As the last leaves fall, Southwest Colorado prepares for Winter Activities.
We have seen a spectacular season of fall this year, with colors still hanging on for the time being, however the high country has seen some winter storms, and soon will welcome the first snow of the season. Granted, there is no way to truly know when that will happen, and until then, the jeep trails are still open, but it is important to remember the weather can change in a heartbeat.
There have been some temporary closures of the more extreme jeep trails, and the local tour companies are no longer taking groups up, but if you have your own vehicle, we have compiled a list of the jeep road status as provided by Ouray County, San Juan County and San Miguel County. Happy travels, and please be safe!
Alta Lakes - Open
Black Bear Pass - Open ***PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS ONE-WAY FROM INGRAM FALLS INTO TELLURIDE.***
Blue Lakes Trailhead - Open
Brown Mountain - Open
Cinnamon Pass - Open
Clear Lake - Open
County Road 2 to Animas Forks - Open
County Road 9 - Open
Cow Creek - Open
Engineer Pass -Open
Fall Creek Road to Woods Lake - Open
Gladstone - Open
Governors Basin - Open
Hastings Mesa (Hwy 62 to Hwy 145- Top of Dallas to Sawpit) - Open
Horsefly (From Montrose County to Montrose) - Open
Hurricane/California - Open
Imogene - Has been plowed and re-opened. ***please use extreme caution
Iron Springs (Hwy 145 through to Hwy 62)- Open
Last Dollar Road - Open
Little Cone Road (CR G49) - Open
Maggie/Minnie - Open
Miniehaha (CR 51) - Open
Old Lime Creek - Open
Ophir - Cloed on 9/25/2012, however, the trail has been re-opened. ***Please use extreme caution.
Owl Creek Pass - Maintained to Vista Point
Picayune - Open
Pittsburgh Mine Road - open
Placer - Open
Poughkeepsie - REQUIRES EXPERIENCE AND SPECIAL VEHICLE EQUIPMENT.
Red Mountain Town - Open
Shrine Road (CR 6) - Open
Skyline - Open
South Mineral Campground road - County road 7 - Open
Yankee Boy - Open
Stony Pass - Open
Each county and all of the jeep tour companies agree to use extreme caution in the high country this time of year. When in doubt, it is always best to turn around and try a lower altitude pass. As the weather changes from rain to snow, road conditions can become icy and slick very quickly. There are still several passes which are regularly used and provide some of the most photographed scenery in the country any time of year.
With the jeep trails beginning to close, this just means we have winter activities to look forward to! There are some amazing hiking trails, scenic drives that do not require 4WD, and ice climbing season is just around the corner! Late October and November are ideal times to visit and enjoy a quiet, relaxing escape as the hurried season comes to a close, and before the busy Holidays begin.
Needless to say, a long soak in the mineral hot springs is a rejuvenating experience in the peaceful atmosphere of the San Juan Mountains.