Colorado’s Black Bear Mine is known as the most dangerous pass, attracting thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure. According to statistics, the road to Black Bear Mine is only open for a few months in the summer and is not for the faint-hearted.
The steep inclines, loose rock, and narrow roads demand only advanced expert wheelers with the right equipment.
Located between Ouray and Telluride, the remnants of the mines and aerial tramways await the brave souls who dare to take on the challenge. The ghost town promises an unforgettable experience for those seeking a challenge and adventure.
However, it is important to note that safety precautions must be taken, and visitors must be fully prepared to handle the difficult terrain and weather conditions. This article will discuss the location, visiting tips, and the necessary safety precautions to conquer Colorado’s most dangerous pass.
- Black Bear Mine is a Colorado Ghost Town between Ouray and Telluride, accessible via a narrow, steep road that is only open for a few months in summer.
- The road to Black Bear Mine is for advanced expert wheelers with the right equipment only, and full-size vehicles are not recommended.
- The Black Bear Pass is considered the most dangerous pass in Colorado and is more slippery in the rain, so safety precautions need to be taken.
- Visitors can see remnants of the mines and aerial tramways at Black Bear Mine and can stop in Telluride to get a shirt that says they conquered Black Bear Pass.
Location and Visiting Tips
Located in Colorado, Black Bear Mine is a ghost town that can only be accessed via a narrow and dangerous road, making it a challenge for even the most advanced expert wheelers with the right equipment.
The road, clearly marked off Highway 550, goes between a point just south of Ouray and crawls over to Telluride. Visitors are advised not to attempt to take a rental or full-size vehicle on this road, as it is only suitable for small jeeps with lockers and lifts. The pass, over 12,800 feet in elevation, is also narrow and becomes one-way later on. However, visitors can turn around if they chicken out in the first part, as the road is quite fun climbing up the southeast side.
The best time to visit Black Bear Mine is in summer, as the road is closed during winter. Visitors are reminded to exercise caution when driving on the road, as it becomes much steeper and a lot of loose rock causing the vehicle to slip and slide as they go down. It is recommended to stay in 4 low first gear and stay off the brakes or the sliding gets worse.
Visitors who are afraid of heights are advised to take some Dramamine, as the road is known as the most dangerous pass in Colorado. It is also important to bring the right equipment to make the trip easier, such as a Jeep with lockers and lift.
To ensure a safe trip, it is recommended to bring a Jeep with Lockers and lift and avoid attempting the road in a full-size vehicle or during slippery conditions such as rain.
The road to Black Bear Pass is known as the most dangerous pass in Colorado, and for good reason. The pass reaches an elevation of over 12,800 feet, and the road is narrow and full of loose rock, making it challenging for even the most experienced drivers.
For those who are afraid of heights, taking some Dramamine before attempting the pass is recommended.
Full-size vehicles are not recommended, as they are too wide for the narrow road, making it almost impossible to navigate through the switchbacks.
It is also important to note that Bridal Veil Falls is a road hazard with yuppie mountain bikers and hikers.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, following these safety precautions and coming prepared with the right equipment and vehicle is crucial.
Regarding the author’s note, it is worth mentioning that the narrowest part of the road can be particularly challenging for full-size vehicles. Visitors should bring a Jeep with Lockers and lift for an easier trip. The author’s experience highlights the importance of having the right equipment to conquer Black Bear Pass. The road is unsuitable for rental or full-size vehicles, and visitors should be aware of the risks involved in driving through the pass with such cars.
Apart from the challenges posed by the road, Black Bear Mine has some interesting facts to offer visitors. The remnants of the mines and the aerial tramways are a testament to the area’s rich history. While the mines may not be much to speak of, the still-hanging aerial tramway cables are a sight.
Visitors should also stop in Telluride and get a shirt that says they conquered Black Bear Pass, a remarkable achievement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history behind Black Bear Mine and why was it abandoned?
Black Bear Mine history dates back to the 1800s when gold and silver were discovered. The mine was abandoned due to declining mineral deposits and the environmental impact caused by mining activities, including deforestation, erosion, and pollution of local water sources.
Are there any accommodations or campgrounds nearby for visitors staying overnight?
Amidst the challenging terrain of Black Bear Mine, accommodation options and nearby campgrounds are scarce. Visitors are advised to plan their trip accordingly, ensuring they have a safe return after experiencing the dangerous pass.
How long does it typically take to complete the Black Bear Pass route, and are there any recommended stops along the way?
The estimated duration to complete the Black Bear Pass route is approximately 4-6 hours. Recommended stops include scenic views at Ingram Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Imogene Pass. Best photo spots include the summit of Black Bear Pass and the Red Mountains.
Can visitors bring their pets on the Black Bear Pass route?
Pets on Black Bear Pass are prohibited due to the dangerous and challenging nature of the route. Visitors with pets can explore pet-friendly alternatives in the surrounding area, such as hiking trails and parks.
Are there any guided tours available for those who may not have the necessary equipment or experience to navigate the pass safely?
Guided tours for Black Bear Pass are available for those who lack necessary equipment or experience. Safety equipment is provided, but it is still recommended to bring a vehicle with lockers and lift.