Imogene Pass

USAPosted by Espen Mon, September 27, 2010 20:48:11

Telluride is about three hours drive from Moab. It is really amazing how the terrain can change from dessert to alpine mountains in just about 100-120 miles. Wi arrived inTelluride in beautiful sunshine and went to bed after having watched the stars. The trip we had planned over the Imogene Pass looked REALLY promising. The next morning was grey, wet, and with low clouds... Not what we had hope for, but we decided to continue as planned.

On our way up to the pass we met a couple of cars comming down. We concluded that thes had turned around, as it was still early, and the trip over the pass is about 4 hours.

The road is an old mining road, built to transport people, supplies and gold to and from (the gold only from obviously...) the mine. The pass takes you over the mountain from telluride to Ouray. This is a very nice road, and, we have heard, has a fantastic view. Didn't see much of that, but still, the drive was great. Got kind of narrow and speep some places too.

And the fall is definitely comming to North America (at least 9000 feet above sea level..)

Parts of the road going up from Telluride goes through the old mine area.

Had rain most of the way going up over the pass, and we were a little worried about snow at higher altitude. At some points when the clouds cleared for a few seconds, we thought we could see fresh snow up on the peaks. And I guess as Norwegians, we are not too worried about a few inches of snow, but as we got higher we saw that a slippery road could have consequences....

But we got to the top! 13114 feet! Both we and the 3 liter diesel was breathing quite heavily....

And the weather was unpleasent!

But we did have time to check for mail!

There was one set of tire tracks going to the top, but it didnt go across the short travers before the road starts going down on the other side. As a route description explained that the steepest part of the trail was right after the pass, we were a little bit nervous as the snow was wet and packed easily. Quite slippery if there is rock underneath. But it wasn't too steep, and it wasn't really any problem.

Started down on the other side. Still no views, so we continued down until the temperature got up on the right side of freezing. Stopped for a coffee and photo break a bit further down. Weather cleared just enough to get a few pics.. Amazing terrain!

The road going down to Ouray.

Would of course have been nice if the weather coooperated a little more (and the weather forecast for the next days were of course excellent), but on the other hand we have had sun for 14 days and it was nice with a reminder... And the scenery was still fantastic!

And from Ouray we aimed for Silverton and Mesa Verde!
More soon!

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