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Black Bear Pass, Telluride

#17 of 57 in Things to do in Telluride
Historic Walking Area · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Black Bear Road, officially Forest Service Road 648, is a notorious jeep trail that starts from 11018ft summit of Red Mountain Pass on U.S. Highway 550 (between Ouray and Silverton) to Telluride, Colorado. The Black Bear Road crests at Black Bear Pass, elevation 12840ft. The road descends over a set of infamous switchbacks as it navigates the heights above Telluride. The road passes Bridal Veil Falls, the highest waterfall in Colorado. The road was made famous in a spoken word song by C.W. McCall of the same name.
Black Bear Road is open a few months of the year, from late summer (usually the last week of July) to early fall. The road is traveled only downhill from Red Mountain Pass — except for the annual Jeeper's Jamboree in which travel is reversed for one day only. The start of the trail is marked along U.S. 550 with the famous sign that reads:

"Black Bear Road" song from Black Bear Road (album) is also the name of the C.W. McCall album which contains the song that made the road famous.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
64 reviews
  • Black Bear Pass is like no other. Only experts should ever take this "road" over the mountains into Telluride. We had a great driver -- Kevin -- from Telluride Outside. Patient, competent, expert...  more »
  • This is a narrow, rugged path up to Bridal Veil Falls, which can be hiked or driven in a 4x4 vehicle. Breathtaking scenery, steep drop-offs with no guardrail and room for only one vehicle at a time.....  more »
  • Nice but snowed shut in July!
  • What an awesome trail for a day of adventure! Spectacular sights and an adrenaline pumper of a trail headed down to Telluride. Better not be afraid of heights.

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