Expedition San Juan Mountains September 2021-Part 5-Ophir Pass

Day 4 is yet again anther Beautiful day, clear skies and great visibility. We start the day off heading South again on US-550, The Million Dollar Highway, 18 miles, on the west side of the road is the turn off and trail head to Ophir Pass. This is not one of the more popular trails in Ouray, but we are using it as a tool to get to Durango. We have hotels for tonight in Durango and tickets for the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Rail Road the following day. We wanted to do a trail, but one that will take about 1/2 day so we can get into Durango early evening, giving us enough time to relax, explore town and get a nice dinner.

As we pull off US-550, we air down again. We do not anticipate a difficult trail, but it’s more for comfort.

The trail is fairly wide dirt road. We make fast time up to the Pass. Ophir Pass is about 4 miles from the trail head. Unfortunately this is probably the most “anti-climatic” pass. Its a tight squeeze between Lookout peak to the North and South Lookout Peak to the South.

Ophir Pass Trail is a fairly “straight line” East-West”. As we come down from the pass working our way West, once again, it’s a wide trail with long Sloping grade down towards the village of Ophir. The trail is caused stone, a bit more stable than Imogene, but still taking it slow.

As we come off the trail we enter the small community of Ophir. The community is 0.2 Square Miles and a population of 187 estimated in 2019. The US Post Office was established in 1878. It’s a really cool community to drive through. Keep you speeds slow, as kids and animals might be playing near the road. It’s probably a low traffic road and they become custom to just walking down or across the street with out looking, so keep it slow and respect the community. It also keeps the dust down.

We sirup the tires and join Colorado 145 south towards Cortez and then to Durango. We have a quick lunch off a trail we find off Colorado 145, and get into Durango for dinner.

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