Black Bear Pass, Colorado

Black Bear Pass

Located in the southwest part of Colorado, Imogene Pass will take your breath away. The blue mountain scapes blanketed in misty clouds rise above 13,000 ft above sea level. This is the second-highest mountain crossing, for vehicles in Colorado. Not for a newbie on a solo drive - but with proper precaution and a trail buddy, this 4wheel drive adventure is one to keep on your bucket list.


Joining us this month to tell us about their trip to Black Bear Pass, Teegan took his Tacoma through to this trail and shared their story with us.

How'd You Get Into Overlanding?

My father took me off-roading about the same time I was learning to drive and taught me a lot of the basics. I continued to learn by off-roading throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains with my friends in high school. A few years ago, my wife and I started overlanding more and taking cross-country trips in my Jeep Wrangler. We realized we needed more room and a more dependable vehicle, especially traveling with my dog (Boone of @TeeganAndBoone). So right before we moved to Salt Lake City I bought a Tacoma so I could begin building out a more spacious overlanding rig.

Current Cali Raised LED Products.

I have a few light switches that control my 3 front bumper LED strips (not pictured - this was a recent upgrade). I'm wanting to try out a pair of Ditch Lights and add some MOLLE panels to the cab soon.

What has been your favorite trip?

Black Bear Pass in Telluride, Colorado. This was a trail I've wanted to run in my own vehicle for almost a decade. I knew I had to plan a trip as soon as I moved to Salt Lake City last summer. Within a month of doing so, one of my high school friends from Tennessee drove his two-door wrangler over 1,600 miles and 26 hours to meet me in Ouray, Colorado. We tackled Imogene Pass as a warmup on the first day and camped overnight. The next morning we headed towards Black Bear. I was slightly nervous about taking my Tacoma down Black Bear. This trail is notoriously unforgiving (check out the dashcam and aftermath of the Jeep that rolled this Fall) and has a reputation as one of the most dangerous in the US. I was still getting familiar with Teegan's off-road capabilities and hadn't read much online about others taking Tacomas on Black Bear. In fact, on the ascent, we kept passing people giving me kudos for "Daring to take a Tacoma down the switchbacks." Turns out, everything leading up to the switchbacks is relatively tame if you take it slow and spot where needed. A stock Jeep or Tacoma would have no issues with an experienced driver.

When we got to the switchbacks, we continued to take it slow and embraced the stunning views, terrain and waterfalls. The back half of Black Bear Pass is truly a sight to behold and it's absolutely insane that a road runs down the side of it. I had no issues whatsoever on the switchbacks. It often took a few more points to turn than the Jeeps ahead and behind me, but I was surprised how much room I actually had. We made it down safely and stopped at Bridal Veil Falls before coasting back into Telluride.I learned that Black Bear Pass deserves a high amount of respect but you shouldn't fear running it if you stay calm, take your time, utilize your experience, and have a good spotter

What is your bucket list trip

I'd love to overland up to Alaska in the next few years. With my job going remote this past year, this seems more and more like a possibility once the US and Canada begins to reopen.

Until next time! At Cali Raised LED, we not only want to encourage riders to try something new, (with all the proper precautions of course!) but also to not be too shy when it comes to checking out trails that they may not have thought possible. It's in our very slogan, "Rise Up and Seek Adventure." We really mean it.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

If you haven't figured it out yet, we've been featuring a trail or national park or other must see location each month of the year, and sometimes we are lucky enough to find other off-roaders who have been there. They are kind enough to share their experience and their expertise. Want to be featured? Have a trail you think we should feature? Submit your photos and story to to be considered!

What Trails do you think we should feature next? Tell us in the comments below!**


  • Which direction did you do Imogene Pass and do you recommend it.

    Jim Duncan 05/07/2021 at 03:23 PM