Red Mountain Pass is one of Colorado’s most challenging and dangerous mountain passes. It straddles the split between San Juan and Ouray County and earns part of its name from the nearby Red Mountain. The rock laden with iron oxide also plays a role in the name.
It is imperative to remember how treacherous Red Mountain Pass can be anyone for anyone seeking to drive through it using a Jeep or off-road vehicle, especially when it’s winter. The pass is quite steep and there are switchbacks on its north side. Avalanches are not uncommon, despite ongoing road paving, which can block access for a considerable amount of time. There is also a narrow, twisting portion of the Red Mountain Pass that lacks a shoulder, adding an additional level of danger to those that are inexperienced and a significant challenge for experienced drivers.
If possible, staying away from the Red Mountain Pass is probably best until the winter has come and gone, especially for inexperienced Jeep drivers. Not only do seasons like fall and spring make it much safer to traverse, but they also make driving through the pass a delightfully picturesque experience.
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 Ouray Jeep rental rates and options 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.