Trip advice please: Southwest Colorado (Ouray, Silverton, Telluride, Lake City)

SoonerDPT

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I'm headed up to stay a week in Lake City with the Mrs and looking to take a day trip over to Telluride (and maybe Silverton and/or Ouray). I've done Engineer Pass and Cinnamon pass dozens of times in Jeep Wranglers and Razr's. This will be the first trip in the longer wheelbase Gladiator. I'm pretty confident with Engineer and Cinnamon, but trying to figure out what to take between Silverton or Ouray and Telluride. I'm thinking Silverton to Telluride via Ophir Pass. Then Telluride to Ouray via Imogene. From Ouray, I'm thinking we'll take the highway back over to Lake City, as I assume most of the day will be taken up already.

Not 100% sure we'll have time to complete all those passes and spend any time in Telluride. Also curious about taking the Gladiator on Ophir and Imogene. Anyone have experience with this are that might have some insight? I'm certainly open to alternative routes as well.





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DocMike

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Have not gotten to do those yet, but Crystal Mill is 3 hours north of Telluride. I did it easily in a Stock Sport S on 33s. Good BBQ in Marble and some harder wheeling if you want to check out Devil's Punch Bowl. I opted not to do that route as I have not done too much wheeling. Crystal Mill is one of the most photographed places in Colorado.

Not my Video.





I'm headed up to stay a week in Lake City with the Mrs and looking to take a day trip over to Telluride (and maybe Silverton and/or Ouray). I've done Engineer Pass and Cinnamon pass dozens of times in Jeep Wranglers and Razr's. This will be the first trip in the longer wheelbase Gladiator. I'm pretty confident with Engineer and Cinnamon, but trying to figure out what to take between Silverton or Ouray and Telluride. I'm thinking Silverton to Telluride via Ophir Pass. Then Telluride to Ouray via Imogene. From Ouray, I'm thinking we'll take the highway back over to Lake City, as I assume most of the day will be taken up already.

Not 100% sure we'll have time to complete all those passes and spend any time in Telluride. Also curious about taking the Gladiator on Ophir and Imogene. Anyone have experience with this are that might have some insight? I'm certainly open to alternative routes as well.
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I'm headed up to stay a week in Lake City with the Mrs and looking to take a day trip over to Telluride (and maybe Silverton and/or Ouray). I've done Engineer Pass and Cinnamon pass dozens of times in Jeep Wranglers and Razr's. This will be the first trip in the longer wheelbase Gladiator. I'm pretty confident with Engineer and Cinnamon, but trying to figure out what to take between Silverton or Ouray and Telluride. I'm thinking Silverton to Telluride via Ophir Pass. Then Telluride to Ouray via Imogene. From Ouray, I'm thinking we'll take the highway back over to Lake City, as I assume most of the day will be taken up already.

Not 100% sure we'll have time to complete all those passes and spend any time in Telluride. Also curious about taking the Gladiator on Ophir and Imogene. Anyone have experience with this are that might have some insight? I'm certainly open to alternative routes as well.
 

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I was in Durango, Silverton, Ouray and Telluride just recently. I have a Gladiator too and you won’t have any problems with those trails but you will need at least two days. The hills are crowded now with this COVID thing. Engineer Pass won‘t be an issue but the long wheelbase will make slow goings for Black Bear. Have fun!
 
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SoonerDPT

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I was in Durango, Silverton, Ouray and Telluride just recently. I have a Gladiator too and you won’t have any problems with those trails but you will need at least two days. The hills are crowded now with this COVID thing. Engineer Pass won‘t be an issue but the long wheelbase will make slow goings for Black Bear. Have fun!
Thanks. I hadn't even thought about that the trails may be busy. Pretty sure it won't be a problem on Black Bear, as my wife will not go on that with me. I may just have to consider two trails to get over to Telluride, as that's my wife's destination, then take the highway back to Lake City.
 

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Probably to late but I just got back from that area and did every pass you mentioned plus poughkeepsie gulch and the wall. Did not do Black bear as I was not feeling well that day. Had no problems on any of the passes or trails. Weekends are busy, the busiest I have ever seen the trails. During the week was not bad, still had some traffic. All in all it was a great trip and had a blast.
 

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Hey DocMike,

that photo of the mineshaft over the creek is spectacular! Where is that?
 

WhyOtter

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My wife and I are headed that way this week. We are for sure doing Imogene. I want to try Black Bear as well but don't want to be the idiot from Texas stuck on the trail.

Is Black Bear too much for a sport s max tow with 33s, rubicon shocks and front springs and a half inch front spacer?
 

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I'm headed up to stay a week in Lake City with the Mrs and looking to take a day trip over to Telluride (and maybe Silverton and/or Ouray). I've done Engineer Pass and Cinnamon pass dozens of times in Jeep Wranglers and Razr's. This will be the first trip in the longer wheelbase Gladiator. I'm pretty confident with Engineer and Cinnamon, but trying to figure out what to take between Silverton or Ouray and Telluride. I'm thinking Silverton to Telluride via Ophir Pass. Then Telluride to Ouray via Imogene. From Ouray, I'm thinking we'll take the highway back over to Lake City, as I assume most of the day will be taken up already.

Not 100% sure we'll have time to complete all those passes and spend any time in Telluride. Also curious about taking the Gladiator on Ophir and Imogene. Anyone have experience with this are that might have some insight? I'm certainly open to alternative routes as well.
 

Terry

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My wife's long time friend and her husband owned the Texan Resort in Lake City before selling it and moving to another location. Beautiful area, and tough in the winter....God luck
 

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My wife and I are headed that way this week. We are for sure doing Imogene. I want to try Black Bear as well but don't want to be the idiot from Texas stuck on the trail.

Is Black Bear too much for a sport s max tow with 33s, rubicon shocks and front springs and a half inch front spacer?
It's too late for your trip, but I will post this for anyone reading this thread in the future. Black Bear is not a very technical trail. You can do it in a stock base model JT. What really makes it interesting are the views and the dropoffs. You will want to make sure the weather is good. The pass would be a completely different experience with snow or big rain coming down.

The switchbacks will be more of a challenge in a Gladiator. They won't be an issue but you will need more points in your turns than if you were in a Wrangler.

There are a million videos out there of Black Bear. Just remember that most of them want to make it look as terrifying as possible. It really isn't that bad once you get used to the height. You want to pay close attention of course since the cost of making a stupid error is high. Just take your time and be smart and you'll find it to be a relatively easy but absolutely stunning trail.

Here is my non-professional vid we captured on Black Bear. It's only of the steps and switchbacks (the scary part). About 5 minutes in you can see switchback #1. That is the tightest one that will require a lot of back and forth to get a Gladiator through.

 

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