Ohio Pass – Crested Butte's Back Door
Ohio Pass connects the Gunnison and Ohio Creek Valleys with Kebler Pass and Crested Butte. It's very scenic. During the fall colors, it's simply on fire. Moreover, on any given fall day, you may inch your way through a herd of cattle being driven down to winter pasture. It's like being in the old west for several hours. It's especially fun to watch the cow dogs work; they're amazing.
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rollin',
We're starting our ride up Ohio Pass, with the Anthracite Range in the background.
The mountain gods be a brewin' something.
If you were to wade out into the quakie jungle, which I highly recommend, the understory would be waist- to chest-high.
Ohio Pass road is not difficult. The average car usually has enough clearance. Nonetheless, there are some rock and drainage surprises to clear; this can change from storm to storm. The pass is narrow, steep and exposed (don't drive off the edge) in places. Long vehicles and trailers are not allowed.
An enchanting waterfall adorns the eastern terminous of the Antracite Range.
After riding Ohio Pass, we began the five-hour journey home (Yes, we take the long scenic route.). While driving down Ohio Valley, afternoon storms rapidly gathered over The Castles, eastern ramparts of the West Elk Mountains.
The clover was getting after it at the confluence of the Ohio Creek and Gunnison Valleys.
Reminiscent to Ride the Rockies, our route home took us up the Taylor River Valley to Taylor Park and 12,126-foot Cottonwood Pass. Much of the montane forest ecosystem was quilted together with Lupine.