be very crowded, especially on weekends.
  • Check the weather: The road can be closed due to snow or mud.
  • Be prepared for narrow roads, steep switchbacks, and loose gravel.
  • Have a full tank of gas and extra water.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Black Bear Road is not recommended for inexperienced drivers or standard vehicles due to its challenging conditions. The trail typically requires a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle with low gearing. It’s important for drivers to be well-prepared, follow safety guidelines, and be aware of the difficulty level before attempting this trail.

Black Bear Road Jeep Crash

Black Bear Road in Google Maps

What to do and see around

  • Beautiful scenery: The road offers stunning views of the San Juan Mountains, including Bridal Veil Falls, the highest waterfall in Colorado.
  • Wildlife: Black bears, elk, deer, and other wildlife are often seen along the road.
  • Hiking and biking: There are a number of hiking and biking trails in the area.
  • Camping: There are a number of campgrounds in the area.

If you are looking for an exciting and challenging driving experience, Black Bear Road is definitely worth checking out. Just be sure to do your research and be prepared for the challenges ahead.

Archived in:
Colorado · North America · USA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *