Ophir Pass, Alta Lakes

1 Review
Location Telluride, CO
Rating Moderate,
Length 14.4mi
Time 3hrs

Vehicle Types


Beautiful high-mountain pass between Silverton and Telluride.

Ophir Pass is a convenient and scenic way to get from Silverton to Telluride. Seasonal wildflowers grow thick at higher elevations. Alta Lakes has great camping and picnicking in a beautiful mountain setting. Camp in designated spots. Unlicensed vehicles are allowed on Ophir Pass Road east of the town of Ophir; however, you cannot ride through town. Watch for signs. Snowplows usually clear Ophir Pass in June. Road to Alta Lakes is closed October through May 15.


Trail Ratings Defined

Applies to narrow, rocky shelf road on the west side of Ophir Pass. Passing an oncoming vehicle can be a little scary for a novice driver. Wait for traffic to clear before starting across. The last tenth of a mile to Alta Lakes is rocky and requires high clearance to reach camping.




Ophir 10mi Alta Lakes 4.4



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Current Conditions

(970) 327-4261San Juan and Uncompahgre N.F., Norwood R.D.

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Trail Updates

Submitted by Mike
The pass is open and it is clear there were around 12 avalanches that occurred on the pass this year. They had abnormal snow fall this year and some passes are closed still.
The pass is on good shape with only one “challenging” area. There is one tight switchback requiring a K turn for 4 door Jeeps and then there is an area of loose shale along with a steep drop off and there is only room for one vehicle with no pull-offs. I wouldn’t call them challenging as it is more common sense than anything. Uphill drivers have right of way… some people don’t seem to understand or know that. The views are absolutely amazing. No need to air down but we did disconnect for some ride comfort.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Bob Walters says

I first drove this in my Isuzu Rodeo about 20 years ago. Last week I drove it in RAV4 and found it to be more challenging than I remember. I don't have an exaggerated fear of heights and never worried about my personal safety, BUT I was concerned about my rental car. Good thing there was no tracking beacon on it. Anyway, this trail poses no problems for those with a "real" 4x4; but for those with a basic crossover, I think the trail is a bit more difficult/worrisome than the authors indicate (I LOVE their book by the way).
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