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Waterfalls, deep river canyons, stands of Aspen, rocky outcroppings... this hike has it all! We hiked this trail with our dog in the rain and sleet today and it was epic! The wintery weather combined with stunning views and varying terrain made for a hike to remember. We'll definitely be back!!

Great hike! There was so much variety -- waterfall, a cave you walk through, high bridges, mining roads and steep rocky parts. Awesome. We did go a bit longer ~6 miles. A part of the trail was closed near the end of our hike but it re-routed us back to town with no problems. We went clockwise starting at the big hot springs in town (south side of the town).

Really convenient hike that leaves right from town. Tons of people on the trail but the trail had really great views. Basically 2 miles straight up hill but its shade covered most of the way. Make sure not to stop at the opening, the trail goes right up next to the waterfall.

Loved it! Different view every corner you turn. Awesome to look down at the town and over at the mountains. Really beautiful.

backpacking
4 days ago

Great views. lots of fun.

Beautiful, easy for non altitude hikers, just take your time and plan a picnic at the falls!!!

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail! Just so everyone knows in advance, I don't think the 4.9 is correct.
1.Maybe this is just the linear measurement. Probably doesn't take into account the elevation changes.
2. Maybe it's not accounting for the longer distance added to the trail if you avoid the Ice Park shortcut.
3. This map doesn't show the new section they added just recently, Oak Creek Canyon. This new section adds probably another 1.5 miles (didn't note the amount, just estimating) and it's pretty strenuous.
My total for the entire loop was 7.7 miles according to a couple of apps on my phone. They were both within a tenth of a mile with each other so take that for what it is worth.
I also used this link that gives lots of pictures to help navigate (assuming you are doing the trail clockwise)

http://www.gjhikes.com/2012/09/ouray-perimeter-trail.html?m=1

The trail is well marked except for 2 places where the Ouray Trail Group could make an improvement.

1. At Baby Bathtubs it's a little unclear which line to take. Most descriptions mention staying on the north side of the stream but you actually need to go a bit further to pick up Portland Creek and you will be staying to the north of it. Until they get that corrected, when you first get to the Bathtubs go across right there at a slight diagonal. The trail is a bit faint on the other side but it's there.
2. It is a bit hard to interpret the trail just beyond the Potato Patch. There are a couple of poles/cairns to help guide you but it's still a bit difficult to see the line through this area due to it being mostly rock. Still, just work your way down to the hiway 550 crossing using the most logical line and you'll be fine.
I will try to post a current picture of the updated map.

We'll be going back to try again! Unfortunately it started raining when we were about half way up. Would have kept going but it was a downpour. Nice and shady, gradual incline.

One of my favorite hikes ever!! Such beautiful views. I went with my husband and toddler. Toddler was in his carrier the whole time because he fell asleep, but would have loved the waterfall. The first part was the most difficult. Very steep. It's also a little scary if you're afraid of heights, because you get close to the edge at times. Waterfall is beautiful!! Nice place to relax and enjoy a picnic.

excellent trail. you gotta watch your step in a few places where the trail gets pretty narrow. All in all it is an awesome hike. It has scenery of all kinds including: great mountain views, forest views where we saw lots of mule deer, lots of views overlooking the town of ouray, multiple waterfalls, and nice river views. highly recommend this trail. The perimeter trail map actually says the trail is 5.8 miles not 4.9 like it says on all trails. We walked from our hotel hot springs inn to the trail head. so total we hiked 7.6 miles.

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
15 days ago