I hesitate to call Ophir Pass a 4×4 road. This isn’t a bad thing at all. Ophir is a beautiful road and what’s awesome is that with a little bit of ground clearance, just a touch of driving know-how, and maybe airing down your tires a little, Ophir is very manageable. (Full-size vans, I’m looking at you.)
Ophir Pass is the easiest off-highway connection between US 550 “The Million Dollar Highway” or Red Mountain Pass and CO 145 “Lizard Head Pass.” And when I say “easiest,” I mean that this is a pretty darn good gravel road; there is a small creek crossing that is manageable by pretty much any vehicle with a little momentum and airing down will let you make it up the steeper sections.
Ophir Pass is about 10 miles; it takes a little while to drive because you’ll be taking photos and it is gravel, not highway. I’m a little bit astounded that I haven’t driven this yet. I mean, seriously, check out this view:
Because the road isn’t super rough, it gives you a ton of bang for your buck in terms of views without a lot of abuse on your vehicle. It would also make a great return from Black Bear if Imogene is more than you want to bite off.
Something worth keeping in mind is that the actual summit of the pass doesn’t have the best views. It truly is a pass through some walls which means it’s a good plan to look for a break spot on either side of the pass itself. There are pull outs near the top of the west side of the pass and some throughout the eastern side.
This was a great end to a beautiful day of hiking and I’m really glad that I finally drove this route!