Imogene Pass

This is the second highest pass in Colorado that you can drive on.

Total Miles
11.9
Plan with onX Offroad

Elevation
4020.64

Duration
4

Technical Rating
6/10

Best Time
Summer/Fall

Trail Overview

This is an absolutely phenomenal experience. You will go through one of the most active mines in the state, Tomboy Townsite, at Savage Basin. There is a lot of debris in the area and it is on private property. Take care to stay on the route. Unlicensed vehicles aren't allowed on the lower half of south side, but can start the trail further on. The road is open from May 16 to November 30. Snow may be blocking the road through early July.

Difficulty

Difficult. Do not take this trip lightly. The road is rocky, steep and narrow in places and passing can be dangerous. Stock SUVs should have low-range gearing, 4-wheel drive, high clearance and skid plates. Experienced drivers only.

History

Work at the Tomboy Mine began in the 1880s and continued until 1927. The mine was a rich producer of gold, and at one time 900 people lived in Savage Basin, the large glacial cirque below the mine. Many people lived there all year long, and snow tunnels were the only way to get around during the long, cold winters. A fascinating book, Tomboy Bride by Harriet Fish Backus, wife of an assayer, tells what it was like to live in the camp.

Access Description

Although this trip can be driven in either direction, we find it easier starting in Telluride. This allows you to drive downhill on the steeper, rockier north side. Take the first part of the day to reach Telluride via Ophir Pass, Trail #7, or difficult Black Bear Pass, Trail #5. In Telluride, find Oak Street on the north side of town. It does not intersect with Colorado (Main Street) so it must be accessed from Aspen or Fir Streets (see map detail). Tomboy Road goes to the right at the very end of Oak after Gregory.

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