Explore the most popular views trails in Uncompahgre Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very nice hike but I can’t give it a 5-Star rating bc:
1. I don’t know where they came up with this being a 4.7 mile hike that it says in the description as if you do the entire hike following the signs it is more like 6.2 miles and 1,600 feet of climbing.
2. Not best hiking footing for parts of the hike as loose rocks and metal grates (I had to carry my black lab as these bugged her so much she refused to walk on them) for climbing over large water “pipeline” and across high bridge.

Overall not bad for being right in Ouray and this time of year the waterfall was amazing and luckily not super hot (was getting a bit too warm for my dog but that was bc it was 1.5 miles longer that we expected so it was close to noon when we finished.

hiking
9 days ago

This is a great trail. Well signed to keep you on track, takes you past many beautiful locations. Some parts are difficult if you are a novice hiker like myself. However, it’s definitely worth it.

hiking
11 days ago

Great views of Ouray, a waterfall ( May) and enough of a challenge to get winded occasionally. Fun trail!

This hike was wonderful! Traversing the loop brought gorgeous views of the valley, waterfalls, blooming wildflowers, the million dollar highway, box canyon and the cute town. I saw a fox on the trail as well. Definitely worth it if you are in the area!

hiking
2 months ago

I liked what I was able to hike. Would not recommend going in winter months without proper gear! Parts of the trail were pure ice - had to cut the hike short due to ice. Nice steep inclines at the beginning of the trail. Eventually comes to a pretty waterfall (which is where I stopped b/c ice).

I did the north east and northwest sections on 2/16 in the late afternoon and 2/17 in the morning, using microspikes for parts of both. Great minimalist trail, with sketchy shoring up by the falls on the northeast section. Seems that some people go hors piste there which disrupts the integrity of the hillside. Stay on the trail. At the bridge past Henn's overlook on the west side, the snow was too deep and unbroken for me to continue w/o snowshoes or any knowledge of where the trail lay. I'll do it again when I have enough time to do the whole loop.
Pro tip: get a map of the trail from the visitor center in town, and they might give you updated trail condition info.

hiking
4 months ago

Good hike, first mile was mostly uphill with well packed snow. The snow got deeper a couple of miles into the hike but not enough to require snowshoes (we wore microspikes). The trail markings are almost nonexistent near the high point and there were tracks in the snow in several different directions so we ended up going off trail to get down to the road. After the steep descent we flatlanders decided to call it a day and take the road from the Ice Park to our car at the Visitors Center with a stop at the coffee shop. I would do this hike again.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike! Hiked it last Thursday had some icy spots but was not bad.

hiking
5 months ago

Really great hike. I'm sorry Kevin below didn't enjoy it as much but I thought it was really spectacular. The Aspen forest was huge, one of the largest I've seen, and the lake was gorgeous, although frozen and snowy in parts which might have added to the beauty. Perhaps early December is the time to go, if you don't mind snow. The dirt road leading to the trailhead has a few forks along the way, take the first left and stay straight the rest of the way. Also, this trail does not actually make into the wilderness boundary. Still feels like wilderness though.

Awesome payoff at end

Solid hike, gets pretty busy in the summer

Spectacular views! May be taxing if not in shape and or used to altitude. Signage lacking at times. Overall amazing hike.

Great hike. Closer to 6 mi. though. Great views of the valley.

off road driving
7 months ago

Lovely!! Lots of beautiful trees, rocks, & water:)

off road driving
7 months ago

Did this in a stock Jeep Unlimited. No problems at all. Views were amazing! I would recommend this trail to anyone.

I parked at the hot springs and by the time I got back to my car it was 6.3 miles. Great hike, though. Not many people on the trail and views that can only be seen from the trail. Highly recommend to get the full Ouray experience!

I parked at the hot springs and by the time I got back to my car it was 6.3 miles. Great hike, though. Not many people on the trail and views that can only be seen from the trail. Highly recommend to get the full Ouray experience!

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).

hiking
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months 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.

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.

hiking
8 months ago

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
8 months ago

Took 3.5 hrs up- lightly used trail - very beautiful

You really have to watch yourself with the altitude up here, but the trail has some awesome sights and is well worth the trip. This trail also gives you plenty of opportunities to go explore the many other trails all around here.

hiking
8 months ago

I loved this trail but my fit bit and my husbands sunto watch said it was at least 7 miles and we didn't even complete the full loop back to the visitors center. It took us over 3 hours and I was exhausted. My brother and his wife bailed halfway through. Not for the faint of heart.

Take CR 18 back to Ouray from Animas Forks the said....... didn't realize this was Mineral Creek till we got back to camp... best trail we did all day..

Just a disclaimer: we started this at 6:50pm. The sun set at 8:00pm. But nevertheless, we did the entire perimeter and finished by 9:15pm. The views were absolutely incredible! Very cool features - waterfalls, bridges, tunnels. But if you're scared of heights, word of warning and if you're not comfortable hiking in the dark, go in the morning.;) this was a perfect way to really get a good look at the heart of Ouray.

off road driving
9 months ago

Miles and miles of big rocks. High clearance and low range is simply a given. At times in the Jeep we found ourselves leaned sideways enough to have at least one passenger end up crawled up on top of another lol. Maybe having to do that while edging along near cliffs at times was a bit much. It was raining and all those rocks were slippery so that might have caused some of the worry too. This is a trail where parts can get broke. We saw one blown tire and one totaled ATV. Although this trail isn't famous like some others, I would say it's very memorable!! We really can't say there was anything about this trail we would want to see again if we weren't going to Poughkeepsie.

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