Ophir Pass, Colorado

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Ophir Pass

Ophir Pass is an easy-going dirt road linking Telluride to Silverton with great views of Lizard Head Wilderness and the red-drenched peaks of Red Mountain Pass.

  • Ophir Pass is connects Ophir to Red Mountain Pass and doesn't require four-wheel drive.
  • The journey is about 20 miles from Telluride, and takes about three hours.
  • The summit of the pass is worth a stop to soak in the vast mountain ranges and snap a photo or two.

Overview

Known as one of the easiest unpaved mountain passes in the region, Ophir Pass is a fun and straightforward drive from Ophir to the summit of Red Mountain Pass. For the most part, the route follows a simple dirt road and four-wheel drive isn’t required, but it is a good idea to have a vehicle with reasonable clearance.

Driving Directions

The pass begins east of Ophir, a small community south of Telluride on Highway 145, and quickly climbs into the rugged backcountry. After the reaching the summit of Ophir Pass, the road drops in the Red Mountain basin and connects with Highway 550 about five miles south of the summit.

Time/Distance

The drive from Telluride to Red Mountain Pass is 20 miles and takes about three hours to complete.

Highlights

The climax of this journey is the colorful and contrasting summit of Ophir Pass. Green tundra and rich forests give way to the red-soaked cap of Lookout Mountain, an unusual and beautiful photo opportunity.

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