Choose your 4WD tour
4WD Tour Descriptions / Featured Tour Routes
Tomboy / Imogene Pass: Tomboy Road climbs to Imogene Pass from downtown Telluride to a summit of 13,114 feet. Our half day trip to Imogene via the Tomboy Ghost Town is our single most popular tour, generally available from late June through September. Tomboy Road is an intermediate 4-WD road, bumpy and airy, but not as tricky as Black Bear Pass or other truly advanced routes. This is a well-suited trip for most customers. Kids, seniors and everyone in between enjoy the thrill of high country adventure and the colorful history of Telluride's most famous gold mine: Tomboy.
In addition to Tomboy, tour highlights include the "Social Tunnel," the summit of Imogene and the Red Mountain Overlook, which offers astounding views of the towering Weminuche Mountains to the east.
Early season variation: In June, Tomboy Road typically opens to the ghost town a couple weeks before it clears all the way to the summit. During this period, we’ll make a round trip to Tomboy (about ½ way to the pass), return to Telluride and head up the Bridal Veil Road for an up close and personal view of Colorado’s biggest waterfall, which is always cranking during peak snowmelt in June.
Ophir Pass/Alta Ghost Town: Ophir Pass (11,789 ft) is well-suited to less experienced offroad travelers and those who seek the beauty of the high country in combination with a less rugged 4-WD experience. The pass road does include some classic "shelf road" sections with stunning views and the necessity of 4-WD maneuvering, but much less “exposed” terrain than Imogene or Black Bear.
We also commonly visit the Alta Ghost Town on this tour, a 4-mile excursion up a nearby Forest Service road. Alta (11,000 ft) is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Colorado and the site of a classic post card photo opportunity: Wilson Peak as viewed from Alta.
During the gold rush, Alta became the first town in the world to utilize the modern technology of alternating current electricity. You'll learn about this and many other significant facts tracing their history to this eerie, abandoned townsite. As a bonus, our Ophir/Alta tour offers Telluride's best wildflower viewing in July and early August.
Black Bear Pass: One of Colorado's most notorious offroad passes, Black Bear (12,840 ft) is recommended for thrill seekers and experienced 4-WD travelers. We offer Black Bear as a half day morning trip to avoid exposure to rain storms on slow-driving sections above treeline.
The tour begins by crossing Ophir Pass and driving north on Highway 550 to the beginning of one-way Black Bear Pass near the summit of Red Mountain Pass. After climbing the back side of Black Bear, we summit the pass and drop into Black Bear Basin, where wildflowers grow waist-high in late summer. We then negotiate Black Bear's notorious "stair steps," cross under Ingram Falls, and descend the breathtaking "switchbacks" of Telluride's box canyon headwall. The road becomes two-way at the top of Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado's highest waterfall (464 feet). We view Bridal Veil from many angles, including an astonishing straight-up view from the mist plume itself. Total tour time is approximately 4 hours.
Sunset Tours: Enjoy a relaxing evening of high country scenic touring on a Telluride Outside sunset tour. Popular destinations include the Alta Ghost Town, Last Dollar Road and Bridal Veil Falls, all spectacular places to enjoy the magnificent evening light that flows into our valley from the west, bouncing off clouds to bathe our peaks in alpenglow.
Telluride outside's guides
Our tours are so much more than a mere “drive in the mountains.” There is simply no finer group of tour guides than the professional staff of Telluride Outside. These guys are so knowledgeable and people-friendly that they could entertain you for a whole tour without ever leaving Telluride.
Each of our guides brings personal touch and style to their tour. They share in common professional offroad driving skills, a love of Telluride's flora, fauna, mountains and mining history, and the born-with-it nature of a consummate host. They are fun-loving professionals, committed to your comfort and enjoyment of the tour.
Telluride Outside’s Touring Vehicles
Our “Jeep” tours are actually conducted in new model trucks customized for your safety, comfort and optimal viewing. Seats are heavily padded, suspension is beefed up and the cab is open so you may converse directly with your guide. Removable canopies provide shelter in all weather conditions without inhibiting the "open air" experience. Vehicles are inspected daily, cleaned after every tour and maintained to scrupulous standards under regulation from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and Telluride Outside’s meticulous operating procedures.
4wd Tour Pricing
|Adult||child (under 12)|
|Half Day Imogene/Tomboy||$120||$110|
|Half Day Black Bear||$140||$120|
|Half Day Ophir Pass/Alta Ghost Town||$120||$110|
FAQs/advice from our experts
Yes, we guarantee a private tour for all parties of 8 or more guests. Smaller parties commonly choose to pay the 8-person minimum to ensure a private tour. However, 4WD tours are an inherently social experience and the majority of our tours are not booked on a private basis.
There are lengthy sections of “shelf road” on both Imogene and Ophir Pass. Guests with an acute fear of heights are advised to sit on the left side of the vehicle. If you find yourself asking this question, we assume you are not interested in Black Bear Pass! Our high country tours push the comfort envelope for some guests, but are generally well suited to parties with a wide range of experience and enthusiasm for such endeavors.
Registered service dogs are welcome, but unfortunately, our operating plan with the National Forest Service excludes all other dogs. Pup will eagerly await your return.
Yes, but our guests must provide the car seat and handle its installation and use. Lap belts are provided for each guest in the primary seating area of the vehicle. There is also one regular bench seat adjacent to the driver in the cab, which has a full shoulder/lap belt.