Hiking Trail Conditions Update August 11, 2022
As we enter late summer, snow is rarely a problem anywhere. Streams are mostly running at normal flows and are crossable on roads and trails, but always be aware of flooding, rockfall, and of course lightning hazard from rainstorms that are now frequent.
U.S. Forest Service contractors, volunteers of the Ouray Trail Group, and other Forest Service collaborators have cleared down trees, brush, and debris from most trails near Ouray and in the Highway 550 and County Road 361 corridors, and some trails farther afield in the Uncompahgre Wilderness. Some specific trail conditions to note:
Baldy Peak area trails (Baldy, Okeson, Shortcut, Left Fork Cutler, and Cutler Creek Trails)- Several down trees on the trails require care to pass over or around.
Bear Creek Trail- A rough section about 2.3 miles up from the Highway 550 Trailhead where the trail crosses a steep debris slope above the creek has been temporarily repaired, but heavy rains continue to degrade the repairs. Us extreme caution in this section. OTG and others have cleared the corridor, and rebuilt and marked faint trail sections leading east to the Horsethief trail.
Blue Lakes Trail-open throughout. A Forest Service contracted crew has made impressive repairs on the trail between the County Road 7 Trailhead and lower Blue Lake. Remember to hike and camp with minimum impact in this special but much-used area. The trail on the steep alpine slope east of Blue Lakes Pass is damaged by debris flows and has poor footing. Use extreme caution passing this section. Cimarron area trails (Middle Fork, East Fork, and Little Cimarron Trails)- expect down trees, use caution bypassing.
Cow Creek area trails (Courthouse, Stealey Mountain South, Stealey Mountain North, and Cow Creek Trails)- OTG has cleared the Courthouse Trail from Cow Creek Trailhead up to the junction with the Stealey Mountain South Trail, short sections of connecting trails. Elsewhere, expect numerous down trees. Parts of the Stealey Mountain South Trail that burned in a wildfire in 2020 are overgrown with dense resprouting vegetation. Use caution and good map and navigation skills to proceed. Dallas-Corbett Shortcut Trail- Expect down trees, use caution bypassing.