Attention site users! On December 31, 2020, the company whose platform and hosting service we have used to build this site will discontinue their service. That means NO MORE SITE unless immediate action is taken. The ultimate goal will be to have the site rebuilt in another platform. In the interim, we plan to transfer this site to a "static" page where all the information will still be available but we will be unable to administrate the site. The ultimate goal will cost tens of thousands of dollars in professional costs. The immediate "static" solution will still cost several thousand. We are on retirement/SS income and do not have the personal resources to build this site again. To keep this site going, we may have to monetize it in some way such as required membership or allow advertising and you know how annoying that can be. So, if you have survived Covid-19 and still have steady income, please consider a donation in any amount now. For past contributors, thank you so much for doing so!
There are two possible access routes to the trailhead - one from the west side of Ophir Pass, the other from the east side.
West side access: From "Society Junction" about 4 miles west of the town of Telluride on HWY 145, turn south and head up the hill and past the turnoff for the ski area. Continue south to the turnoff for Ophir. Drive east on FR630 to Ophir - which is mostly a collection of summer cabins.
From Ophir, travel east for approximately 1.5 miles on Forest Road #630 to a gated road on the right (south) side of the road. Walk, horseback, or bike south down this gated road to the Swamp Canyon Trailhead. This approach can be completed in a passenger car. The trail number is 634. According to the Uncompahgre National Forest map, this trail eventually leads up the SSE fork of Swamp Canyon and crosses over to Clear Lake. Google Earth (GE) does not show it crossing over to Clear lake, but instead, it clearly shows crossing a pass east of U S Grant and descending to Island Lake in the Ice Lake Basin.
For the east access, from Silverton, drive north on US 550 to the turnoff for the Ophir Pass Road #679. If coming from Ouray, drive south on US 550 over Red Mountain Pass and then take the turnoff. Head west over Ophir Pass. 4WD, high clearance recommended. From the summit of the pass, it will be a bout 2 miles down to the same trailhead turnoff described above. The old road into Swamp Canyon use to be drivable. Vehicle access is no longer allowed.
Some primitive, at-large spots can be found along FR630 starting about one half mile east of Ophir and on up the pass road, east of the trailhead turnoff. Most of these are short roads that turn off the main. Be careful regarding private property postings.