One of the most exciting albeit treacherous mountain passes in Colorado is Red Mountain Pass. Closed earlier this month for two days due to an avalanche, the pass has since reopened. It straddles the divide separating San Juan and Ouray County and it is named after the nearby Red Mountain. The mountain’s name comes from its iron oxide laden rock.
For those that plan on attempting Red Mountain Pass via a Jeep experience or even just driving through it, it’s important to remember how treacherous it can be, especially during the winter season. The pass has a steep grade of eight percent and on its north side there are switchbacks. Despite the roads being paved, avalanches are a frequent occurrence, which can block access for a significant amount of time. There is also a section of Red Mountain Pass that’s narrow, winding, and lacks a shoulder, which adds an additional level of danger for those that are inexperienced.
If possible, it’s probably best to stay away from Red Mountain Pass until the winter is over, especially for amateur Jeep drivers. Seasons like fall and spring not only make it safer, they can make driving through the pass incredibly scenic.
This update is provided by Ouray Mountain Adventures, Incorporated. Our Ouray Jeep trails allow you to explore the Rocky Mountains and we offer full or half day reservations. For more information on our Jeep rentals in Ouray Colorado including available vehicles, rates, and rental policies, call 970.919.1005 or 888.919.3256. You can also visit us at 125 3rd Avenue, Ouray, Colorado 81427.