imogene pass vs ophir pass

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by chriscam2, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. chriscam2

    chriscam2 Adventurer

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    Planning a trip this year for the cobdr in early August. Wanted to know if imogene pass and ophir pass are similar in difficulty. Is one much harder than the other? Is one more fun than the other? I don't have time to ride both. Would weather be a factor in chosing one pass over the other? I'll be riding a tiger 800. Thanks!
    #1
  2. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

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    IMHO- Imogene is harder than Ophir. But way more enjoyable!
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  3. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    I would agree
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  4. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    I would also agree...Imogene is harder, more scenic and more fun. Might depend on the skill of the rider on a bike that size on Imogene.
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  5. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    I've ridden Imogene, and I also ride a Tiger. It's a cool pass but I have no desire to ride the big bike over it. To me the chance of tossing the bike down on the loose scree covered sections isn't worth the wow factor.
    #5
  6. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    totally subjective to rider and skill. Ride Ophir first. if that seems really challenging, then ride Last Dollar or around towards Dunton then over to Fall Creek.
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  7. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    Part of it will be how much you like exposure and steep dropoffs....the west side is where Imogene tops many other passes in that regard.
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  8. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

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    IMHO, they are in two completemy different categories.
    Ophir is relatively smooth and easy while Imogene (at least from the Telluride side) has more challenging terrain on it like a loose scree
    hill that makes getting started again a chore of some measure.
    Scottish are who named Ophir. “Ohphir fuck’s sake, we’er Gonna need a bigga bike.”
    #8
  9. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    I took a video going down Blackbear and up Imogene about 8 years ago. That night we were sitting in the campground watching it on the computer and a couple other campers we didn't know were there watching. One told the other, we need to do that ride tomorrow. When I heard they were on GSs I tried to discourage them. Wasn't happening and one of the bikes got damaged pretty good, ride ending I think and they were from Ca. It also took the entire day to get the bikes back down. My point is if you have to ask which of those two to ride I means you aren't familiar with them. A YT video never captures the true difficulty of trails like that. The OP may be a great rider and it's no problem or he might never have ridden a pass like Imogene. We take much of that kind of riding for granted living somewhat near the passes and riding many of them. IMO in that situation especially when your far from home, in the middle of a BDR it's wise to error on the safe side unless your a very good rider or have excellent towing coverage. If Imogene was on the BDR map rest assured it'd be an expert level section.
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  10. w33b8t1

    w33b8t1 Been here awhile

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    I just dont have a desire to trash a bike on those roads. An actual dual sport isnt hard, but a big bike i liked......
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  11. sceep

    sceep Long timer

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    ^^fully that.

    Imogene is much more difficult than Ophir, Much longer, much higher, much more exposed (but not as bad as Black Bear).
    #11
  12. Podzo's PD

    Podzo's PD Long timer

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    If your going to ride Imogene on a big bike . . . lay it on its side and start hitting the skid plate with a big hammer, then when you get tired and rest a while start hitting the wheels with a hammer. Just for good measure take it to your roof and drop it off the roof onto the driveway. It just never seems to amaze me how and why guys want to do that to a 10 or 20 thousand dollar bike.
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  13. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    Might depend on the year and the snow.....but we decided to rent Jeeps a couple of years ago (on a day off from riding) while in Ouray to go over Imogene, and that was a very good decision because not too far outside of Ouray on the way up to Imogene we did a 3 foot deep water crossing, it wasn't far across, maybe 20 feet at the most, and there was a janky ass log close by if you dared, but on a big bike with the speed of that water, No way man
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  14. chriscam2

    chriscam2 Adventurer

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    I should have done a similar post like this a few years back before I decided to ride my scrambler over mosquito pass. That day really sucked. I didn't have the skills or the knowledge to ride that pass. I still think the bike would have been fine had I been a better rider and knew what I was getting in to. Since then I have taken some off road training and learned the important lesson of when to turn around. Should like I should stick to original plan and ride ophir.
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  15. sjeproductions

    sjeproductions Been here awhile Supporter

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    As someone noted above, it's really hard to say absent knowing your experience and comfort riding a big bike off-road. Additionally, depending on where you are from the altitude and the exposure can really mess with your head. Both physically and mentally. They also provide a lot of the reward when you hit the peak. Ophir is a good pass, with enough "challenging" section to make you remember it. Traffic is also an obstacle you'll want to be prepared for. Wheelers are awesome, but they don't always stop in the most convenient spots and their perception of passing room might not be aligned with yours! Drop a DM if I can offer any other thoughts.
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  16. ridefire

    ridefire Been here awhile

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    I have ridden both on big bikes . Ophir on my way over loaded Tenere and Imogene on my 1190. Both solo .Ophir was easy for me , Imogene was the hardest day of riding I've ever had. After camping up high Re frozen runoff turned the road to solid ice, I boiled my brakes and lost them completely. The Telluride side has big exposure and frankly is scary as hell on a loaded 500 lb bike with no brakes on ice. Probably dropped it 20 + times. EXHAUSTING!! Given the right or wrong conditions either could be easy or hard depending on your skill level .After 70k plus miles on big adv bikes a lot of which was off road , my Imogene experience made me change my mind about big bikes off road. Its really not much fun. Its very dangerous and dropping a 20k dollar bike sucks. I'll stick to my 500's for now on with a smile on my face. Good luck and be safe.
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  17. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Ophir then Bolam Pass if going south would be good, similar in difficulty IMO.
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  18. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    I took a victory vision over Ophir, wouldn’t dare consider it on Imogene. I’ve taken the Klr over Imogene a few times and enjoyed it. It’s a fun pass with awesome views but it is a challenge. I’ve taken some friends over it that never want to do it in a bike again. I wouldn’t even dare it on my 955 tiger, not a good enough rider to push that pig over it.
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  19. WAGmore01

    WAGmore01 Been here awhile

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    The locals say that Opir and Cinnamon are the two easiest pass in the area. Stony is also a good one that isn’t tough. Imogene is more fun and scenic, but I wouldn’t want to do it starting in Ouray on a big bike (only because of a past experience on one spot). Should not be a problem doing it from Telluride the way you have your bike set up! (Thanks for the carrier!)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #19
  20. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    All of this at close to 12,000 feet.
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