Black Bear Road

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Black Bear Pass
Elevation 12,840 ft (3,914 m)
Traversed by Unpaved road
Location San Juan / San Miguel counties, Colorado, U.S.
Range Rocky Mountains
Coordinates 37°53.9717′N 107°44.5783′W / 37.8995283°N 107.7429717°W / 37.8995283; -107.7429717Coordinates: 37°53.9717′N 107°44.5783′W / 37.8995283°N 107.7429717°W / 37.8995283; -107.7429717

Black Bear Road, officially Forest Service Road 648, is a notorious jeep trail that starts from 11,018-foot (3,358 m) summit of Red Mountain Pass on U.S. Highway 550 (between Ouray and Silverton) to Telluride, Colorado. The road crests at Black Bear Pass, elevation 12,840 feet (3,910 m), and descends over a set of infamous switchbacks as it navigates the heights above Telluride. The road passes Bridal Veil Falls, the highest waterfall in Colorado. Black Bear Road was made famous in 1975 by a spoken-word song and album of the same title by country musician C. W. McCall.

Black Bear Road is open a few months of the year, from late summer (usually the last week of July) to early fall. The road is traveled only downhill from Red Mountain Pass — except for the annual Jeeper's Jamboree in which travel is reversed for one day only. The start of the trail is marked along U.S. 550 with the famous sign that reads:

TELLURIDE ——>
CITY OF GOLD
12 MILES - 2 HOURS
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE
CRAZY TO DRIVE THIS
ROAD - BUT IT HELPS

JEEPS ONLY

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