Black Bear Pass


The Black Bear Pass Trail is located between Silverton and Telluride, Colorado, off of US Hwy 550.  To get to the trailhead from Silverton, take US 550 North about 9.5 miles.  Turn left (West) onto CO 16, at the Black Bear Pass sign.  Ranging in elevation from nearly 13,000 feet down to under 9,000, the Black Bear Pass Trail leads you up to Black Bear Pass from US 550, and then down into the town of Telluride.  Between Waypoints BB01-01 through BB01-07, the trail climbs from approximately 11,000 feet up to Black Bear Pass at 12,900 feet.  The remainder of the trail is the descent down in the city of Telluride.  Between Waypoints BB01-14 and BB01-15, you will encounter the first of several extremely tight switchbacks, followed by the start of the very steep descent into Telluride.  Waypoint BB01-15 is one of the more picturesque locations of the trail; at Ingram Falls, with a breathtaking view of Telluride 2,000 feet below and just under 3 miles away.  At this point, through Waypoint BB01-25, the trail descends more then 1,500 feet in only 1.5 miles via numerous very tight switchbacks.  This is the “scariest” part of the trail, especially if you are uncomfortable with heights!  During the initial portion of the descent, there are several views of Bridal Veil Falls (near Waypoint BB01-18), one of the most photographed location in Colorado.  At Waypoint BB01-26, you take SR 145 into Telluride.  From this point, the easiest and quickest way back to Silverton is via the Ophir Pass Trail.  Note: You cannot take the Black Bear Pass Trail back to Hwy 550; near Bridal Veil Falls it becomes “one-way” only!  The Black Bear Pass Trail is just over 9 miles one way and takes about 3 or 4 hours to reach Telluride.

Difficulty Rating:  Two (2) Moderate
(based on my personal rating scale on the Trails Page)

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Here are a couple shots from the Black Bear Pass Trail.
On the left, we are starting the descent into Telluride, visible in the background.
On the right is Bridal Veil Falls.

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Cumm. Dist.









N37° 53.789’

W107° 42.781’



0.20 mi

0.20 mi

230° (SW)

N37° 53.676’

W107° 42.950’



0.66 mi

0.86 mi

277° (W)

N37° 53.743’

W107° 43.668’



0.29 mi

1.15 mi

51° (NE)

N37° 53.902’

W107° 43.420’



0.36 mi

1.51 mi

297° (WNW)

N37° 54.047’

W107° 43.776’



0.30 mi

1.81 mi

247° (WSW)

N37° 53.944’

W107° 44.076’



0.46 mi

2.27 mi

274° (W)

N37° 53.969’

W107° 44.582’



0.33 mi

2.60 mi

14° (NNE)

N37° 54.250’

W107° 44.494’



0.29 mi

2.89 mi

348° (NNW)

N37° 54.495’

W107° 44.562’



0.25 mi

3.14 mi

65° (ENE)

N37° 54.587’

W107° ’44.314



0.41 mi

3.56 mi

333° (NNW)

N37° 54.907’

W107° 44.523’



0.18 mi

3.74 mi

295° (WNW)

N37° 54.974’

W107° 44.702’



0.30 mi

4.04 mi

2° (N)

N37° 55.236’

W107° 44.693’



0.20 mi

4.24 mi

237°WSW ()

N37° 55.144’

W107° 44.875’



0.76 mi

5.00 mi

290° (WNW)

N37° 55.367’

W107° 45.667’



0.31 mi

5.31 mi

223° (SW)

N37° 55.169’

W107° 45.900’



0.14 mi

5.45 mi

19° (NNE)

N37° 55.280’

W107° 45.851’



0.19 mi

5.64 mi

233° (SW)

N37° 55.182’

W107° 46.018’



0.19 mi

5.82 mi

31° (NNE)

N37° 55.321’

W107° 45.912’



0.19 mi

6.02 mi

230° (SW)

N37° 55.213’

W107° 46.076’



0.16 mi

6.18 mi

27° (NNE)

N37° 55.341’

W107° 45.995’



0.21 mi

6.39 mi

230° (SW)

N37° 55.221’

W107° 46.174’



0.17 mi

6.56 mi

26° (NNE)

N37° 55.351’

W107° 46.094’



0.14 mi

6.70 mi

245° (WSW)

N37° 55.298’

W107° 46.235’



0.25 mi

6.95 mi

18° (NNE)

N37° 55.504’

W107° 46.148’



0.76 mi

7.71 mi

311° (NW)

N37° 55.937’

W107° 46.775’



0.87 mi

8.57 mi

284° (WNW)

N37° 56.117’

W107° 47.700’



0.73 mi

9.31 mi

279° (W)

N37° 56.215’

W107° 48.499’

Notice: Off-highway travel is by its very nature potentially dangerous and could result in property damage, injury, or even death.  If you drive any of the trails on this web site, you acknowledge these risks and assume full responsibility.  You are the final judge as to whether a trail is safe to drive, whether your vehicle is capable of the journey, and whether your skills are up to the challenge.  The publisher of this web site disclaims any and all liability for property damage, bodily injury, or death that could occur to you or any of your passengers.  To the best of my knowledge, the information contained on this page was accurate as of the time I road this trail during the Summer 2003.   However, things change over time.  And portions of this trail may no longer be legally accessible to motorized vehicles.  Therefore, please be good stewards of our sport--always stay on designated trails . . . and always, always remember to Tread Lightly!

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