Attended my second FJ Summit in Ouray CO., (7792' El) in mid July (7/17-21). According to their website, the 13th annual FJ Summit attracted 371 vehicles (Toyota’s) and 802 participants. Due to the tremendous amount of snow this past winter (600% increase over the standard yearly snow fall average) avalanche damage/concerns as well as snow depth, a number of popular trails were still not passable to their summits.
Imogene Pass was open ¾ of its 13,000 ft summit before becoming impassable. Imogene Pass is the second highest driveable pass in Colorado. The pass is between Ouray and Telluride. The views of Telluride and Black Bear Pass to the south face are amazing when the pass is fully open. The trail is rocky, steep and narrow in places with few pull outs.
Other popular trails we drove were Alpine Loop. The Alpine Loop (which includes Engineer Pass 12,800 ft and Cinnamon Pass 12,640 ft) is a 65-mile ride between Ouray, Lake City and Silverton, CO. This trail is extremely scenic and very long (8-10 hours), filled with many things to photograph. This trail is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. The trail follows very narrow shelf roads and includes a stop at the Animas ghost town. The return trip from Silverton to Ouray on US550 is known as the Million Dollar Highway and stretches for about 25 miles, is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway.
California / Corkscrew Pass trail is another popular trail driven with similar scenic views
One of Ouray’s popular city gems is the city’s public Hot Springs! After a day of trails, relaxing in one of the six pools is a delight and soothing. A day pass allows you to relax your body after driving a trail, exit for dinner in town and then return for the evening. Pool is open until 10pm. The Ouray Visitor Information center next to hot springs pool have trail maps.
Ouray hosts the Jeep clubs I believe in September where the fall colors are said to be spectacular.
Add to your bucket list a trip to the San Juan mountains in Southeast Colorado, tact on trips to Moab and Canyonlands and make a memorable adventure of a life time.