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Jeep Tours

Jeep the San Juan Mountains

Four wheel drive tours provide an unparalleled opportunity to experience Telluride's fabulous high country while learning the history of one of the world's most famous and notorious gold rush towns.

Telluride Outside, the premier outdoor guide service in Telluride, offers four wheel drive tours with expert drivers and guides. Fill out a reservation inquiry form to schedule a tour for your trip to Telluride or call (888) 369-6971 to speak directly to Telluride Outside.

Telluride Outside's tours emphasize scenery and mining history. The routes are inherently "4-WD" in nature, because we're traveling on old mining roads that were etched in the San Juan Mountains a hundred years ago, but the emphasis does not fall on "rock crawling" and technical manuevering as it commonly does on desert country red rock tours. Telluride is among the most naturally gifted high country areas on earth. Traveling into these mountains combines thrilling adventure, fascinating mining history, and once-in-a-lifetime scenery.

Telluride Outside guides four main routes for their tours:

Imogene Pass/Tomboy Ghost Town

Imogene Pass climbs Tomboy Road from downtown Telluride to a summit of over 13,100 feet. Our half day trip to Imogene via the Tomboy Ghost Town is our single most popular tour, generally available from late June through September. Tomboy Road is an intermediate 4-WD road, bumpy and airy, but not as tricky as Black Bear Pass or other truly advanced routes. This is a well-suited trip for most customers. Kids, seniors and everyone in between enjoy the thrill of high country adventure and the colorful history of Telluride's most famous gold mine: Tomboy.

In addition to Tomboy, tour highlights include the "Social Tunnel," the summit of Imogene and the Red Mountain Overlook, which offers astounding views of the towering Weminuche Mountains to the east. Full day trips cross Imogene Pass into Ouray and return via Ophir Pass or Black Bear Pass. Half day tours (most popular) visit the summit (snowpack permitting) and return to Telluride on Tomboy Road.

Ophir Pass & Alta Ghost Town

Ophir Pass is our favorite early-season tour because snow generally melts off the pass about one month before Imogene Pass. Ophir Pass is well-suited to less experienced offroad travelers and those who seek the beauty of the high country in combination with a shorter 4-WD driving experience. The pass road does include some classic "shelf road" sections with stunning views and the necessesity of 4-WD manuevering.

We normally also visit the Alta Ghost Town on this tour, a 4-mile excursion up a nearby 4-WD road (easy) to the famous Alta townsite. Alta is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Colorado and the site of a classic post card photo opportunity: Wilson Peak as viewed from Alta.

During the gold rush, Alta became the first town in the world to utilize the modern technology of alternating current electricity. You'll learn about this and many other significant facts tracing their history to this erie, abandoned townsite. As a bonus, our Ophir/Alta tour offers Telluride's best wildflower viewing in July and early August.

Black Bear Pass

One of Colorado's most notorious offroad passes, Black Bear is recommended for thrill seekers and experienced 4-WD travelers. We primarily tour Black Bear as a half day morning trip to avoid exposure to rain storms on slow-driving sections above treeline.

The tour begins by crossing Ophir Pass and driving north on Highway 550 to the beginning of one-way Black Bear Pass near the summit of Red Mountain Pass. After climbing the back side of Black Bear, we summit the pass and drop into Black Bear Basin, where wildflowers grow waist-high in the late summer. We then descend Black Bear's famous "stair steps," cross under Ingram Falls, and descend the breathtaking "switchbacks" of Telluride's box canyon headwall. The road becomes two-way at the top of Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado's highest waterfall (464 feet). We view Bridal Veil from many angles as we descend the lower road, including an amazing straight-up view from the mist plume itself. Total tour time is approximately 4 hours. Black Bear is generally open from mid-July through mid-September.

Dunton Hot Springs Tour

This tour combines two of the finest high country experiences available in Colorado. We begin with a classic Telluride Outside 4-WD tour, visiting Ophir Pass and the historical Ophir mining district. Magnificent views and fascinating history are a prelude to an afternoon of luxury.

After touring Ophir Pass, we proceed to Dunton Hot Springs, a turn-of-the century mining camp that has been renovated into a posh, exclusive resort. At Dunton, we enjoy a gourmet lunch, tour of the old town and soak in Dunton's famous natural hot springs before touring our way back to Telluride.

Jeeping season begins around Memorial Day and continues until late October. Don’t forget that these passes can get snow almost any time of year, so call ahead for road conditions and be prepared for a variety of weather throughout your trip.

Telluride,  Colorado  81435
United States