Best time to visit Colorado

Ophir Pass in Colorado

A scenic high-mountain road with alpine scenery

Best time: June–October

Ophir Pass
Ophir Pass
Ophir Pass
Ophir Pass

Ophir Pass is nestled in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. A high mountain pass with an altitude of 3,593 m (11,789ft) above the sea level can be reached by the Forest Road #630 also called Ophir Pass Road. Ophir Pass Road is a 15.7 km (9.8 mi) dirt trail that features beautiful wildflowers during the summer. To reach this road, from Silverton, travel approximately 4.2 miles north on State Highway 550 and then turn west on County Road 8 (signed as the Ophir Pass Road and Forest Road #679).

Ophir Pass Road is a fast and scenic way to get from Silverton to Telluride. It passes lush San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests offering magnificent views in any direction. Enjoy views of the upper Ophir Valley and rigged peaks of Lizard Head and The Ophir Needles. The section of the road going along the west side of Ophir Pass is rather narrow and rocky. It's hard for two vehicles to pass each other in this section. A 4WD is recommended because of the steep climbs and rocky surface. If you wish to take a long drive, you can continue with the Black Bear Pass Road or the Imogene Pass Road.

From the Ophir Pass summit visitors can get to the Columbine Lake, Crystal Lake, and North and South Lookout Peaks. Three fourteeners—Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak, and El Diente—are visible from the top. The area is excellent for camping, mountain biking, and hiking.

Ophir Pass Road is accessible only from June until October, weather permitting, but there can be snow on top at any time of the year.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Ophir Pass in Colorado?

Ophir Pass is usually open from late June to early October. This time period provides the best conditions for visitors to travel in Colorado. However, the weather in the area can be unpredictable, and travelers should be aware that sudden storms can cause road closures or make travel dangerous. Taking precautions, visitors can expect mild temperatures and passable roads during this season. Show more

Where is Ophir Pass located in Colorado?

Ophir Pass is situated in the south-western parts of San Juan Mountains, in Colorado, USA. The entrance to the pass is accessible via the Ophir Pass Forest Road #630. This road is better known as the Ophir Pass Road and is approximately 4.2 miles north of Silverton. Ophir Pass road is a scenic route to reach Telluride from Silverton, passing through views of the beautiful Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests. Show more

What are some of the nearby attractions that can be accessed from Ophir Pass?

Ophir Pass area offers visitors an opportunity to see several sites like Columbine Lake and Crystal Lake. One can view North and South Lookout Peaks, Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak, and El Diente - three fourteeners - from the Ophir Pass summit. Travelers can indulge in various activities in the area, such as camping, hiking, or mountain biking. The lush forests surrounding the area offer visitors an exceptional view of the San Juan Mountains. Show more

What type of vehicle is recommended to travel on Ophir Pass?

Ophir Pass road is a steep rocky 15.7 km (9.8 mi) dirt trail along the west side of the pass. It is recommended to use a reliable well-maintained 4WD high clearance vehicle that can negotiate the rocky terrain. Traveling through the high-altitude pass can cause discomfort or health issues in some people, so drivers and other passengers need to be prepared. Understanding and adhering to the necessary precautions will ensure a hassle-free journey. Show more

Are there any specific activities that can be done at Ophir Pass during specific times of the year?

The beautiful surroundings of Ophir Pass provide visitors with different activities during specific times of the year. Summer attracts tourists with its breathtaking views of the mountains covered with wildflowers. Those visiting in the Fall, specifically September, can witness the fall's foliage colors in the forests. Winters are challenging at the pass, with heavy snow closing the entrance. However, those with the right conditions and experience can use the pass area for snowshoe hikes and skiing. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin