Well, it has been a great week for the road crews! As Ouray, San Miguel and San Juan County feverishly clear the high country, Mother Nature seems to be helping us out, and more and more trails are safe for adventure.
There is some sad news, though. About a mile up Engineer Pass on the Ouray side, there was quite a rock slide, which actually took out a section of the road itself. While Ouray County assesses the damage and possible fixes, this one may remain closed indefinitely. Thank goodness for the quick actions of our county crews, and that no one was up there when the mountain decided to re-adjust!
Just because that section of the road is out, doesn't mean there aren't still a plethora of choices for high country exploration. You can still get to Lake City too, just need to start at a different spot!
Switzerland of America Jeep Rentals and Tours is a wonderful source to us for the most up to date trail conditions. As they travel the trails, they are meticulous in updating their website, and the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs with precise information. They also offer a 10% discount to our guests for all of their jeep tours!
as of today, June 15, 2017 - the trail conditions are as follows:
Animas Forks - OPEN
Black Bear Pass - Closed - Expected opening by July 10, 2017
Bolam Pass - Closed
Brown Mountain - OPEN
California - Closed
Clear Lake - Closed
Cinnamon Pass - OPEN to Lake City - from Switzerland of America Jeep Tours- "Expect heavy snow melt to cause deep trenches on the downhill portions from the summit. This can create some technical 4×4 areas requiring high clearance."
Corkscrew Pass - OPEN - from Switzerland of America Jeep Tours - "
County Road 110 - OPEN
County Road 57P to Woods Lake - OPEN
Cunningham Gulch - OPEN
Engineer Pass - from Switzerland of America Jeep Tours -Moderate to Difficult. The trail is OPEN and passable from Animas through Mineral Point and down into Lake City. However, a large rock slide on the shelf road about a mile up from HWY 550 has the Ouray side CLOSED. This rock fall will take considerable work to clear. Expect Ouray County to begin work on this area next week.
Hurricane Pass - Closed
Imogene Pass - Closed - Expected opening by July 2, 2017
Kennebec Pass - OPEN
Last Dollar - OPEN
La Plata Canyon - OPEN
Lobo Overlook - Closed
Maggie Gulch - Open to waterfall
Mineral Point - Closed
Minnehaha - OPEN
Minnie Gulch - OPEN
Ophir Pass - Open - Please watch for icy, slick spots
Owl Creek Pass - OPEN
Picayune - Closed
Placer - Closed
Poughkeepsie - Closed
Red Mountain Town - OPEN
Roaring Fork - Open to snow
Scotch Creek - Open to snow
South Mineral Road - Open to trailhead
Stony Pass - Open to Pole Creek Crossing
Treasure Mountain Loop - Closed
Yankee Boy Basin - OPEN - from Switzerland of America Jeep Tours " Easy to Moderate. The trail is open, but muddy and slushy past the Revenue up to the Twin Falls. Expect narrow passage from the Governor turn off for several hundred yards. The trail will remain impassable to 4×4 traffic beyond the restrooms and waterfall until late June."
As always, regardless of the time of year, please remember to be safe in the high country! Weather can change quickly and dramatically. If you come across a portion of road or weather that makes you uncomfortable, turn around. With over 500 miles of four wheel drive trails in easy access of town, there is no reason to put yourself at risk.
Remember to always bring layers. The sun might be shining one minute, and a downpour hit the next. With that in mind, sunscreen might sound ridiculous, but sunburns do hurt. Check either with us, or one of the many jeep rental/tour companies for the most up to date road conditions. There is no sense in getting yourself stuck in a bad spot if you don't have to. Please remember the rules of the road when adventuring on the high country. Be considerate of your fellow jeepers and four wheelers!
As OHV's become more popular, we get a lot of questions regarding in town usage. Please read our town ordinances by clicking this link, as the Ouray Police Department has been working diligently to enforce the laws pertaining to OHV's and will no longer be giving warnings to individuals who are violating the ordinance; instead, they will be cited with a ticket. The first offense is a $100 fine, the second is $300 and anything after that, will be a court summons with a $300-$500 fine.
There are some amazing jeep tour and rental companies in Ouray, who are always happy to help with information, and of course a tour means you don't have to worry about where you're going, just whether there is enough memory on your camera!
No matter what, HAVE FUN! The San Juan Mountains are beautiful, and never quite the same.