Sunday, September 16, 2012

Imogene Pass

We stayed on at Durango for a few more days so we could drive up to Ouray and down to Telluride over Imogene Pass, a 4-wheel drive experience.
Ouray is best known for its hot springs.  We weren't stopping but I just had to take a picture.  Twenty years ago when I brought my kids here for vacation, it cost $15 for 2 adults and 2 kids.  Now it is $15 for just one adult.

Just outside of Ouray is where you start towards Yankee Boy Basin and Imogene Pass.  This is when you hope the rock above you is very, very solid.

One of the still active mines in the area.

They want to make sure you know there is no trespassing.  Gates are all padlocked, too.

I don't know when the sign was put up, but I figure the $1 Trillion dollar amount doesn't reflect todays high gold and silver prices.  This is the largest dollar amount I have seen yet for any of the old mines visited this year.

This is what's left of the Ruby Trust Mine.

Twin Falls is located in Yankee Boy Basin.  

Just a couple of miles into Imogene Pass we stopped and looked down on Camp Bird Mine, another active mining operation.

The first part of the trip over Imogene Pass was over ground like this, not much of a road at all really.

Upper Camp Bird Mine, which is no longer active, had some people out sifting through the tailings.

Starting up the steep part of the climb to Imogene Pass.

Almost there, we can see the top.

Once at the top, we can look down on Savage Basin and the Tomboy Mine and Tomboy Ghost Town.  It sure looks like a long way down to the bottom of the valley.

Imogene Pass, at over 13,000 feet, is the 2nd highest pass which you can drive over in the U.S.

Starting down the other side.  It was hazy, so the view off the top was not as impressive since you couldn't see very far.

I think this outhouse is just a little too air conditioned for my taste.

There isn't much left of the Tomboy Town site and old Tomboy Mine.

Just some more of the tailings and remains of the Tomboy Mine.  In 1897 the Tomboy Mine was sold to the Rothchild's for $2 million dollars.  It only had a peak population of 900 and closed in 1927.

As we get closer to Telluride, you can see the road to Black Bear Pass.  It's difficult to see in this picture, but at the end of the canyon is a waterfall, Bridal Veil, and above it is the first alternating current power plant in the U.S.
Bridal Veil Powerhouse sits on a 4,500 ft cliff and Bridal Veil Falls is 365 ft.   Built in 1907 it was used in its original configuration until 1953.  (This picture is off the web, I did not take it)

They say the wildflowers are wonderful in the spring and early summer, but this is all that is left for fall flowers.

Overlooking the town of Telluride.
We stopped and had lunch in Telluride before heading over Ophir Pass.  I guess I was overloaded by the great scenery on Imogene Pass, because I didn't take any pictures of Ophir Pass.  Sorry.

On our way back home to Durango we stopped to take a closer look at this entry to a gated community.  Notice the grass growing on top of the roof?  And the gate itself looks like a large piece of barb wire.  


Diana said...

Thanks again for doing all the research. It's going to make my post so much easier! LOVE the outhouse - I can't believe I missed that!

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