Ouray Mountain Passes

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by dogmoon, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    I will be heading to Ouray for five days in Aug 2011 to do some mountain jeep trails with my KLR 650 Ive done the doo, 685 being installed now and dropped a tooth on the front sprocket to deal with the rocks a little better. I have also bought the Colorado Southwest Backroads & 4 wheel drive trails book and the Benchmark Road & Recreation Atlas. My questions are is Black Bear doable on a KLR and what are the best passes to ride on as I only have 5 days of riding any help will be appreciated thanks. :wink:
    #1
  2. selaznog

    selaznog Roadless Warrior

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    I was there this past August. While riding Imogene pass, Ridefreak, mtech1950 and I talked to a guy who, moments earlier, rode all of Blackbear except the steps TWO UP on a KLR. The passenger walked the 50 or so yards of the steps. I didn't see him do Black Bear, but watching him on Imogene, I have no doubt that he did it. He was wearing sweat pants, vans and a ball cap. Oh yeah, he was about 70 years old. :lol3
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  3. scott9057

    scott9057 Adventurer

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    The "Steps" this guy (bottom photo) is on a KLR coming down the steps. He did it without any trouble.

    Top photo - Telluride "to hell u ride" in the distant valley.

    If you can ride Imogene and Engineer Pass, you should be Ok on anything else. Stay on main Jeep roads though, there are some exceptionaly tougher routes, ie Poughkeepsie (going up) can be a bit of a handful!



    [​IMG]
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    #3
  4. cojoel

    cojoel Been here awhile

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    Black Bear is very doable with a KLR. I have the 685 kit in mine and I was UP one tooth in the front and I did it without knobbies.

    Here are some pictures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  5. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    Im going to give it a try thanks:clap
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  6. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Here is a some video and pics from my ride on Black Bear Pass this last September on DR650s. When in doubt, you can always get off and walk it. Certainly a pucker factor, though.
    #6
  7. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    Thanks EJWPC I enjoyed that video a bunch, makes me want to go that much more. :clap
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  8. Bullettwo

    Bullettwo Adventurer

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    for Ranger Barker. He informed me (and my friends) that the speed limit on those roads is 20mph, and he was serious.:huh

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  9. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Looks like he's put on a few lbs..........I say take away the rubicon and put him back on the 4 wheeler.
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  10. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    You have to be kidding me? How does he inforce that with a radar gun:lol3 Thanks I will keep my eyes open.
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  11. modette

    modette TrailTaker.com

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    So that meant slow down for the ranger and speed back up...LOL Are there speed limit signs? Good luck catching me :evil
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  12. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Forest Ranger Magnet

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    [​IMG]

    :deal:deal

    edit: I should've said "To take care of park rangers who enforce speed limits on trails"
    #12
  13. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    yep. radar gun. he also checks for noise levels. I have been lucky in the past though with him, just warnings. one buddy and i were speeding, his bike was a loaner and he didn't realize the sticker wasn't current, and both our bikes were loud. Barker stopped us at the top of Imogene and we talked. after he pointed out everything wrong, I asked "so what do we do now?":dunno he told us to slow down and enjoy the rest of our ride....i didn't wait around to argue. Now I know most people haven't had this experience (Enduro-Ince for example). Last year i kept most of my Imogene trips to middle of the night. Less crowded and no one to tell me to slow down. Top of Imogene on August 13 for the meteor shower is awesome!
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  14. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    I heard about him, sits up on Imogene and catches ya coming up the trail, luckily he wasn't out the day we hit it because it wasn't a slow ride. :lol3
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  15. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    You can do all the "main" passes (alpine loop/jeep stuff) down there in a few days.. 5 days should be no problem. Engineer, Cinnamon, California, Hurricane, Corkscrew, Stoney, Ophir, Blackbear, Imogene - all KLR friendly assuming you are offroad experienced. Heck you could bang them all out in one day if you were really in a hurry.

    As for that ranger; I was leading a group and he caught us heading up Imogene from Ouray.

    Nice guy.. we were doing 39 in a 20 zone. One guy had plate in a backpack, one guy had expired plate, I had "half of a plate" (the other half was in my tank bag). He asked us to slow down (after I apologized profusely) and let us go.

    Black Bear is a must do.. especially if you are afraid of heights :eek1 :D :ricky

    Seriously, it is steep, you need to know what you are doing, but if you aren't afraid of heights you'll have no problem (worst case scenerio you get off your bike and walk it down the one-way-steps).

    Black Bear August 2008 (and again 2009) on my 610
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    Black Bear Sept 2010 on my 950
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    ... that said, don't let the "harder is better" thing draw you in to neglecting other passes in the area that are equally stunning.

    Ophir Pass

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    Stoney Pass

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    Animas Forks

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    American Basin (part of Cinnamon Pass)

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    Have a hoot!

    You will be enjoying one of the most accessible, beautiful, and enjoyable dual-sport-riding locations on this planet we call home. :freaky

    edit: p.s. please don't forget to "stay the trail" (i.e. in Colorado we do not stray from the defined trails; i.e. stay off the tundra, etc). :thumb
    #15
  16. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the pictures and the infro, they are great.:D
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  17. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the infro Geek and the pictures I hope mine turn out half as good as yours. I cant believe you did that on that 950 my buddy who rides out there every year swears that you cant ride Black Bear on a 650. You are right though its not the bike its the riders ability. I rode some small mountains and rocks in Arizona this year I dont think Ill have too many problems and yes I am afraid of heights heck thats why i want to ride Black Bear Pass :lol3 Thanks Again.
    #17
  18. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    Blackbear - Ya need to do it with out putting your feet down :lol3

    Take it slow and you won't have a problem, the drop off is pretty intimidating but taken in context, the pass isn't any worse than many other places in the area and easier than some.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NRI86pFVus
    #18
  19. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    Ive got my cabin reserved at the KOA just outside of town. I thought about riding out of Silverton but the hotsprings in Ouray will feel good after a good days ride.:wink:
    #19
  20. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    The KOA is a good spot. Shoot me a PM before you come this way and maybe we can hook up for a ride or a brew. The better hot springs is Orvis, in Ridgway, if yer comfortable with nudity. You can access it from the KOA on dirt roads, so it will feel better getting there than the big ol' concrete pool in Ouray.
    #20