The Most Dangerous Drive in Colorado

Black Bear Road - Dave Williams - OutThere Colorado

Black Bear Road to the summit of Black Bear Pass, a notorious off-road route in the mountains high above Telluride, is one of the most dangerous drives in Colorado. This road was originally cut by miners and is only for the most experienced off-road drivers, as there is a very slim margin of error and wrecks can often be fatal. Roughly 10 miles long, Black Bear Road starts at the summit of Red Mountain Pass at an elevation of 11,018 feet before climbing to a peak height of 12,840 feet as it crosses the crest of Black Bear Pass and descends past Bridal Veil Falls into Telluride’s Box Canyon.

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Black Bear Pass - @brian_jcroffroad (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado
Black Bear Pass. Photo Credit: @brian_jcroffroad (Instagram).

The drive consists of a series of switchbacks alongside steep drops that are cut into the mountain.

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Black Bear Pass - @forgeoverland (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado
Black Bear Pass. Photo Credit: @forgeoverland (Instagram).

Another reason this drive is so dangerous is its double fall line: unlevel road often slants towards the drop off while descending the mountain.

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Black Bear Road - @brian_jcroffroad (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado
Black Bear Road. Photo Credit: @brian_jcroffroad (Instagram).

The road is such a tight fit for the average-sized Jeep, it can only be traveled in one direction. The one exception is the annual Jeeper’s Jamboree event, in which traffic flow is reversed.

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Black Bear Pass - @sumerfield_jk (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado
Black Bear Pass. Photo Credit: @sumerfield_jk (Instagram).

One perk of making this dangerous drive are the beautiful views it provides along the way.

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Black Bear Pass - @rockymtn4runner (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado
Black Bear Pass. Photo Credit: @rockymtn4runner (Instagram).

If you want the views without as much risk, you can also hike the road!

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Black Bear Road - @twomeyconsult (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado
Black Bear Road. Photo Credit: @twomeyconsult (Instagram).

Or just admire it’s awesomeness from afar.

Black Bear Pass - @ertw2015 (Instagram) - OutThere Colorado
Black Bear Pass. Photo Credit: @ertw2015 (Instagram).

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