Black Bear Road
|Black Bear Pass|
|Elevation||12,840 ft (3,914 m)|
|Traversed by||Unpaved road|
|Location||San Juan / San Miguel counties, Colorado, U.S.|
Black Bear Road or Black Bear Pass, and officially Forest Service Road 648, is a notorious jeep road 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
- Mark L. Evans (11 July 2016). "The Infamous Black Bear Road". Narrow Gauge Circle.
- "Black Bear Pass". dangerousroads.org.
- "Black Bear Pass Road #648". USDA Forest Service.
- "C.W. McCall – Black Bear Road". Discogs.
- "BUSHDUCKS COLORADO JEEP TRAILS WHEN ARE THEY PASSABLE? DATES FOR 2018". bushducks.com. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.