We are headed to Montrose next Thursday for a long weekend. Looking to ride towards Telluride and see what kind of riding we can find. I've never been to Telluride. Any tips? Was thinking of taking that forest service road over the pass to Silverton, but no other plans yet.
Well, Imogene Pass and Ophir Pass out of Telluride. Out of Silverton, Black Bear Pass, Engineer Pass and lots of trails up to old mines. However, normally many of the high altitude passes are not open until July 4th. But, even if you can't go over still fun up to the big snow drifts. It could be that they will be open early this year as we only had about 40% snowpack during the winter. I would stop into the Forest Service District office in Montrose and see what they have to say. You could also check the chamber of commerce in Ouray, Telluride, or Silverton to see what maps they might have and if the passes are all open. Black Bear is one way from Red Mountain Pass into Telluride and is spectacular like Imogene. So, what I have done in the past is go over Ophir pass from the Telluride side and return via either Black Bear or Imogene. When you mention the FS road from Telluride to Silverton I would guess you are talking about Ophir Pass. Of the 3, Imogene is the toughest, then Black Bear and if you have a low enough gear you can get a 2wd PU over Ophir. Of course all 3 may be closed with snow but the TW may be able to get by or over the drifts since as I mentioned, a minimal snow year but you are talking about 13,000+ feet. I have not been up that way this year but most of the snow is gone from the high country in my area.
Going down the canyon towards Rico from Silverton there are several jeep trails and some challenging motorcycle only trails that would show up on the San Juan Forest Travel Mgmt map. There are also many trails on the BLM lands near Montrose. Have fun!
Here is one link with some information:
This site states that Imogene is open at least on one side of the mountain.