Do not hesitate to give us a call. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.
Whether you’re a novice, beginner, or expert, you’re going to love this fantastic 4-day expedition through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, all accessible from our base camp in Ouray (you-ray), CO.
** There is a small window of opportunity for this trip – the snow closes many of these roads for most of the year!
For maybe the first time ever, you’ll experience spectacular scenery so profound you won’t be able to wait to share it with your friends, family and co-workers.
The scenery includes: mining town remains, canyons, lakes, stream crossings, waterfalls, meadows, forests, and snow packs will constantly delight us.
Nowhere else in the United States are there so many high-altitude trails so easily accessible to the general public. One mountain pass in our itinerary, Imogene Pass at 13,114 feet, is the second-highest altitude drivable road in all of Colorado!
Because of these high altitudes, many of the roads are closed due to snow during much of the year, but this expedition is timed to take advantage of a window of opportunity.
During the expedition, we’ll be using a SPOT (a satellite tracking device) which will allow those folks who couldn’t make the trip to follow on their computer our daily travels. We’ll supply the link for the arm-chair expeditioners.
Our first day’s drive will be an easy one to allow us to recover from the driving the day before. We’ll see gorgeous aspen groves, more streams, perhaps some snow, and incredible vistas.
There will be opportunities for some hiking and viewing the beautiful wildflowers.
Each guest will receive a commemorative 12″ x 12″ coffee table book so be prepared for tons of photos being taken.
Each following day we’ll go higher and higher – we’ll eventually summit at Imogene Pass with an elevation of 13,114 ft. It is the second-highest drivable road in Colorado and would normally be impassable even in summertime if it weren’t routinely cleared of snow.
Other passes we’ll encounter include: Ophir Pass, Engineer Pass, Cinnamon Pass, and Black Bear Pass.
If you have time for only one backcountry experience in Colorado, this is it!
** NOTE: What if a specific Expedition is canceled? While incredibly rare, from time to time, an Expedition may have to be canceled. For almost all of our events, you will be given the choice to either receive a full refund, or transfer your registration to another event that has openings. For some Expeditions, we may deduct up to a 15% fee from your refund to offset unrecoverable expenses. Due to unforeseen circumstances all Black Rhino Expeditions trips and trails are subject to change or cancellation without advance notice.
The Rocky Mountains are world-famous for their spectacular landscapes – snow-covered peaks, pine forests, lush meadows and water seemingly everywhere!
We will expertly guide you through this magnificent mountain wilderness and introduce you to abundant picturesque scenery.
Our expedition group is small with a limit of 6 vehicles, and every need is taken care of for you in advance. All you need to do is show up and focus on enjoying yourself. Come join us. The Rocky Mountains await!
August 15, 2021 – Check into your hotel in Ouray and make it an easy evening as we prepare for the next few days. For those that arrive early enough, we’ll get acquainted with one another over dinner together and talk about the exciting week ahead.
August 16, 2021 – Today will be a light day to allow us to recover from the long day’s drive from the day before.
We’ll gather for a driver’s meeting at 10 am to discuss today’s itinerary. Then, we’re off!
John Wayne was very fond of this part of the country. Scenes from How the West Was Won and True Grit were filmed along this beautiful drive winding through National Forest and river basin country.
We’ll pass the stunning peaks of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain which pierce the blue Colorado sky as we imagine and travel along this 1885 cattle-drive trail. All around us we’ll find white-barked aspen trees, evergreen spruce and fir trees, swollen rivers, reservoirs, and huge swaths of wildflowers.
In the afternoon, we’ll head over to Yankee Boy Basin to explore Camp Bird Mine which extracted $26 Million in gold until it closed in 1911. We’ll do some easy hikes before heading back to Ouray for dinner and an easy evening.
August 17, 2021 – Our morning drive takes us south on pavement on Highway 550 before turning west and heading to Ophir Pass. Most of this trail is rated EASY except of a few narrow rocky sections. Expect Aspen trees, beaver ponds, and several stream crossings.
After the small residential “town” of Ophir, we’ll travel on the 145 to the turn to Alta Lakes. We’ll pass the “ghost town” of Alta before reaching a couple of beautiful little lakes. We might stop here for a quick dip – bring your swim suit.
We’ll leave Alta Lake and head to Telluride for our lunch break. After lunch, we’ll make our way up to Imogene Pass at an elevation of 13,114 ft. Sections of the road will be steep and narrow and will allow us to use our low range and four-wheel-drive. At Imogene’s summit, we’ll come upon a deteriorating Lineman’s Shack. Imagine living here alone all winter maintaining the power lines which serviced Camp Bird on the other side of the mountain.
Once we’re up and over Imogene Pass, we’ll make our way back to Base Camp at Ouray for dinner.
August 18, 2021 – An unforgettable trip on the “Alpine Loop” is a highlight of a visit to the Rocky Mountains. This trail up to Engineer Pass when combined with Cinnamon Pass, constitutes thefamous Alpine Loop. Drivers of all skill levels will find this to be an exhilarating drive. We’ll come across many mines and points of historical interest as we make our way to Lake City for our lunch stop.
Other sights along the way include Lake San Cristobal, California Gulch and the “ghost town” of Animas Fork.
Again, we may experience some snow, and we will have stream crossings.
Dinner again will be in Ouray.
August 19, 2021 – Today’s exploration will include Black Bear Pass, but not before we check out Picayne & Placer Gulch, Corkscrew Gulch, and Maggie Gulch. We’ll experience the remains of mining towns, waterfalls, stream crossings, and incredible talus slopes.
We’ll lunch in Silverton before making our way to Black Bear Pass.
Black Bear Pass overlooks the town of Telluride and is considered a “difficult” trail because of the number of switchbacks which require at least 3-point turns. The trail itself is not that rough.
On this trail, we’ll come across numerous stream crossings, INCREDIBLE views, forests, waterfalls and the famous Bridal Veil Falls Powerhouse perched precariously on a rocky cliff. It’s a magnificent sight to behold.
We’ll make our way back to our hotel for dinner. The following morning we’ll have a hearty breakfast before checking out and getting ready to return home.
We hope you’ll agree that this is one epic expedition!