Red Mountain Pass

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Red Mountain Pass
Red Mountain Pass.jpg
Red Mountain Pass view from HWY 550
Elevation11,018 ft (3,358 m)[1]
Traversed by US 550 (Million Dollar Highway)
LocationOuray / San Juan counties, Colorado, USA
RangeSan Juan Mountains
Coordinates37°53′56″N 107°42′43″W / 37.89889°N 107.71194°W / 37.89889; -107.71194Coordinates: 37°53′56″N 107°42′43″W / 37.89889°N 107.71194°W / 37.89889; -107.71194
 
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Red Mountain Pass
Red Mountain Pass.jpg
Red Mountain Pass view from HWY 550
Elevation11,018 ft (3,358 m)[1]
Traversed by US 550 (Million Dollar Highway)
LocationOuray / San Juan counties, Colorado, USA
RangeSan Juan Mountains
Coordinates37°53′56″N 107°42′43″W / 37.89889°N 107.71194°W / 37.89889; -107.71194Coordinates: 37°53′56″N 107°42′43″W / 37.89889°N 107.71194°W / 37.89889; -107.71194
Red Mountain Pass, Ouray-Silverton Stage Road, c. 1901

Red Mountain Pass elevation 11,018 ft (3,358 m) is a mountain pass in the San Juan Mountains of western Colorado in the United States.

The pass straddles a divide that separates Ouray and San Juan counties. The pass is named for the nearby Red Mountain 1, 2 and, 3 on the northeast side of the pass. The name is derived from the iron oxide laden rock that forms their slopes.

The pass separates the Uncompahgre and Las Animas River watersheds, and also serves as a dividing point between the Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests. The pass is traversed by the Million Dollar Highway, U.S. Highway 550 between Ouray and Silverton, which is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway.

The pass is known for being treacherous in the wintertime due to the steep 8% grade and switchbacks on the north side facing Ouray, though the entire road is paved. In addition, there are very few guardrails on this side and passing is difficult, if not impossible.

References

Narrow stretch of highway over Red Mountain Pass.