We had a blast on Black Bear Pass and a really nice lunch in Telluride at a park, and we made it across town to start Imogene Pass. We immediately saw signs noting the road was closed, but then found out from someone coming the other way that the trail would be closed for the Imogene Pass Run the next day. We got lucky, because we didn't know about it beforehand. It would have been a bummer to make it over to Telluride and then not be able to take a 4x4 road back to Ouray. We saw more signs and cones along the way, but the road was open for us.
The climb out of town was nice, though we passed quite a few vehicles coming in the other direction. Skies were hazy from fires in the western half of the country, but we could still see the switchbacks on Black Bear Pass and Bridal Veil Falls in the distance as we climbed. It's a pretty cool sight.
Aspen leaves were still green, and the weather was perfect. It didn't take us too long to get to the Smuggler Union Mine where we spent quite a bit of time. There are lots of photos to take, a mine shaft to look down, and mining equipment and remnants all over the place. We liked it more than the Tomboy townsite, but that might be because there were lots of people at Tomboy just up the trail. Though we got out at Tomboy, we didn't spend much time there at all. It was just too crowded.
The trail was surprisingly difficult just south of Tomboy where there were quite a few options and none of them easy. The climbs were steep and twisty, but usually pretty short. It was pretty fun.
We worked our way up to the high elevations of Imogene Pass where we didn't stop, though we did go over to the overlook. There were a few other people up there, but it's a big area so there was plenty of room. It was really, really windy, so we took our pictures and moved on.
The trail on the way down from the pass is nice, and not too difficult. When we got to the network of trails next to the Hidden Treasure Mine and Upper Camp Bird, we went off to play. There are lots of little hills, narrow sections, and a closed mine that had its gate nearly ripped off. We got flashlights to peer down the tunnel, but didn't go in. Closed mines are way too dangerous, and it's private property. We drove around a bit more, and it was a fun diversion from the main trail.
The waterfall was next, and we wanted to explore a bit more. We went down to the campsite and then up to the other side, but the waterfall wasn't as nice on that half. It looked like the trail used to go through the water to the other side along an old dam that was fascinating to look at, but that option was gone now. We cruised around to the other side to enjoy the water, and hung out for a bit before moving on.
We stayed on County Road 26A at the intersection, and that took us out to the crossing through Sneffels Creek. It wasn't deep, but it was still fun. Then the trail ended on County Road 26.
We talked about turning left to go see Yankee Boy Basin, but it had been a long day. We decided that a campfire sounded better, so we turned right and headed back to Ouray. It was an amazing day.
Reports from Other Days: 3
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Imogene Pass. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.