Lake City to Ouray

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9patrickmurphy
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by 9patrickmurphy »

I feel like I push my Subaru farther than most people are willing to, and I would personally not attempt Engineer Pass. When I drove it in my 4Runner in 2019 I thought it was pretty hard and was very glad to have 4Lo. The road crews in Silverton and Lake City do a lot of work to those roads, however, so conditions can definitely change year to year. Without getting boots on the ground information right before you go, I would recommend taking the long way around. Be aware of the current indefinite closure of US-50 over Blue Mesa Reservoir.
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Wentzl
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by Wentzl »

deepdarkseas wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 4:15 pm Bumping this thread up to ask about a similar route, from Purgatory TH to Matterhorn TH, via Silverton-Animas Forks-Engineer Pass. Is this route doable in a 2018 Outback? The roughest roads I've managed in my Outback are probably up to the Grays & Torreys TH and Lake Como Road to around 8800', both last year (highway tires). Google is saying that going over Engineer Pass saves ~2hr and 100+ miles versus going all the way back to Montrose and looping east on 50.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.6299 ... ?entry=ttu

Otherwise is going over Cinnamon Pass Outbackable? Longer than Engineer Pass but still shorter and probably more scenic than the Montrose loop.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.6299 ... ?entry=ttu

TIA.
Bumping this old thread about the san juan 4wd roads. Here is the definitive answer.

This time of year, still closed to snow, so pay attention.

subaru can get over either engineer or cinnamon, but cinnamon is less likely to break your car. paved roads are longer, but faster.
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by two lunches »

pbarn wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:43 am Hey all,

I'm planning my travel from Lake City to Ouray (or rather, Wetterhorn TH to Sneffles TH). Google maps is largely trying to tell me to go back up via Montrose - 136 miles.

With a bit of manipulation I can get the map to take me over Engineer Pass - 30 miles.

I know EP is an offroad trail - but is it *really* better and faster to go back and all the way around and adding 100 miles to the trip? (I'm confident in my driving and vehicle to go over the pass).

Any thoughts?
undoubtedly yes. absolutely. i've done it twice- the first time i thought i was being so much smarter than my GPS, but the robots definitely walked away with the W on that round. thankfully i wasn't in a hurry or on any sort of time crunch. those roads are tedious unless you're acting like a complete a**hole in a sxs.
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by sfreytag »

deepdarkseas wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 4:15 pm Bumping this thread up to ask about a similar route, from Purgatory TH to Matterhorn TH, via Silverton-Animas Forks-Engineer Pass. Is this route doable in a 2018 Outback? The roughest roads I've managed in my Outback are probably up to the Grays & Torreys TH and Lake Como Road to around 8800', both last year (highway tires). Google is saying that going over Engineer Pass saves ~2hr and 100+ miles versus going all the way back to Montrose and looping east on 50.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.6299 ... ?entry=ttu

Otherwise is going over Cinnamon Pass Outbackable? Longer than Engineer Pass but still shorter and probably more scenic than the Montrose loop.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.6299 ... ?entry=ttu

TIA.
Wow that's pretty messed up Google tells you to go that way without knowing what you're driving. I would not attempt Engineer Pass in a Subaru. Cinnamon is doable if you are an experienced driver and don't mind beating up your car.
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by Buckie06 »

taking an Outback over Engineer Pass seems very risky
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by Wentzl »

Hey DeepDarkSeas, you better also read up on the current restrictions on access to Lake City from Montrose. Because the Blue Mesa bridge is closed, they shut down the Blue Mesa Cutoff and the Lake City cutoff is limited to a few times a day right now.

https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western ... 8103c.html
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by dwoodward13 »

sfreytag wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 9:27 am
deepdarkseas wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 4:15 pm Bumping this thread up to ask about a similar route, from Purgatory TH to Matterhorn TH, via Silverton-Animas Forks-Engineer Pass. Is this route doable in a 2018 Outback? The roughest roads I've managed in my Outback are probably up to the Grays & Torreys TH and Lake Como Road to around 8800', both last year (highway tires). Google is saying that going over Engineer Pass saves ~2hr and 100+ miles versus going all the way back to Montrose and looping east on 50.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.6299 ... ?entry=ttu

Otherwise is going over Cinnamon Pass Outbackable? Longer than Engineer Pass but still shorter and probably more scenic than the Montrose loop.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.6299 ... ?entry=ttu

TIA.
Wow that's pretty messed up Google tells you to go that way without knowing what you're driving. I would not attempt Engineer Pass in a Subaru. Cinnamon is doable if you are an experienced driver and don't mind beating up your car.
I wonder if this is due to the closures on the Blue Mesa Bridge where as google doesn't know what to do and just defaults to the 4x4 passes. I know this was a previous issue, but thought they ended up correcting it. In any case, hopefully that gets resolved before summer or those passes are gonna be (even) more of a mess. I went ahead and reported it but who knows if that will do anything.
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by deepdarkseas »

Thanks all for the info. Looks like I will be going the long way around. I wasn't aware of the Blue Mesa bridge closure. Google does seem to be aware of that at least.

Unless Google is again mistaken (which as we're seeing could definitely be the case) it looks like one can take Co Rd 25 to connect US-50 and CO-149 between Montrose and Lake City, before hitting the bridge. I assume this is a 2wd dirt road, but it'll probably be much more trafficked along with Co Rd 26 with the bridge closure.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Montros ... ?entry=ttu
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by supranihilest »

deepdarkseas wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 12:38 pm Thanks all for the info. Looks like I will be going the long way around. I wasn't aware of the Blue Mesa bridge closure. Google does seem to be aware of that at least.

Unless Google is again mistaken (which as we're seeing could definitely be the case) it looks like one can take Co Rd 25 to connect US-50 and CO-149 between Montrose and Lake City, before hitting the bridge. I assume this is a 2wd dirt road, but it'll probably be much more trafficked along with Co Rd 26 with the bridge closure.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Montros ... ?entry=ttu
I wouldn't rely on CR-25 (Blue Mesa cutoff) or CR-867 (Alpine Plateau Road) during the bridge closure. Neither are designed for the volume of traffic that US 50 gets and I imagine Gunnison and Hinsdale counties will be regulating traffic on them at some point. Just use the scheduled openings on CR-26, it's the shortest and thus far only sanctioned bypass to the bridge closure.
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by Kiefer »

deepdarkseas wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 12:38 pm Unless Google is again mistaken (which as we're seeing could definitely be the case) it looks like one can take Co Rd 25 to connect US-50 and CO-149 between Montrose and Lake City, before hitting the bridge. I assume this is a 2wd dirt road, but it'll probably be much more trafficked along with Co Rd 26 with the bridge closure.
#25 (Blue Mesa Cutoff) is currently closed and will be for some time due to some people driving around the barricades and F'ing up the road. The county typically lets it melts out naturally before they open it. Now, who knows. There's 100x more switchbacks on it vs. #26 (Lake City Cutoff).
Gunnison County is currently plowing and laying down gravel/paving Kebler Pass for additional access.
I've driven 26 and the extra time isn't all that bad. A hinderance to be sure, but better than 6.5 hours north up I-70. Because of my job here in Gunnison, I've had the opportunity to talk to some of the people involved with the closure. The 4-6 month closure time frame is looking more likely.
Plan accordingly.
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by JonW »

I've been doing some research on getting from Lake City to Silverton given the US-50 closure and this thread has been great. Any best guesses on when Cinnamon Pass will open for the season? Eyeing a mid June trip.

Thanks!
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Re: Lake City to Ouray

Post by Chicago Transplant »

Bush Ducks has Cinnamon open from the west but that individual did not drive the Hinsdale CO (east) side and said they thought the gate was still locked on that side:
5/17/24 - Courtesy of Mighty Michael, keeping all informed on trail status, as ever.
** Drove to the top of Cinnamon Pass today on the San Juan County side. Plowed and wet. Didn't venture down the Hinsdale side as there's been a lot snow blown in the past few days. Too risky in a lone vehicle and no word as yet on the Hinsdale County gate being opened up down below as that was dependent on the trail drying up sufficiently. See 5/7/24 status update below. Be mindful of on-coming traffic on the narrow plowed sections of the trail when returning down the San Jan County side.

5/10/24 - Courtesy of San Juan County.
- Cinnamon Pass via San Juan CR-5 is OPEN on their side only. Awaiting trail surface updates.

5/7/24 - Courtesy of Hinsdale County R&B crew yet again for 2024.
** Cinnamon Pass from Lake City side, via Hinsdale CR 30, is only OPEN as far up as Burrows Park at 10,750ft. The road is CLOSED gated at this point and will not open to the summit until the road has dried out more completely.
https://bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm#cinammon
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