Red Mountain Pass elevation 11,018 ft (3,358 m) is a mountain pass in the San Juan Mountains of western ColoradoMake Red Mountain Pass part of your personalized Ouray itinerary using our Ouray travel route site.
in the United States.
The pass straddles a divide that separates Ouray and San Juan counties. The pass is named for the nearby Red Mountain on the northeast side of the pass. The name is derived from the iron oxide laden rock that forms their slopes.
The pass separates the Uncompahgre and Las Animas River watersheds, and also serves as a dividing point between the Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests. The pass is traversed by the Million Dollar Highway, U.S. Highway 550 between Ouray and Silverton, which is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway.
The pass is known for being treacherous in the wintertime due to the steep 8% grade and switchbacks on the north side facing Ouray, though the entire road is paved. Avalanches are frequent, and can block the highway for some time. The lower part of the pass towards Ouray is blasted into near-vertical cliffs of quartzite hundreds of feet above Red Mountain Creek and the Uncompahgre River. This section of road is winding, narrow and has no shoulder.
Red Mountain Pass reviews
left Durango to go to Ouray for lunch. Once you pass the fork at Silverton, the road gets very winding & steep with lots of switchbacks. Saw tee shirts in town boasting "I survived Red Mt. Pass...
left Durango to go to Ouray for lunch. Once you pass the fork at Silverton, the road gets very winding & steep with lots of switchbacks. Saw tee shirts in town boasting "I survived Red Mt. Pass... more »
Took this road to Telluride. Such great views and took many pictures, not as scary as the other roads
Took this road to Telluride. Such great views and took many pictures, not as scary as the other roads more »
We took motorcycles in the rain down this pass. Even with the rain it gets 5 star rating for beauty! It’s a must go to if your out that way!!
If you are a flat lander, have anxiety with heights, this drive will challenge you. A lot of this road has sheer cliffs and drops with no guardrail. There is tension between those who are wanting to go at a slow pace and those who want to move along faster. I did this ride with my sister, and we did not know what we getting ourselves into. It was a bit of a knuckle biter for us. Scary, yet exciting and beautiful. It was very worth while, but I think if we knew knew what was coming, we would have chicken out . I recommend it as it became an unexpected highlight of our trip.
Plan your trip to Ouray
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Ouray
Side trips from Ouray
Hidden gems in Ouray
Nearby attractions in Ouray
Trails in Ouray
Trips in Red Mountain Pass by other users
10 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Denver Leadville Creede 11 days in Ouray BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Kendall Mountain Silverton Powdercats Molas Pass 15 days in Ouray BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Bear Creek National Recreation Trail Cascade Falls Park Ouray County Museum 15 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Denver Glenwood Springs Grand Junction 14 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Ouray Durango Colorado Springs 8 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Rocky Mountain National Park Ouray Aspen