8. Red Mountain Pass

Another mecca for backcountry skiers and riders, Red Mountain Pass sits in the San Juan Mountains, between the Old West towns of Ouray and Silverton. Drive up the Million Dollar Highway, one of the most scenic drives in the US (but potentially treacherous in winter), to park beneath 14ers and ski for the day.

Gorgeous, varied, and challenging, you need to ski it for yourself to see what all the fuss is about. With an endless variety of routes to explore — from laid-back tree runs to couloirs, traverses, summits and alpine bowls — you’ll find the ski touring in this area to be virtually limitless.

Backcountry skiing in Red Mountain Pass guarantees awe-inspiring untracked terrain.
Backcountry skiing in Red Mountain Pass delivers awe-inspiring, untracked terrain

Red Mountain Pass guides

Book one of the beautiful, modern huts for a long week of ski touring in one of Colorado’s most beautiful venues or enjoy a stay at the luxe Red Mountain Alpine Lodge. Local mountain guides protect their secret stashes, saving them for the right days with the right guests, so your best bet is to book a guide for the best experience possible.

Red Mountain Pass is another of Colorado’s most active avalanche zones, so much so that Highway 550 has its own forecaster, which makes skiing with a guide all that much safer. The San Juan Mountain Guides are the local go-to experts in this area.

About the author
Squamish Resident, Freelance Writer and Outdoor Gear Reviewer

Ebony Roberts is a freelance writer and outdoor gear reviewer, and has hiked, camped, paddled and pedalled through mud, snow, rain and heat to find the best stuff out there for all sorts of adventuring. When she’s not crafting stories about life outdoors, she’s exploring trails with her family in their home base of Squamish, BC.

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