Imogene Pass

Telluride, Colorado 81435

Imogene Pass

Imogene Pass Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Imogene Pass is the second highest drivable pass in Colorado. The drive is one of the most thrilling in the state. At Savage Basin, you’ll pass through Tomboy Townsite, once one of most active mining towns in Colorado. Production lasted until 1927 so a great deal of mining debris is still scattered about. The townsite is private land and very dangerous so stay on main road and view it from a distance.

The trail is blocked by snow until it is plowed, usually in early July. ATVs are permitted on north side of pass. On south side, San Juan County restricts unlicensed vehicles to forest roads only. ATVs can not travel on county roads that cross private property. Do not take this trip lightly. The road is rocky, steep and narrow in places and passing can be dangerous. In the summer of 2004, an SUV rolled off the mountain while attempting to pass at a narrow spot. Tragically, several people were killed. Stock SUVs should have low-range gearing, 4WD, high clearance and skid plates. Experienced drivers only."

More Imogene Pass Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

4WD Adventures: Colorado (Adler Publishing )
Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson
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"Imogene Pass is the second highest pass road in the United States and provides a wonderfully scenic route through the San Juan Mountains. The route passes two major mining camps: Camp Bird and Tomboy. The ghost town of Tomboy is one of the better ghost towns to visit in the area as many of its buildings still stand above their foundations. Special Attractions: The highest pass road in the San Juan Mountains, with spectacular scenery and a wealth of historic interest; The ghost town of Tomboy; Views of Bridal Veil Falls and the switchbacks of Black Bear Pass Trail. High-clearance 4WDs are recommended, though most stock SUVs are acceptable. Expect a rough road surface with rocks larger than 6 inches, but there will be a reasonable driving line available. Patches of mud are possible but can be readily negotiated; sand may be deep and require lower tire pressures. There may be stream crossings up to 12 inches deep, substantial sections of single-lane shelf road, moderate grades, and sections of moderately loose road surface."

Imogene Pass Trip Reports

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WOW, you have to do this Pass. It is not a technical pass BUT there are sheer drop offs and the road is only big enough for one HIGH CLEARANCE car. If you are at all afraid of heights or have no clue how to drive these passes please do not attempt. But you have to check out Tomboy Mine, unbelievable how those miners lived and you can get a clear picture of it if you go up there!!
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Imogene pass was a fun trip with great scenery. Although I did not find this trip very challenging it did have areas that made it exciting. I traveled the pass from Telluride to Ouray. Climbing up to the top of the pass I encountered a steeper area of loose shale where the lockers proved there worthyness. With the steeper grades, narrow road, water crossing and scenery I rate this trail as a five. My star rating of a 3 is do to the fact there is no serious rock climbing or high clearance requirements. A stock jeep would do well on this pass.

Imogene Pass Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
ATVs and Dirt Bikes
4 to 5 hours
Spring through fall; when snow free
Uncompahgre National Forest
Local Contacts
Colorado Atlas and Gazetteer; Uncompahgre National Forest map; Trails Illustrated Silverton, Ouray #141
Local Maps

Trail Log