Ouray Trail Group
 P.O. Box 50, Ouray, CO 81427
This page provides access to trail   
information, maps and pictures   


Click on pictures to enlarge

Ouray Trails Index

(* Trails that may be accessed easily from the vicinity of Ouray - see the  Hiking Trails of Ouray County  map, or the Hiking Ouray With Kids - And Everyone Else! book for more trail details.)

Trails Grouped by Area

Determine the trail you are interested in, and then go to the alphabetical index to access information on that trail.

Trails East - Uncompahgre Wilderness:
Bear Creek/Bear Creek South Fork, Horsethief, Dexter, Difficulty,
Cutler/Okeson/Left Fork, Baldy, Storm's Gulch/Shortcut

Ca–on Creek Trails:
Alpine Mine, Hayden, Weehawken, Wright's Lake Spur, Blue Lakes, Mt. Sneffels

Trails Northwest of Ouray:
Blue Lakes, Dallas, Blaine Basin, Wilson Creek Summit,
Corbett-Dallas Loop/Shortcut, Corbett Canyon

Northeast & Uncompahgre Wilderness:
Courthouse/Courthouse Mountain, Stealey Mountain, Cow Creek, Wetterhorn Basin/Peak,
For Middle Canyon & Saddle see Wetterhorn Basin/Peak, Cimarron (East Fork, Middle Fork/Waterfall, West Fork Road), Porphyry Basin, Coxcomb
Matterhorn, Upper East Fork, Ridge Stock Driveway

Albany Loop/Hendrick Gulch, Hayden, Mears, Full Moon, Gray Copper,
Beaver/Belfast, Colorado Boy (see Ironton Nordic Trails), Richmond


Albany Loop/Hendrick Gulch Spur Alpine Mine/Overlook
*  Baby Bathtubs Baldy/Baldy Peak
Bear Creek Beaver/Belfast
Blaine Basin Blue Lakes
*  Cascade Cimarron
Corbett-Dallas Loop/Shortcut Corbett Canyon
Courthouse/Courthouse Mountain Cow Creek
Coxcomb Cutler Creek/Okeson/Left Fork
Dallas Dexter Creek
DifficultyCreek Full Moon
Gray Copper Hayden
Horsethief     *  Old Horsethief Ironton Nordic Trails
Matterhorn Mears/Larson Brothers
Mt. Abram Mt. Sneffels
*  Oak Creek *  Ouray Ice Park
*  Ouray Perimeter Trail Porphyry Basin
*  Portland Richmond
Ridge Stock Driveway *  Silvershield
Stealey Mountain Storm's Gulch/Shortcut
*  Sutton Overlook/Neosho Mine *  Twin Peaks     *  Old Twin Peaks
Uncompahgre Peak *  Uncompahgre River Walk
Upper East Fork Weehawken
Wetterhorn Basin/Peak Wilson Creek Summit
Wright's Lake Spur

Albany Loop - #140/Hendrick Gulch Spur

Albany, Looking Toward Ouray

View Across the Valley

Hendrick Gulch

Hendrick Gulch, Looking South

Photos courtesy of
Anthony Gegauff

The Ironton trails begin 7 miles south of Ouray on US 550; parking for Crystal Lake trailhead at the northern end of the Ironton valley is on the left, south of the St. Germain Foundation stone building. For the 3.6 mile Albany Loop, head southeast .2 mile along a dirt track past an aspen stand and a log building on the left.

Turn left and follow the road .7 mile to approximately 200' below the Lucky Twenty Mine. (The view across and down Hendrick Gulch makes this a rather special side trip.) Albany Loop goes right .5 mile uphill through forest, cliff and meadow to a high point. At the meadow just before the last short climb to the top, is the .5 mile Hendrick Gulch Spur, which offers a view of the lower Guadeloupe Mine across the gulch and - on the return - an unusual view of the Red Mountains. Follow gray diamonds and blazes downhill .2 mile; go left, then immediately turn right on an old mine road for the rest of the 2 mile descent. Albany Gulch - an avalanche chute and terrain trap - is crossed twice in the first mile - stay right on both. The second mile features good valley and mountain veiws to the west and a wet crossing on the way to the parking lot.

Red Mountain from the Albany Loop
Photo Courtesy of Peggy Spindler


Alpine Mine/Overlook - #206

Trail Work  

At the Alpine Mine

At the Alpine Mine Overlook

Ouray from the Overlook
Lower three pictures by
Anthony Gegauff

The Alpine Mine, Alpine Mine Overlook and Weehawken trails share a common trailhead on the Camp Bird Road, CR 361.  Look for the trailhead sign off the right side of the road beyond the second bridge. Parking: You will find ample parking near the trailhead.

The round trip is 5.2 miles with an altitude gain of 2,200 feet. The first mile of this trail climbs through aspen groves and open meadows. The views of Mt. Hayden are beautiful. The Weehawken and Alpine Mine trails split after 1.3 miles. The Alpine Mine Trail forks to the right and climbs steeply to the Alpine Mine at 2.3 miles, and then goes beyond, at 2.6 miles, to a spectacular overlook where you can look down on the town of Ouray from a perch that inspires eagles.


Baby Bath Tubs - #195

Sketch Map

On the Trail

The Baby Bath Tubs

Take US Highway 550 south out of Ouray 1.1 miles to the Amphitheater Campground Road. Turn left and park on the left (north) side of the Campground road before the bridge. The trailhead is just past the bridge on the right.

This trailhead also provides a convenient place to park and easy access to the Portland/Cascade Loop, the Upper Cascade Falls and the Chief Ouray Mine trails. 

This is an easy trail that packs a lot of unusual scenery into a short distance. Round trip to the Portland Trail junction is only 0.6 mile with an altitude gain of just 180 feet. The trail crosses the north fork of Portland Creek where water has carved "baby bath tubs" into the colorful rock of the streambed. The trail then follows the gorge of the main fork of Portland Creek with more interesting "photo op" spots until it joins the horse crossing trail below the footbridge over Portland Creek. 


Baldy - #216

Baldy | Baldy Peak

Sketch Map

Work - Always Work!

Sign at the Baldy Ridge

The Baldy Trail

The Baldy and Baldy Peak trails share a common trailhead. Drive (4WD) to Thistle Park and go left across Cutler Creek.  The trail begins about 3/4 of a mile beyond the creek.  Park along the road.

Round trip milage to the Baldy Peak branch is 5.2 miles with an altitude gain of about 1,790 feet. This trail has good views of both the Cimarrons and the Sneffels range, and it can be hiked in both early and late season.  The forest is subalpine fir, spruce and aspen.


Donna Green and Cody - Rest Stop

Back Down from Baldy

The Baldy Peak Trail

This trail branches off the Baldy trail to the left at 2.6 miles from the trailhead.  From there it is 0.6 miles to the top of Baldy Peak, which is only about 115 feet higher than where the trail branches.  There are great views of the Uncompahgre Plateau and all the way north to Grand Mesa. The top of Baldy is below timberline at 10,600 feet.

Work Group at a Baldy Sign        Putting Up a Sign Post       


Bear Creek - #241

Bear Creek | South Fork | OH Point Cut-Off

Sketch Map

Looking up Bear Creek Gorge

Hard at Work

On Up the Canyon

Even Further Up

Going Down the Trail in the Canyon   

Ouray from Top of Switchbacks

The Bear Creek Trail

Drive two miles south of Ouray on US 550. Parking: Immediately past the south end of the tunnel, turn left into the large loop space. The trail begins on the west side of the highway, going over the top of the tunnel.

This a National Recreation Trail--one of only a few designated in the USA as an especially scenic trail. As you get higher, more peaks are revealed and also the valley northward, with the profile of Grand Mesa 70 miles away. A round trip, to either the Horsethief Trail or to Engineer Pass via the South Fork, is 14.1 miles with an altitude gain of 4,230 and 4,400 feet respectively.

This exciting climb first goes up a series of switchbacks hewn out of the cliff face, then along ledges high above Bear Creek. The first switchbacks cross slides of slate and quartzite. Along the canyon trail watch for ripple marks from an ancient ocean preserved in rock on the canyon's pposite wall. Volcanic intrusions, called dikes, may be seen in many places along the trail. Switchbacks on the first part of the trail rise steadily for a gain of 1,000 feet, then the trail levels out for some stretches as it turns eastward along the Bear Creek gorge. The Grizzly Bear mine is reached after 2.4 miles. The Yellow Jacket mine is reached after a total of 4.2 miles.

If you are going on toward the Horsethief Trail, you have a choice of routes here, (shown on the Hiking Trails of Ouray County map). The most traveled route goes straight ahead and crosses the creek (look left for nice cascades). The old route starts with switchbacks by the mine machinery; care is needed in route-finding, but two creek crossings are avoided.

Not recommended as a first hike for people just getting up to this altitude, for those fearing steep dropoffs, or for those with venturesome children. There is considerable open exposure if weather turns bad. Be careful not to dislodge rocks. Be very cautious near the high cliffs and gravelly slopes. Keep alert for rockfalls from above.

Looking West from Yellow Jacket     Lunch Break at the Yellow Jacket Mine


South Fork Trailhead at Engineer Pass

The South Fork Trail
(It's Steeper than the
Picture Indicates)

The Bear Creek South Fork - #242

This trail branches off the main trail just above the Yellow Jacket Mine where the main trail switchbacks to the left. Continue straight, following the sign indicating Engineer Pass. The trail rises gently to timberline, where the jeep road at Engineer Pass may be seen in the far distance. The trail follows the creek up the open tundra to a location where rock cairns indicate the route up a small rise. From the top of the rise, the trail is easily visible and provides a steady gradual climb to Engineer Pass.


Trail Fork - Left to the
South Fork and OH Point
The OH Point Cut-Off 

This trail branches off a mile or so above the South Fork trail sign and proceeds right to Oh Point.  The trail is not well defined.  Jeeps and other 4-wheel drive vehicles can often be spotted out on Oh Point, well to the right of Engineer Pass, with their occupants enjoying the view, which includes looking DOWN on Mt. Abram to the west.



Copyright © 2001 by the Ouray Trail Group.   All rights reserved.