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Imogene Pass - 13 Things to Know Before Visiting

Mountain Passes

About Imogene Pass

Imogene Pass is a high mountain pass located in the San Miguel County of Colorado. The pass is situated between the towns of Ouray and Telluride, and it provides stunning views of the surrounding area. At an elevation of over 13,000 feet, Imogene Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in the state, and it is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Colorado. The trail to the top of the pass is relatively challenging, but it is well worth the effort for the incredible views.

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Things to Do at Imogene Pass

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, no matter what your interests are. For outdoors enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, as well as opportunities for fishing, camping, and birdwatching. History buffs will enjoy visiting the Old Hundred Gold Mine and the Telluride Historic District. And if you're looking for a little bit of everything, be sure to check out the annual Imogene Pass Run, which features a 10-mile race from Ouray to Telluride. No matter what your interests are, you're sure to find something to do in Imogene Pass.

History of Imogene Pass

Imogene Pass is a high mountain pass that traverses the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The pass is located in the northeastern part of San Miguel County, between the towns of Ouray and Telluride. It is one of the most popular routes for hikers, scenic drives, and four-wheel-driving in the region.

The pass takes its name from Imogene Hill, which was named after the daughter of prospector John C. Osgood. Osgood was one of the first settlers in the San Juans, and he built a cabin near present-day Ouray in 1875. In 1876, he discovered silver deposits in the area and became a wealthy man overnight. Imogene Hill was named after Osgood's daughter, who died at a young age.

The first road over Imogene Pass was built by miners in 1877 as a shortcut between Ouray and Silverton. The road quickly became popular with travelers and residents alike, as it provided easier access to the mining camps in the San Juans. Today, the road over Imogene Pass is still popular with motorists, although it has been closed to vehicles several times due to avalanches and other dangers.

Best Time to Visit Imogene Pass

The best time to visit Imogene Pass is in the summer. From late June to early September, the pass is open to vehicles, making it the perfect time to explore the area's stunning mountain scenery. In addition, the weather is warm and dry during this time of year, making it ideal for hiking and camping. 

Tips for Visiting Imogene Pass

  1. Make sure you have a 4x4 vehicle - the road to Imogene Pass is unpaved and can be very rough.
  2. Come prepared for all weather conditions - the weather can change very quickly in the mountains.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings - there are plenty of opportunities to get lost if you're not paying attention.
  4. Use caution when crossing streams - they can be deeper and faster-flowing than they look.
  5. binoculars are a necessity if you want to spot wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, elk, and golden eagles.
  6. If possible, avoid visiting during peak times like summer and winter break. The crowds can make it difficult to enjoy the area fully. 
  7. Be prepared for some challenging hikes. Many of the trails in Imogene Pass are quite steep, so make sure you're in good shape before attempting them. 
  8. Finally, take your time and savor every moment . Imogene Pass is a truly special place and it's worth taking your time to explore it fully. 

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Imogene Pass

  1. At 12,925 feet above sea level, Imogene Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in Colorado.
  2. The first road over the pass was built by Mears in 1879, and it remained the only route through the area for nearly 50 years. 
  3. An average of 200 inches of snowfall occurs at the summit each year. 
  4. There are several hiking trails in the area, including the Bear Creek Trail and the Mt. Sneffels Trail. 
  5. There are several ghost towns in the vicinity of Imogene Pass, including Animas Forks and Tombstone."
  6. The pass provides stunning views of the 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juans.
  7. In recent years, Imogene Pass has been used as a challenging racecourse for cyclists and runners alike.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Imogene Pass

Though the exact length of the hike depends on the trail you take, most hikers agree that it takes about six toeight hours to explore the entire pass. 

How to Reach Imogene Pass

To reach the pass, take Highway 550 from Ouray to Ridgway. From Ridgway, follow the Dallas Divide Road (County Road 8) for about 12 miles. The pass will be on your right. 

Entrance Fee of Imogene Pass

There is no entrance fee to explore Imogene Pass, San Miguel County, Colorado. However, there may be fees for camping or other activities within the pass. Be sure to check with the local ranger station for more information.

Opening Hours of Imogene Pass

The pass is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, with varying hours depending on the day of the week. On weekends, the pass is open from 8:00 AM. to 6:00 PM., while on weekdays it is open from 9:00 AM. to 5:00 PM. These hours give visitors plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and wildlife of the area, as well as to hike or camp overnight. 

Attractions Near Imogene Pass

Ajax Peak

Ajax Peak

1.75km from Imogene Pass

Ajax Peak is a summit in the San Miguel Mountains, which is notable for its views of the surrounding area, as well as its proximity to the town of Telluride. Ajax Peak is one of the more popular hiking destinations in the area, and the trailhead is easily accessible from Telluride. The hike to the summit is relatively short and easy, making it a great option for families. Once at the top, hikers are treated to 360 views of the San Juans, including 14ers such as Mount Sneffels and Wilson Peak.

Ingram Falls

Ingram Falls

2.48km from Imogene Pass

Ingram Falls is located in the San Miguel county of Colorado. The falls are situated on a tributary of the San Miguel river, and they flow over a bed of limestone. The falls are approximately 30 feet high, and they have a wide variety of plant life growing on their banks. The area around the falls is popular for hiking and bird watching, and the views from the top of the falls are stunning. Ingram Falls is a beautiful natural feature that is definitely worth a visit.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

3.31km from Imogene Pass

Bridal Veil Falls is a waterfall located in San Miguel County. The falls are located on a tributary of the San Miguel River, and they cascade down a steep cliff face for nearly 300 feet. The falls are particularly popular with hikers and photographers, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. In addition to its natural beauty, Bridal Veil Falls is also noteworthy for its historical significance. The falls were once used by Native Americans as a site for religious ceremonies.

Bridal Veil Trail

Bridal Veil Trail

3.55km from Imogene Pass

The Bridal Veil Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in San Miguel County, Colorado. The trailhead is located just outside the town of Telluride, and the trail winds its way up into the mountains for about 3 miles. Along the way, hikers can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding peaks, as well as a number of waterfalls and cascades. The trail eventually ends at a beautiful alpine lake, where hikers can take a dip or simply enjoy the scenery.

The Million Dollar Highway

The Million Dollar Highway

3.65km from Imogene Pass

The Million Dollar Highway is a name given to a section of U.S. Highway 550 that runs through Ouray County. The highway is considered to be one of the most scenic and dangerous roads in the country. The road was built in the early 1900s and is famous for its hairpin turns and steep grades. It is also known for being treacherous in the winter months, when ice and snow make the road extremely slick. Despite these efforts, the Million Dollar Highway remains an exciting and challenging drive.

Hayden Mountain

Hayden Mountain

3.85km from Imogene Pass

Hayden Mountain is one of the tallest peaks in the Ouray County, Colorado. It is a popular destination for hikers and climbers due to its challenging trails and stunning views. Hayden Mountain is also home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, and bighorn sheep. The mountain is named after Ferdinand V. Hayden, who was the first to survey the area in 1874. Today, Hayden Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world.

Discover More Attractions in San Miguel County, Home of Imogene Pass

San Miguel County

San Miguel County

20 attractions

San Miguel County is located in the southwestern corner of Colorado. It is home to the towns of Telluride, Mountain Village, and Norwood. The county is well-known for its scenic beauty, and it attracts visitors from all over the world. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, and camping are popular in the area. The county also has a rich history, and there are many sites of interest for history buffs. In recent years, the county has become increasingly popular as a destination for wed

Where is Imogene Pass