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.To visit Black Bear Pass and other attractions in Telluride, use our Telluride trip planner.
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.
Black Bear Pass 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.
Plan your trip to Telluride
Get a personalized tripA complete 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 Telluride
Side trips from Telluride
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
Duration: 8 hours
Hidden gems in Telluride
Trails in Telluride
Nearby attractions in Telluride
Trips to Black Bear Pass by other users
5 days in Telluride BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Idarado Mine Box Canyon Waterfall & Park Off-Road Tours 6 days in Telluride BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Baby Bath Tubs Trail Off-Road Tours 7 days in Mancos BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Soda Canyon Overlook Trail Balcony House Cliff Palace 4 days in Telluride BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Bear Creek Falls Black Bear Pass Idarado Mine 1 day in Telluride BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Main Street Black Bear Pass Bear Creek Falls 36 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Denver Estes Park Colorado Springs