Dexter Creek / Overlook
|Round Trip||8.3 miles|
|Round Trip||6-7 hours|
The trail begins 2.5 miles up the Dexter Creek road (County Road 14), which starts 1.7 miles north of the Ouray Hot Springs Pool on US Hwy 550. As you drive past Lake Lenore stay right at the first fork (the left fork crosses Dexter Creek). Continue past the turnoff for the Bachelor/Syracuse Mine tour; keeping left, you will soon cross the creek. The road gets rougher past this bridge. You will see the trail sign and mine workings 0.7 mile from the bridge.
Parking:There is space near the trailhead on the north side of the creek by the mine dumps.
ATTRACTIONS AND FEATURES:
For an energetic eight-mile round trip hike, the destination is a ridge providing good views of the peaks from Courthouse on the north, past Precipice and Dunsinane to Coxcomb toward the south. The altitude gain is 2,900 feet.
In less than 0.2 mile, you will reach a normally dry creek bed, and the trail follows briefly along the left bank. Keep on the lookout for the point where the trail crosses and climbs up on the other side--less than 100 yards.
You will pass ruins of the Almadi Mine at 0.5 mile and the Old Maid Mine at 0.7 mile, with the backdrop of the 12,000 foot ridges of Cascade Mountain to the south. After another 0.4 mile, the trail turns away from the creek for the first time. Now the trail becomes more difficult for the next 0.5 mile, with a very steep section for 0.2 mile.
The trail ascends to a scenic ridge and the boundary of the Uncompahgre Wilderness at 1.6 miles from the trailhead. Meadows and forest alternate and the trail follows along a north fork of the creek. In a rainy season, this part of the trail may be wet and overgrown with plants. At 4.0 miles the ridge crest is reached with a junction to the Cutler Creek Trail to the left, and the Difficulty Creek Trail to the right. From vantage points along the wooded ridge, the views are fine--the Cimarrons to the east and the Sneffels Range to the west.