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Portland - The Portland Trail

TRAILHEAD (Portland Creek):

Take Hwy 550 south out of Ouray around two switchbacks then left on the Amphitheater Campground road, 1.1 miles from the south end of Main Street. The trail begins 0.25 mile up the Portland Mine jeep road, which forks up to the right (east) before the gate and bridge over Portland Creek. There is ample Parking on the north side of the Campground road before the gate.


Hiking this trail is a good way to get used to the altitude and also have views of the Amphitheater cliffs and the peaks to the west and south of Ouray. You will be mostly in forest, but with many viewing points along the way. The trail crosses Portland Creek and begins a gentle climb along a series of switchbacks through the forest, with overlooks of the Amphitheater.

After two miles, you will reach a four-way junction at the high point of the Portland Trail. For an interesting loop back to the Campground, take the left branch to connect with the Cascade Trail. This return is steeper than the way you came up on the Portland Trail, but is only 1.2 miles. Turn left at the Cascade Trail intersection to reach the Campground.

TRAILHEAD (Amphitheater Campground):

When the Campground is open (from Memorial Day to at least Labor Day), you may drive to the cul-de-sac at the end of the Campground road. Parking space here is limited. Do not block campsite parking.


Starting from the cul-de-sac, you will leave the forest and cross some open places for viewing during the first 0.2 mile. At the first main trail junction, keep right; the left turn continues the Cascade Trail. After crossing a normally dry creek bed, this fork joins the trail from the Portland Creek trailhead. Turn left up the switchbacks, and follow the directions in "Attractions and Features," above.

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Ouray Mountain Rescue, under the direction of the Ouray County Sheriff's Office, is always on call for assistance. The Rescue Team is a volunteer organization of mountaineers, technical climbers, paramedical personnel and a K-9 team. All are experienced in rescue techniques. In order to offset training and equipment expenses, tax-deductible donations are gratefully appreciated. Thank you for your support.

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