Ski or Snowboard Red Mountain Pass

Ridgway, Colorado


Route Type



Added by Chris Engelsman

With an elevation of 11,017 feet, Red Mountain Pass delivers excellent ski and snowboard touring terrain.

Red Mountain Pass is the site of an historic silver mining boom from 1882 to 1893. During that time, over 10,000 people lived at over 11,000 feet! Today, it's turned into a backcountry ski and snowboard touring destination. 

If you are coming from the North, you'll pass through the gorgeous box-canyon town of Ouray, CO. From the south, you'll pass through Silverton, CO. This section from Ouray to Silverton has been dubbed the Million Dollar Highway. The origins of the name are still disputed. Some say it's because it cost a million dollars to build back in the 1920's. And others claim it's because the fill dirt used to build the road contains over a million dollars of ore!

At the top of the pass there are multiple routes to choose from on either side of the road. It's the San Juan's, so, avalanche danger is a real threat until the snowpack solidifies in the spring. Be sure to check the avalanche forecast for the San Juans before your head out. 

Routes are out and back and vary in length and elevation gain based on the conditions and the amount of time you have available. There are lots of great options to ride excellent terrain that is safe and not exposed to large faces of snow. Wait until the conditions are safe to ski the big lines.

Be sure to bring your avalanche safety equipment and have a plan of where you are going before hand. 

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