Jeeping in Ouray, Colorado

Off-roading adventures bring you to some of the most stunning landscapes in the San Juans. Ouray has an enormous variety of jeeping and OHV routes at every level. Go it alone or with guides who love to share their knowledge of the San Juans’ geology, flora, fauna, and most colorful stories. In Ouray, Jeep tours have traversed the high mountain passes commercially since 1946, and privately probably since the first Willy’s made their debut stateside in the early 1940s.

Four-wheeling enthusiasts travel here all summer long for the breathtaking scenery and then again during the fall months for the spectacular aspen colors. Even better, the backcountry roads follow historic mining roads so you’re sure to experience some living history among the ghost towns..

World Renowned Jeeping Trails at our fingertips

It’s no surprise that five of our local trails have been awarded Jeep’s Badge of Honor status. With the perfect combination of topography, history and trail maintenance, the mountains around Ouray offer unique backcountry adventures for your Jeep, 4x4, dirt bike or OHV. Below is info about some of our favorite trails. Be sure to check in with our local tour and rental shops for the current trail conditions and always follow our Stay the Trail etiquette to help preserve our history and high alpine environment and wildlife.

Jeeping route in Ouray, Colorado

Jeep Tours

  • People in back of black jeep tour

    Alpine Scenic 4x4 Tours

    A family-run business offering GUIDED 4×4 TOURS in the stunning San Juan Mountains, based out of Ouray, Colorado. We are the #1 rated Tour company in the San Juans, and look forward to touring with YOU on your next adventure! Our knowledgable guides share pertinent information on historical sites, geological features, local wildlife, flora/fauna on all of our tours. Safety and comfort are our TOP priorities. Group Tours provide an exciting 4 hours of sightseeing, no matter which destination you choose. All of our group tours include supplemental on-foot excursions to waterfalls, mining ruins, and other attractions along the route.


    • Pets are allowed

    • Car Seats allowed, they have bucket seats with seat belts too

  • People in white jeep tour

    Colorado West Jeep Tours

    Every tour is YOUR tour to customize to where you want to go and what you want to see and do. More time for photos? … No problem. Want more wildflowers? … No problem. Don’t want a history lesson? …No problem. Don’t want to go too high? … No problem. Choose your time. Morning (8 am-noon) and afternoon (1-5 pm) excursions are available. Limited space is available. Two adult person minimum charge. Maximum of four passengers. Larger group? Same prices to book multiple vehicles so you can tour together.


    • Pets are allowed

    • Car seats allowed

  • People riding in a blue jeep

    San Juan Scenic Jeep Tours

    Experience the 1880s and the world of prospectors, adventurers, and mountaineers with your own ride on those high cliff-hanging stage and wagon roads! You can see firsthand the old mining ghost towns above Ouray, Silverton, Telluride, and Lake City with the guides of Colorado's first and original Jeep Tour company.

    (970) 325-0089

    • Pets are allowed

    • Car seats allowed

  • People in red jeep tour

    Switzerland of America Jeep Tours

    Switzerland of America is a premier provider of guided tours, offering incredible Jeep tours in and around Ouray Colorado at their best. One of our favorite ways to see the San Juan Mountains is with an all-day or half-day guided scenic tour. Each tour begins in Ouray Colorado and quickly climbs into the majestic landscapes of Yankee Boy, Imogene Pass, Black Bear Pass, Engineer Pass, Corkscrew and many more. Whether you are looking for breath-taking mountain vistas, ghost towns, rugged alpine terrain, thundering waterfalls or fields of colorful alpine wildflowers, Colorado Jeep tours will get you there and Switzerland of America will suit your taste.


    • Pets allowed on private tours $25 extra

    • Car seats allowed

Know before you go

Are OHV’s allowed in the city of Ouray?

The quick answer is no. But, we do have a staging area located just south of town in the Horseshoe Bend. If you are looking to start at Engineer Pass, you will need to unload there, then bring your vehicle down to the staging area and get a ride back up. We do have businesses in town that can help with this too. Check out our rentals page.

Where is it legal in San Juan County to park my trailer and load/unload my ohv?

Short term parking is allowed on certain San Juan County Roads if vehicle and trailer are COMPLETELY out of the traffic right of way. All wheel, bumpers and vehicle/ trailer in general must not be in the lane of traffic, parked comfortable onto the wide shoulder of the road and is subject to being towed/ticketed if it is impeding lane of traffic. Not all San Juan County Roads have the ample shoulder room to legally park and therefore it is first come first serve with available wide road shoulder parking. Avoid private property or parking off trail/ rads of any kind.

Are there bathrooms along the way?

Some of the routes do have bathrooms. We please ask that you don’t throw your trash in the toilet because of the cost and tedious task of removal. Another option is bringing a wag bag (for human waste) and you can pack it out with you to throw away. Please don’t turn our backcountry into a bathroom.

Where can I check Road Conditions?

We are working with a group to create a website for that information. For now, you can call our local guide/ rental services, the Sheriff's Office, or the Visitor Center .

Is weather something I should worry about?

ABSOLUTELY! Before you begin your day, check the weather. Especially end of June - August, you can expect to see rain in the afternoon. With rain can come slick terrain, large puddles, and in severe cases mud slides. Please always check the weather before you start your journey and have a backup plan if you get stuck.

What do I do if I get stuck?

Call the Sheriff's Office and they will be able to send out a crew to your location. It is essential that you know your location at all times. Carry a GPS and a radio for back up if you don’t have service.

What if my ohv is licensed from out of state?

The State of Colorado does not recognize out of state licnse plates for OHVs or ATVs as street legal. Colorado does not currently offer license plates for OHV’s or ATV’s but dirt bikes can become street legal.

Do I need to have a permit to drive my OHB on San Juan County Roads?

Yes, you must register your OHV or unlicensed dirt bikes with Colorado Parks and Wildlie and get a registration sticker that is visibly displayed on your OHV, ATV, or dirt bike.

What kind of vehicle do I need?

We always recommend that your vehicle is AWD or 4X4 with high-clearance for all of our trails. That is the safest and most reliable. Some of the routes we also recommend that you have a short bed due to sharp corners.

What are the different class rates?

Every Jeep Jamboree is rated from 1 (easiest) to 5 (most difficult). These ratings are based on the overall trail, not just on one or two tough obstacles. Rain can increase ratings on all trails by one or two points. Numerically higher-rated Jamborees are more likely to result in vehicle damage. Please remember, every Jeep 4×4 is subject to inspection prior to trail departure.

Class 1 - These range from paved highways to bumpy dirt roads with a few small rocks. They certainly will not require 4WD. Most vehicles with a bit of clearance.

Class 2 - Unimproved or rarely graded dirt road which may have some mud holes and water crossings, small to medium size rocks and loose dirt hill climbs. Easy grades and side hills. Occasional use of 4WD.

Class 3 - Quite rocky or deep ruts. 4WD low range required due to terrain and loose traction. Trail may have medium to large rocks and ledges, deep water crossings, and steep grades. There may be side hills that could result in some slippage. Some body damage may occur.

Class 4 -Trail badly eroded or in very difficult terrain. Obstacles will require technical driving skills to negotiate. Very large rocks and deep ruts will require traction devices. High ground clearance and skid plates required. Body damage very possible.

Class 5 - Extremely rugged trail through virtually impassable terrain. Winching is required in at least one point on the trail. Body damage, mechanical breakdown, and/or rollover probable. Will be a challenge to many wallets.

Jeep and OHV Rentals

  • Blue razer parked up on rock

    Altitude Adventures

    Ride in our 2023/2024 Polaris RZR 1000 Ultimate equipped with Ride Command, GPS, Bluetooth capabilities, harnesses, mirrors, roofs, windshields, and so much more! These off-road rentals offers unparalleled comfort and safety, allowing you to focus on the sheer enjoyment of the magnificent, scenic journey.

    • Pet Friendly

    • Can bring your own car seat


  • Green jeep driving through parted snow

    Canyon Creek Jeep

    All our rental Jeeps are equipped with the conveniences of your own car (Heat, AC, MP3 input, etc) as well as traction control to securely negotiate the grand terrain available in this corner of God’s creation.

    • If people are able to get into personal vehicles they can get into our jeeps. If they need assistance, they can bring personal step stools.

    • Car seats are allowed

    (970) 325-4833

  • People in white jeep tour

    Colorado West Jeep & OHV Rentals

    Rent a UTV or Jeep. Colorado West has the most up-to-date vehicles and the largest UTV and Jeep®, UTV tour facility in Ouray. For many visitors to our area, this is the best enjoy the majestic San Juan Mountains. Take your time. Stop when and where you want. Explore ghost towns, old mines, alpine meadows, and fields of wildflowers. Cool off in a waterfall. Wait patiently for the perfect wildlife picture! The San Juan mountains have the most back country roads above 10,000 feet in the United State. We provide mapping services or you can purchase one of the many tour books we offer. Many guests like to take a guided tour first, then go back out in a rental vehicle to spend more time at specific places. Choose one of our scenic tours, then rent a vehicle so you can go back and spend more time exploring your favorite spots.


    • Pets are allowed

    • Car seats allowed

  • Man looking over mountain edge with jeep in foreground

    Jeep Ouray

    Looking to explore the stunning scenery around Ouray, Colorado? Look no further than Jeep Ouray, the best Jeep rental service in the area! Whether you're planning a trip to Silverton or Telluride or want to explore the Western Slope, our Rubicon Xtreme Recons offer unbeatable style and comfort.


  • Side by sides riding down wet trail in mountains

    Ride-N Adventures

    Kickstart your Adventure! Ride the Colorado Mountains! Experience Outdoor Fun with Family and Friends! Explore, Rent and Ride with Ride-N Adventures in Ouray, Colorado. RZR Rentals, SxS Rentals, UTV Rentals. Ride the Trails in scenic southwest Colorado. Great family adventures and scenic photos, you are sure to have a memorable trip!

    • Pet Friendly, but bring a towel or blanket to avoid claw marks.

    • Car seats allowed


  • People in red jeep tour

    Switzerland of America Jeep Tours

    Are you feeling a little adventurous and want to drive yourself? Switzerland of America has your answer with a selection of top-notch Jeep rentals for those folks with a little 4×4 experience and who are ready to take on the trails. We have 4-Door Rubicon Hard Tops and 4-Door Willy Soft Tops Jeep Wrangler to leisurely explore mountain passes such as Yankee Boy Basin, Engineer Pass, Imogene Pass, Corkscrew, California, Hurricane Pass, the Alpine Loop and many more. Adorned with ghost towns, wildlife and other hidden treasures, Ouray Colorado has been coined ‘The Jeep Capital of the World’, and offers some of the most incredible outdoor Jeep adventures in the country.


    • Pets allowed on private tours $25 extra

    • Car seats allowed

  • Black Jeep in woods

    Twin Peaks Rentals

    Four-wheeling in the Rocky Mountains is a must-have experience when visiting Ouray Colorado. After all, it is known as the “Jeep Capital of America.” Ouray offers a beautiful scene of alpine tundra, wildflowers, fantastic wildlife, ghost towns, and abandoned mines. If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you are ready for adventure, but if you need one, Ouray Mountain Adventures rents out Jeeps locally and offers tours with experienced drivers.

    • Pet Friendly, but must take care of dogs when you leave the jeep



  • One of the easier trails in the San Juans and one of several that link Ouray and Telluride. Some of this trail is passable in a passenger vehicle, but becomes difficult in the steep sections. It also becomes more difficult when wet. After turning onto Hwy 62 at Ridgway, drive 10 miles to the sign for Last Dollar Road on your left and continue 6 miles to the trail fork. Take the right fork to the town of Sawpit on Hwy 145 or the left fork, along Hastings Mesa to join Hwy 145 just past the Telluride Airport.

    Last Dollar Road was originally an early supply route from Ouray to Telluride. This extremely easy road traverses through picturesque ranches, passes through beautiful aspen forests, and provides scenic views of the San Miguel canyon as you wind your way to Telluride. The drive is especially beautiful in the fall with its amber colored aspen stands.

  • Class 1

  • Peak Altitude | 10,676 ft

  • 13 miles | 30 minutes

Ophir Pass

  • Ophir Pass connects Hwy 145 outside Telluride to Hwy 550 between Silverton and Ouray. Drive through Ophir and pass the old Ophir townsite. The last leg of the pass is a shelf road cut into a talus slope, making this a class 2 route. The east side of the pass descends into the Middle Fork Canyon running out of Crystal Lake.

    One of our easier, but very popular mountain passes, Ophir takes you to the Telluride side of the San Juan Range. This one is spectacular during the fall season. Drive south of Ouray on Highway 550 for 18.1 miles to the “National Forest Access Ophir Pass” turnoff on your right. The pass road will eventually link up to Highway 145 in the small town of Ophir. Turn right to continue to Telluride and Ridgway.

  • Class 2

  • Peak Altitude | 11,789 ft

    Gain from Ouray | 4,082 ft

    Gain from Telluride | 3,044 ft

  • 2 Hours

Stoney Pass


  • From Silverton take 550 east and bear right on the only diagonal, paved road. Turn right after 5 miles on CR 4 marked with a sign to Stony Pass. Follow this road 1.75 miles to the trailhead, the left fork of the "y" in the road at that point.

  • Class 2

  • Peak Altitude | 12,592 ft

  • 20 Miles round trip | 2 Hours

Brooklyn Road


  • This trail starts at the top of Red Mountain Pass turning east of Hwy 550 just beyond the Red Mountain Pass sign. This trail leads you past the St. Paul Lodge and along a winding ledge on the west side of the mountains. you will pass areas with mining remnants, including the Brooklyn Mine site. This is not an all-day drive. It joins Hwy 550 just north of the turnoff to Ophir Pass, 18 miles south of Ouray.

  • Class 2

  • Peak Altitude | 12,139 ft

  • 6 Miles | 40 Minutes

Woman drinking coffee next to jeep


  • The trail up Brown Mountain splits off from the Corkscrew Gulch trail. This trail is not difficult but is steep in some places. You'll encounter many abandoned mine sites along the way. The basin, high on the side of Brown Mountain, is a fun, short trip with incredible views of Ironton Park, the Hayden Range, and the Red Mountain area.

  • Class 2

  • Peak Altitude | 13,339 ft

  • 2 Hours

Side by side parked in Governors Basin


  • Following the directions to Yankee Boy Basin, from just above the Sneffels town site, follow the old wagon road branching left passing the Ruby Trust Mine. The trail climbs easily up the east side of the basin through pine forests, and begins a series of switchbacks. There are several steep, narrow rocky sections that should only be attempted by an experienced four-wheeler. Take the left fork to Sydney Basin and the remains of the famous Virginius Mine. The trail straight ahead leads you to the Mountain Top Mine. Above this area are the impressive spires of the St. Sophia Ridge.

  • Class 2

  • Peak Altitude | 11,990 ft

  • 2 1/ Hours

Cinnamon Pass

Cinnamon Pass

  • The western slope of this pass is treacherous, making it a class 3. Start at the Engineer Mountain Trail turn-off 4 miles south of Ouray on Hwy 550. The road climbs seven miles through a canyon to a plateau below the summit of Engineer Mountain. A southern fork takes you toward Animas Forks, and a sharp east turn leads uphill to Cinnamon Road. The pass is three miles farther.

    This trailhead is in Silverton, 23 miles south of Ouray on Hwy 550. Drive through Silverton on Greene St., veering right on CR 2. Drive 12 miles on this dirt road to Animas Forks. Allow extra time to explore this great ghost town. Here, pick up Cinnamon Pass east to Lake City. After you've reached the top of the pass at 12,620 ft., the road becomes smoother. Descend to the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River past Lake San Cristobal and on into Lake City. This path is part of the long and classic Alpine Loop.

  • Class 3

  • Peak Altitude | 12,840 ft

    Gain from Ouray | 4,813 ft

    Gain from Telluride | 3,775 ft

  • 2 Hours


  • This popular moderate drive branches east off Hwy 550 in Ironton Park, eight miles south of Ouray. Corkscrew is especially beautiful in the fall when you can overlook the spectacular stands of aspen in the Ironton valley. Don’t forget to look down, too – Corkscrew Gulch is a local’s favorite for mushroom hunting. The road climbs numerous switchbacks (the last few are steep and narrow) to the red soil summit at 12,000 feet. This soil is the same kind you see on the famous Red Mountains to the south. If you continue north to Hurricane Pass, your view of Lake Como is worth the trip, and a side trip to one of the many ghost towns in the area is a must.

  • Class 3

  • Peak Altitude | 12,220 ft

    Gain from Ouray | 4,513 ft

    Gain from Telluride | 3,475 ft

  • 2 Hours

Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin

  • This easier trail is especially sought out by photographers for its spectacular explosion of wildflowers in the late spring and early summer season, and for its serene waterfalls. Follow Camp Bird Road (CR 361) 10 miles, taking the right fork to Yankee Boy Basin. After stopping to enjoy Twin Falls, follow the trail into the basin just below Mt. Sneffels. The last two miles may be very steep and rough (does become class 5); you can choose to park and hike the remaining distance to the base of Mt. Sneffels. This is a one-lane road in many places with a lot of traffic, including heavy equipment, large trucks, hikers, bikers, and motorcycles. Please pay attention, share the road and always spot your nearest pullout.

  • Class 3

  • Peak Altitude | 12,400 ft

    Gain from Ouray | 4,693 ft

    Gain from Telluride | 3,655 ft

  • 1-1/2 Hours

Engineer Pass

Engineer Pass
  • Although this is not as technically difficult as Black Bear, it does demand more skill than other trails. Choose from two different trail heads to get to Engineer Pass from Ouray. The first choice is about 4 miles south of Ouray on Hwy 550. Look for the trail entrance on your left, marked by a cascading waterfall and a staging area. This road involves 2 miles of extremely rocky areas that are hard on many vehicles. Novices should proceed with caution. The second, smoother, option follows the trails to Corkscrew and California Gulches. In Animas Forks, pick up the Engineer Pass trailhead to the left. Engineer Pass continues on for all routes until the turnoff for Poughkeepsie Gulch where you will continue left. Poughkeepsie Gulch is an extremely dangerous trail and not recommended. Most local outfitters prohibit this pass in their rental contract. Several miles past the Poughkeepsie Gulch turnoff the road forks. Left continues to climb up to Engineer Pass at 12, 850 feet. From here you can turn around and return or continue to Lake City. Right goes to Animas Forks.

  • Class 3/4

  • Peak Altitude | 12,980 ft

    Gain from Ouray | 5,273 ft

    Gain from Telluride | 4,235 ft

  • 4 Hours

Girl standing next to Imogene Pass Sign


  • One of the more difficult drives between Ouray and Telluride. Follow the Yankee Boy Basin description up Camp Bird Road 5 miles. The road turns left over Canyon Creek, climbing along cliffs and looking down over Camp Bird Mine. The ascent to Imogene Basin boasts spectacular wildflower displays over the mid-summer months. The views from Imogene Pass, at 13,144 ft., are impressive. The descent into the Tomboy Mine area and Telluride is more gradual.

  • Class 4/5

  • Peak Altitude | 13,114 ft

    Gain from Ouray | 5,273 ft

    Gain from Telluride | 4,235 ft

  • 4 Hours

Black Bear Pass


  • This is not for the inexperienced. Leave Ouray south on Hwy 550 and drive 13 miles past the summit of Red Mountain. Turn right onto the marked trail. Black Bear is a two-way trail from 550 to the summit, but becomes ONE-WAY ONLY from the summit to Telluride. The ascent is easy, with spectacular views. At the top you may turn around and come back the way you came. If you continue, go down the infamous "steps," sharp switchbacks. The road is extremely narrow. Short wheel base vehicles are preferred.

  • Class 5

  • Peak Altitude | 12,840 ft

    Gain from Ouray | 5,133 ft

    Gain from Telluride | 4,095 ft

  • 4 Hours