Book Lodging

Black Bear Pass - 'Considered One of the Most Challenging and Dangerous Trails in America'

Friday • October 5, 2018

This blog comes from Todd Gatewood in the summer edition of Toyota Cruisers and Trucks magazine. Photos by Emily Reiten.

Todd Gatewood and his caravan of Toyotas took on the infamous Black Bear Pass this summer in Telluride. These are a few of our favorite excerpts from his adventure. 


Admiration for Black Bear

The overlook at Black Bear Pass stands touting tourists, ski bums, and mountain bikers below all year above the beautiful historic gold mining town of Telluride, Colorado. The winding switch backs zig zag like drapes blowing in the wind with hair pin turns and narrow shelves. Main Street in town literally dead ends at its feet- as it spews a continuous fountain of water from the towering water falls onto the worshipers in town like an ancient Idol providing the required life source to the adoring villagers. To conquer this god of a trail, one must traverse the scenic backside of the mountain with gradual respect— offering words of adoration along the way.

Taking on the Pass

At the summit, the laughter subsided as the excitement and anticipation was building. The path continued to narrow down, and as a final taunt, an official sign warns there is no turning back from this point. The group trudged onward while carefully maneuvering down the main obstacles at the ledges on the edge of the waterfall. It was the most dangerous and rewarding section on the trail. The clouds parted, and the distant mountains stood transfixed. The setting sun was gold and red and the twinkling of the lights in the valley below came into frame like a fine work of art. Then briefly, the sky stood still, the cameras came out and all that could be heard was the rushing of the falls—it was the golden hour. It was Twilight on Black Bear Pass. 

Don't Forget to Enjoy the View!

Even with such a long day, there was plenty of time for pictures, bathroom breaks and admiration of the vistas and intake of the fresh mountain air.


Click here to read the full article from the summer edition of the Toyota Cruisers and Trucks magazine. Don't forget - Black Bear Pass is for experts only.