The month of May brought us beautiful spring weather as well as some much needed moisture. Everywhere you look, the land is becoming green and filled with wildflowers. Seasonal waterfalls are appearing all over, and the world appears to be taking a deep breath in prepartion for another summer of endless four wheel drive adventures.
As we enter into June, several passes are still closed, but daily it seems, more paths are opening.
At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, we work to maintain the most up to date knowledge of what trails are safe and open for our guests. We depend on information from County Websites, jeep rental companies, and of course, you, to share openings and safe passages.
As of May 30, 2017 - Jeep trail openings are as follows:
Animas Forks - OPEN
Black Bear Pass - Closed
Bolam Pass - Closed
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 to the 2nd water crossing - Ouray County is currently clearing this trail. Several feet of new snow 10 days ago delayed progress. Crews are working overtime to get the trail opened
County Road 110 - Closed
County Road 57P to Woods Lake - OPEN
Cunningham Gulch - Closed
Engineer Pass - from Switzerland of America Jeep Tours ->Melted off for the first mile if you are inclined to do a little rugged 4 wheeling. Lake City has nearly completed clearing to the back side of O Point. Snow remain across the summit and up to O Point.from hwy 550 until the avalanche run below the Mickey Breene. However, large rock fall has occurred on shelf road and will require heavy equipment to remove. Silverton and Hinsdale have opened the trail from Animas Forks and Lake City. Full opening expected by June 6th.")"
Hurricane Pass - Closed
Imogene Pass - Closed
Kennebec Pass - Closed
Last Dollar - OPEN
La Plata Canyon - Closed
Lobo Overlook - Closed
Maggie Gulch - Closed
Mineral Point - Closed
Minnehaha - Closed
Minnie Gulch - Closed
Ophir Pass - Trail has been cleared to summit on hwy 550/Silverton side.
Owl Creek Pass - OPEN to county line on Ouray side
Picayune - Closed
Placer - Closed
Poughkeepsie - Closed
Roaring Fork - Closed
Scotch Creek - Closed
South Mineral Road - Closed
Stony Pass - Closed
Treasure Mountain Loop - Closed
Yankee Boy Basin - OPEN - from Switzerland of America Jeep Tours "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.