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Black Bear Pass, Colorado

County Road 648,  Red Mountain Pass

One can reach the infamous Black Bear Pass from Silverton or Ouray. Red Mountain Pass is where the Million Dollar Highway hits 11,000' and the turnoff to the trail awaits. The trail is very easy going to begin with. 2 wheel high is all I used for a good portion of it. There is a "Y" in this trail so make sure you take the right one. Wait, it is the right one. The left one takes you up the next canyon over. Its a beautiful trail too but we're talking about the Bear now. Once the trail begins to get steep, you will want your 4-low just to make it easier on your vehicle. At the top you will see the famous 12800 feet sign so stop and get your fotos! The trail remains fairly easy as it begins to head down to Telluride in the valley below. It gets steep so keep your vehicle in 4-low and take your time. The trail flattens out for like 50 feet and there you will notice the one way sign. From that point on the only way you can go is down. Welcome to the stairs. Go slow and pay attention. Mistakes from this point on mean serious injury, including DEATH! Once you finish the stairs, the switchbacks are next. I can't remember how many there are but the 2nd and 5th are the most difficult I believe. I'd look at my video of it but it went bad so I guess I am going to have to do it again. 

The top of the pass to the stairs

Switchback fotos

There wasn't a lot of fotos of the switchbacks, sorry. I usually am alone on this trail so i don't get a chance to take any fotos. Now, that being said, I must offer my opinion here. Black Bear Pass is only dangerous if you are stupid. Stock vehicles can make this run with ease. There is really nothing hardcore. BUT, you have to think and plan your every move. Sam did BBP in her stock Unlimited JK. She took her time, looked ahead and did it at a pace she chose. It is a wee bit scary your first time but if you think and plan each move, you can do it. Sam did it and I couldn't have been prouder. Maybe next trip I will take more fotos of the switchbacks.