Black Bear Pass
Our objective for the day was to do the loop made by Black Bear Pass and Imogene Pass and then run Yankee Boy Basin. If time permitted, we also wanted to check out Governor Basin. The weather was bright and sunny -- a perfect day for wheeling in the San Juan Mountains. We reached the trailhead at about 8:30AM, so time was on our side.
The climb to the top was fairly mellow, and we enjoyed it immensely. We stopped briefly at the summit for a couple of pictures and took in the views from the pass. We could see the trail stretched out in front of us. We didn't see anyone heading up so we headed down. The basin and the mountains in front of us made our drive beautiful the whole way down.
As far as we could tell, we had the entire trail to ourselves. We were surprised to see that, as Black Bear Pass is a very popular trail. As we worked our way down we found many optional lines, along with some that offered a bit more of a challenge than others, but nothing was really that difficult. It wasn't long before we had Telluride in sight and were on the rocky switchback above Ingram Falls.
This switchback had just claimed another Jeep. Someone must have had a momentary lapse of concentration on the trail and went over the side. Fortunately no one was hurt and they walked out. The switchbacks are not that extreme but you definitely have to pay attention.
We got around that and the next switchback, and then were at Ingram Falls. We spent a lot of time there. We posed for pictures in and around the falls and in the creek with Telluride as a backdrop. It was fun and the break was welcomed. Soon, we headed on down through the many tight switchbacks along the way.
The trail is very narrow through the next couple of switchbacks. It is easy to understand why this trail is a one-way trail for traffic. We went down the next few switchbacks, and ended up at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. For some reason, access to the falls had been blocked off with yellow tape put up by the local authorities. Since we had all been to the falls before, not having access was less of disappointment and we headed on down to Telluride.
We made the quick trip through Telluride to start Imogene Pass. Black Bear Pass is definitely one of our favorites, as always. It has gorgeous waterfalls, great mountain scenery, and some dangerous sections to get the adrenaline flowing. Who could ask for more?
Reports from Other Days: 4
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Black Bear Pass. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.