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Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

ewell, surrey
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Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

Hi,

We will be in Ouray for 3 nights in mid- August 2011. Our party consists of 2 adults & daughter aged 15.

One of our planned activities is a Guided Jeep Tour but we are having problems deciding which one – they all look good!!

At the moment we are considering a half day trip to the Yankee Boy Basin or the Imogene Pass, or a full day Black Bear Pass tour.

So we’ve a few questions:

1. I love wildflowers but will mid August be a bit too late in the season for Yankee Boy?

Is this tour “rather tame” in comparison to the others?

2. We all love great scenery, wildlife and amateur photography so would Imogene Pass be better (will there be flowers on this route) ?

3. As it’s probably going to be our one & only trip to the area (we are from the UK) would the full day tour give us a better feel for this part of Colorado and a more exciting adventure?

4. Are afternoon thunderstorms a real problem for the full day tours at this time of year?

5. Do we need to book in advance, if so how soon?

Sorry about all these queries – we are really looking forward to our visit and want to make the best use of our limited time.

Any answers will be greatly appreciated…

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Ouray
Ouray
Colorado
Yankee Boy Basin
Yankee Boy Basin
369 Reviews
Ouray, CO
Imogene Pass
Imogene Pass
116 Reviews
Ouray, CO
Black Bear Pass
Black Bear Pass
46 Reviews
Telluride, CO
Colorado
Colorado
United States
WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
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1. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

Yes, all the tours are breathtaking and it is difficult to choose. A full day tour would indeed give you more adventure and more scenery.

And yes, Yankee Boy is shorter and somewhat tamer. But it is still my favorite, not just because of the flowers but the double waterfall and the surrounding peaks, and it passes through a ghost town and mining ruins so it has a bit of everything. The spring has been long and cool, so there will very likely still be good flowers in August. There's something blooming throughout the summer and into the fall...there just happens to be a couple of weeks that everything seems to bloom at once, and the peak varies according to weather and rainfall. Maybe you could all go on a full day trip and you, the wildflower lover, could go on the half day trip to Yankee Boy while the other two hike or go to the hot springs or the mine tour. You'll see flowers on any of the tours, but it seems to me that the greatest concentration is in Yankee Boy.

Black Bear would definitely be the most thrilling and very scenic! I haven't been over it so can't speak from personal experience because I'm too chicken to do it. Imogene Pass would be great, as would the Alpine Loop. I like the Alpine Loop because of the ghost towns.

Edited: 1:45 pm, June 06, 2011
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Imogene Pass
Imogene Pass
116 Reviews
Ouray, CO
Alpine Loop
Alpine Loop
50 Reviews
Colorado
vcv
Tennessee
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2. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

I did the half-day tour to Imogene Pass with Switzerland of America (in Ouray) last summer (I walked in that morning for reservations in the afternoon--that was the only afternoon tour). It was really excellent--so good that I'm planning to go back this fall. The afternoon was rainy, and the guide stopped several times to put on/off the roof of the jeep--but the rain didn't detract from a wonderful excursion. There were two children (pre-teens) on the trip, and they seemed to enjoy it a lot.

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Imogene Pass
Imogene Pass
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Ouray, CO
Ouray
Ouray
Colorado
Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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3. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

Black Bear is the most challenging (terrifying?) of the routes mentioned. It is very steep and traffic is allowed to go in one direction only. I have driven (not a tour) over the others you mentioned as well as some others, but I personally will not be going over Black Bear. Like misspWestSlope, I think it's too scary and I'm chicken. If you have "nerves of steel", go for it!!

Edited: 10:29 pm, June 06, 2011
Ouray, Colorado
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4. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

Black Bear is one way so to do Black Bear from Ouray, you typically go back up over Imogene Pass. It is a super fun full day trip.

Mid August should still have blooms and fields in the highest alpine basins. Some of the lower basins may have run their course, but Imogene should still be great and Black Bear Pass will still have great flowers. I think I would do the full day at that time of year. the higher you go, the better chance you will see the cacophony of flowers...

This year, things are melting late so it may be that the flowers are a couple of weeks late too. You will have a ball!

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Ouray
Ouray
Colorado
Imogene Pass
Imogene Pass
116 Reviews
Ouray, CO
Black Bear Pass
Black Bear Pass
46 Reviews
Telluride, CO
ewell, surrey
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155 posts
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5. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

Dear All,

Thank you all so much for your insights...still a little undecided but I now have a lot more info on which to make a decision.

Needing a little excitement in my life I am erring towards the Black Bear / Imogene Loop!

Am still unsure as to whether to make reservations now - what do you reckon?

Ouray, Colorado
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6. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

If you have a tour vehicle, Black Bear isn't really scary. There is a small section (10-12 feet) that is a little skid step but it isn't that bad.

I vote for the all day Black Bear. You leave from Ouray and eat lunch in Telluride. Super fun.

I think that I would book in advance since you want a specific day and trip. If you think you are more flexible, then, you can wait until you get here.

Rainstorms... so hard to know. Every time that I think I am going to get rained on, I don't. If I think it looks perfect, rain or hail, gets me everytime!

Even with a little rain, it is still a bunch of fun... you can get pictures of rainbows or new waterfalls... it's all good!

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Ouray
Ouray
Colorado
Telluride
Telluride
Colorado
ewell, surrey
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7. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

Just a quick update...

We had fabulous holiday and really enjoyed our time in Colorado. In the end we decided to take the half day Imogene Pass tour with Switzerland of America (I have posted a review). We went in the morning which left the afternoon free to drive over to Silverton. This proved to be a great decision for us as we only had a limited time in the area. We enjoyed it so much that we would love to come back and do the Black Bear Pass!

Thanks again for your your advice and help.

Ewell

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Colorado
United States
Imogene Pass
Imogene Pass
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Ouray, CO
Silverton
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Black Bear Pass
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8. Re: Help - Which Guided Jeep Tour?

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