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CR14 Ohio Peak area s(u)

The San Juan Mountains are dissected by old mining roads. Many famous examples go over named passes. Here is a road above 12 thousand feet, in the middle of some of the highest San Juan passes, that just carries county road/ forest road numbers. Like the surrounding passes, this one is well surfaced (not paved), but in places extremely steep. In the summer the road is crowded with organized and disorganized jeep tours, sporting license plates from Colorado and all states south. Unlike the surrounding passes, this can be a very short trip.

the elevation profile and map for this point is included on the profile page for Red Mountain No3 Rd s(u)


From South.
Silverton is the lowest point on this relatively short loop. On US550, after passing the turnoff to Ophir Pass, and before reaching the big US550 Mill Creek swerve, FR485/CR14 takes off steeply towards the east. Looking closely there is a sign that is big enough to corroborate that you made the right turn.

There is noting like starting off the day with a good walk. The surface of this county/forest road is excellent. But it is so steep, for me there is no significant time difference to be gained by riding (even if i could) - so I just walk a large portion. A mine above serves as a good yard stick for progress but the true improvement in the scenic situation is because of a better vantage point on Lookout Peak, South Lookout Peak, and US Grant Mountain, in the Ophir Pass area. That mine finally serves as good foreground material for photos. Just a few more rolling switchbacks and the road is solidly above treeline, with views of high and steep mining road passes in 3 out of 4 directions. The highest point is reached before a kind of rolling traverse above treeline finally takes the rider north - at last for a longer time in the saddle. I borrowed the name "Ohio Peak" from the highest point above, to the east.

From North. (described downwards) Before the road finally descends there is one last possibility for scenic walks in both directions on the tundra. McMillan Peak to the south would be the higher of the two destinations, still below 13 thousand feet. Even just staying on the road, the view from here is the most panoramic along the route. Red Mountain No3 stands out as a kind of tetrahedron with roads carved all over it, as if somebody had put it through a bread slicer. When I first saw it, I did not know yet, that my return path would lead me along one of those slices.

It is possible to descend quickly back down to US550, arriving still south of Red Mountain Pass. But the profile for this summit, turns right at the next unpaved road. There is gate here, along with a sign saying, Private Property - no motor vehicles - hikers, skiers and cyclists welcome. What a concept ! There should be a Nobel Prize in this category. More on the Red Mountain No3 Rd s(u) page

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A Dayride with this point as highest summit is on page: Red Mountain No3 Road s(u)