Need to get from Ophir to Silverton? Take the scenic route.
Okay, it’s not exactly a shortcut, but taking a ride over these mountain passes is an incredible experience. Ophir Pass and Last Dollar Pass just opened June 21, a few weeks later than usual because of the late season snow. Taking the high road right now means being flanked by huge walls of snow and crossing over running water in several places, an exciting and even frightening drive. Ophir Pass connects the Town of Ophir to the highway just outside of Silverton, and Last Dollar is an alternate route from the Telluride airport to Highway 62 leading to Ridgway.
There are lots of professional drivers who can take you for a ride. Over the next couple of weeks, Imogene and Black Bear Pass will also be open. Imogene and Black Bear require even more clearance and off-road skills, but the views are worth it. All four passes—Last Dollar, Imogene, Ophir and Black Bear—connect travelers to the San Juan Skyway, a spectacular route that connects our regional mountain communities and which is featured in this summer’s edition.