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Black Bear Pass - 4 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 4.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 28 2016
rwstorm
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 123
 Photos 19,319
 Triplogs 861

71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Black Bear Pass Flowers, CO 
Black Bear Pass Flowers, CO
 
4x4 Trip avatar Jul 28 2016
rwstorm
4x4 Trip
4x4 Trip
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Drove partway to Black Bear Pass from highway 550 to check out the fine flower display. There was the usual heavy traffic, so turned around before reaching the pass. The flower action is in the lower portions anyway. Drove back down to where Paul and I camped along South Mineral Creek Road, dropping him off, as he was staying another night. Then started the drive back to Arizona. Took the long way down through Albuquerque (via 550) and spent the night at Truth or Consequences, before making it back to Tucson Friday.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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From the vaults of Jacob Waltz...with a little help from his Buddy Weiser
Jun 20 2015
PrestonSands
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 Guides 168
 Routes 149
 Photos 5,534
 Triplogs 1,317

41 male
 Joined Apr 12 2004
 Oro Valley, AZ
Black Bear PassWest, CO
West, CO
Hiking avatar Jun 20 2015
PrestonSands
Hiking6.10 Miles 2,103 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles
2,103 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I started hiking up Black Bear Road above Telluride from the base of Bridal Veil Falls, my intended destination being Ajax Peak. After passing the turnoff for the power plant, I left the crowds of hikers behind, and trudged through the first of several snow drifts. This was my first time on the legendary Black Bear Road, and it was even worse than I had imagined, mostly because of how narrow and eroded it was. I can't envision a vehicle driving down it. Maybe rolling down the side of the mountain, perhaps.

At the top of the switchbacks, I ran into the obstacle that I thought I might encounter: Ingram Creek. It was absolutely raging with snowmelt water, and I wasn't sure about safely crossing it, as it was only a few feet above Ingram Falls. Safety won me over. I put aside my summit fever, and began to explore the remains of the Black Bear Mill next to the falls. I searched through the tailings, found a few pieces of iron pyrite, and wandered around the collapsed building and stamps. Later I read that the mill was destroyed in a fatal avalanche in 1926. The power of snow!

I ate my lunch in the surprisingly hot alpine sunlight, and then began the hike back down the road to Telluride. Shauna picked me up at the Smuggler-Union Mill, and we drove back into town to catch an afternoon performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Next time, Ajax.
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"I'm going for a coffee, but you never know when a hike might break out." -Jim Gaffigan
2 archives
Sep 24 2014
AZWanderingBea
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 Guides 27
 Routes 62
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 697

63 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Bear PassWest, CO
West, CO
4x4 Trip avatar Sep 24 2014
AZWanderingBear
4x4 Trip5.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
4x4 Trip5.00 Miles
1,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wanted to scout this one a ways out and then maybe come back and do it in my Jeep. The wife got scared, although the first part of the trail is very easy. I will return and do this solo another time.
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All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
Aug 13 2013
rwstorm
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 123
 Photos 19,319
 Triplogs 861

71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Black Bear PassWest, CO
West, CO
4x4 Trip avatar Aug 13 2013
rwstorm
4x4 Trip
4x4 Trip
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A drive to Black Bear Pass along the infamous Black Bear Road. The part to the pass is easy, with the crazy stuff further on as it drops precipitously to Telluride. :sweat: I had no interest in this part, just wanted to go to the pass. Also took a side trip a short distance on the side road that goes to Bullion King Lake. The San Juan Mountains had been getting some significant rain, so water was flowing everywhere. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQRJvoUB ... omx4diET0w
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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From the vaults of Jacob Waltz...with a little help from his Buddy Weiser
Aug 14 2012
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 135
 Photos 20,109
 Triplogs 1,831

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Black Bear PassWest, CO
West, CO
4x4 Trip avatar Aug 14 2012
CannondaleKid
4x4 Trip8.20 Miles 2,175 AEG
4x4 Trip8.20 Miles   1 Hour   18 Mns   7.81 mph
2,175 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
After our Ice Lake hike we had time but little energy for another hike so we decided to do some 4x4 recon out to Black Bear Pass. We drove out Black Bear Pass road to the 'point-of-no-return' after which the road becomes one-way... down! We decided to save hairy switch-back section until next year when we'll return with a more capable (and shorter) vehicle.

As usual I posted photos on HAZ as well as the full set here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/album.php?id=195
Named place
Named place
Ingram Basin Mineral Basin
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CannondaleKid
Jul 22 2005
TM1ssKDMac
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 Guides 9
 Routes 10
 Photos 4,110
 Triplogs 38

57 male
 Joined Apr 15 2004
 Joseph City, Ari
Black Bear PassWest, CO
West, CO
4x4 Trip avatar Jul 22 2005
TM1ssKDMac
4x4 Trip11.00 Miles 5,830 AEG
4x4 Trip11.00 Miles   5 Hrs      2.20 mph
5,830 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Black Bear Pass 4X4 Road

We were spending a wonderful week enjoying the astounding beauty, fresh air and proximity to the clouds during the third week of July 2005. I had organized the trip as a family reunion and chance for us to all get out for some 4X4 exploration of America's Switzerland, the incomparable San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. On the morning of the 22nd we departed our base camp at the beautiful amphitheater campground perched high on the cliffs above Ouray and headed south on US 550 for a run over the infamous Black Bear Pass.

This pass has over the years acquired a reputation as the most terrifying 4X4 road in North America. This reputation is based largely on the fact that the road descends down the near vertical face of Ingram Peak via a series of very tight switchbacks, past Ingram Falls and Colorado's Second highest waterfall, Bridal Veil Falls. The road then continues to drop down into the valley of the San Miguel River and to the booming suburb of Hollywood known as Telluride.

My brother had not yet arrived and was going to be driving a large Ford F350 Club Cab and was not going to be able to attempt Black Bear due to his long wheelbase so we were going to be making this run solo with my trail tested, stock Suburban. I had never been all the way over Black Bear but had made it into Ingram Basin about 21 years prior with my Mom, Dad and my new wife who was 7 month pregnant with our first child. That was a week of wheelin that she will always remember! I wanted to try the pass myself now but my vehicle was a 1999 Chevrolet 4x4 Suburban and I knew that the wheel base was longer than what was recommended for the tight switchbacks of this extreme road. I had been over Imogene Pass pulling a trailer a year earlier in the Suburban & was confident in my ability to drive the road but remained unsure about how the size of the vehicle would impact my attempt. I made several phone calls to tour guides & Jeep rental companies in Silverton & Ouray & all told me not to try the pass in a Suburban... all except one... a tour operator in Ouray. He said "Let me put it this way, I have 8 drivers including myself that drive these road around here for a living and of these 8 there are only 2 that would attempt to take a Suburban over Black Bear and I'm not one of them." I said "So your telling me it can be done?" He said "Yes but you better damn well know what you are doing!" We were a go! :DANCE:

En route to the turnoff for the Bear at the top of Red Mountain Pass we paused at Bear Creek Falls to enjoy the view for a while. This was the location of Otto Mears toll gate on his toll road between Ironton and Ouray. At this point there was no way for freighters or travelers to get around his toll gate so the toll had to be paid. Proceeding on we paused on one of the many switchbacks of Red Mountain Pass to look at the structures of the Idarado Mine that has tunnels winding all through the mountains between there and Telluride. (See the history section of the description of Black Bear) Arriving at the top of Red Mountain Pass we turned west onto Black Bear Pass Road and began our adventure! My wife, Jill had a few nervous moments :pray: I had my own nervous moments as the fear of the unknown almost had me turning around at the point of no return, but we did fine! The attached photos document our successful run over this great Colorado 4X4 road. :)
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Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
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Wildflowers Observation Extreme
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Kelly D. McLaughlin
average hiking speed 2.2 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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