PRIVATE TOUR 6 hours (minimum)
Start time: 7:30 am
$165 per person (two-person minimum)
High Point Elevation 12,840 ft.
Black Bear Pass Road ascends from US Hwy 550 at Red Mountain Pass, then winds up past waterfalls and wildflowers and historic mine sites to Black Bear Pass, cresting at 12,840 feet. At the summit, view Colorado’s second-highest waterfall, Bridal Veil Falls and the historic power plant, which still provides 25% of Telluride’s electricity. From here the road descends over the infamous ‘Stair Steps’—tight rocky switchbacks that propel you into Telluride. After the gentle ascent to the pass, the ‘Steps’ are an exciting, hold-your hat, stomach-lurching ride! You’ll be ready for a stop at Baked in Telluride. Return to Ouray via scenic Imogene Pass, the second highest drivable pass in the State of Colorado. The road winds down toward Ouray past the old town of Sneffels and the Camp Bird Mine.
Box lunch available for $12.95 on specialty tours over 5 hours.
More about Black Bear Pass.
View a video of Black Bear Stairstep descent into Telluride. (And see why rental Jeeps are prohibited from this trail!)
View a video of Imogene Pass.