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Ophir Pass

Average Rating:    (4 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 2

Okay, so it's a super-rocky Jeep trail and a non-technical *&@! of a grind. The cool thing about this trail is the chance to drag-race your friend's car to Silverton -- and win. At 12 miles, Ophir Pass is by far the shortest distance between Hwy 550 (which sports Ouray, Silverton and Durango) and Hwy 145 (which features Telluride, Lizard Head Wilderness and Mt. Sneffels Wilderness). The passenger-car way around to Silverton's about 80 miles. An advanced rider can make it highway to highway in 80 - 100 minutes. My girlfriend (no speed racer, granted) took about 110. The things that make this an advanced ride are the VO2 max and the balance required to make it up without your hands on the saddle. The Jeep trail is wall-to-wall rocks the size of softballs, and you have to steer from the rear since the front wheel barely touches the ground many places: note the lack of switchbacks; this is a nearly straight, 2500' up 'n over (on the Ophir side, check out the "shortcut" to the top with the 35-degree pitch). Speaking of which, the view in here is killer. Halfway through the ride you can see the pass "right there." It looks like you can touch it even when it's over a half-hour away. Grinding so slowly to something so intimately near gives this ride a theatrical, dreamy quality. You're above the treeline and totally exposed-- you can see everywhere you've gone, everywhere you're going... all moving by real, real slow. Speaking of exposed, don't get caught out here in a thunderstorm. On the Ophir side above the trees, there's absolutely nowhere to hide. And buy your gu in Telluride, since there's not a store or business to be seen in Ophir.
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Latitude
37.85737162269891
Longitude
-107.82308578491211
Trail Directions
Ophir turnoff on Hwy 145, 10 miles south of Telluride and just north of Trout Lake.
Trail Length
12
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Telluride
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

Review Date
September 2, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 1 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
1.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: mmaizel ,  Weekend Warrior , from Fort Collins, CO

Summary:
Ophir pass is, to me an advanced trail - not "moderate'. It is fabulous to travel but as someone has said, though, the driver should never stop to admire the view (until you're on top). -- That is, however, until you, with the right-of-way UP run into someone who saw you coming UP decided not to wait at the switchback at the top for you to get there where it's possible to pass easily. This is a ONE VEHICLE-WIDE road on the western slope, Telluride side. So, anyway, down he came in his huge Chevy pick-up with wife and child aboard. There was one VERY small widening in the road, canyon side above treeline. To make a long story short, with my SUV hood pointed straight at the sky, I was able, by inches to get over enough to the edge to give him one inch between us with beckoning guidance from my companion whose heels were in the air as he faced me on the road and his back to open space. Then, with rear view mirrors collapsed the Chevy trucked on by, one inch from my left side. -- His wife and child had gotten out looking particularly perturbed with him for coming down the trail when he could easily see us coming up the trail face. Other than that, after getting past him, a large rock ledge in the trail base caused my rather heavy BMW to leap one foot into the air when I had to gain traction on all fours just to get over it. The sharp switchback near the top added similar excitement --. By now, my steady true grit unwillingness to stop on the road with its sometimes very steep grade was showing. - An exciting trip. Whoever classifies this as 'Moderate' might drive it again. I'm a mountain girl from British Columbia, and I'd say it's tougher than that. Other than that, purple-blue skies, warm sunshine, soft breezes and glorious views forever above treeline made a perfect (labour)day trek. A real treat !!

Recommended Route:
Route 550 westward from Red Mountain to Ohir, west side. East side is easier. Only one way to go. Follow the one lane road and be prepared to move over for yo-yos to one inch of the edge!!



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Review Date
July 11, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Ben Madden , from Albuquerque, NM

Summary:
See trail description.

Recommended Route:
Only one way -- just follow the signs.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
The good news is, this is a really cool link describing 24 great rides in the San Juan Mountains. The bad news is it's a Jeep site. Check it out anyway:



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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)
 


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