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Cascade and Portland Loop Trail

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Uncompahgre National Forest

Cascade and Portland Loop Trail is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ouray, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,034 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

running

forest

river

waterfall

rocky

Please note that the parking lot for this trail is closed due to COVID 19.

started at baby bathtubs trailhead because the gate was closed to the campground. great hike. I've done upper Cascade falls but never added Portland to make it a loop. To help you decide which way to start, here are my thoughts. If you'd prefer an easier climb and longer hike on the way to the falls, and a shorter route back to the car on the way back, go counterclockwise. if you prefer a more direct route to the falls, but want or don't mind a bit more of a challenging climb, and a longer route back to the car, go clockwise. I preferred it clockwise

hiking
snow
6 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Actual trail didn’t conform to the down loaded map. I figured there was a recent landslide that caused a detour. Lovely woodsy hike. The aspen haven’t turned but should soon.

hiking
10 months ago

my GPS was way off

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful loop, butterflies, flowers, waterfalls

hiking
10 months ago

My wife, son and his girlfriend hiked this yesterday and everyone enjoyed the trail and scenery it offered, especially at the scenic overlook about halfway. It was well maintained, not much for bugs with a few good vertical inclines. If you want a moderate hike start from Baby Bathtub and hook up with this trial loop and go counter clockwise. If you want a difficult incline at the beginning take the trail clock wise. Either way it’s down hill once you hit The scenic overlook. Well worth it! Thank you Great Spirits

Don't let my 3-star rating deter you - that's in comparison to 4- and 5-stars like Mt. Sneffels, Blue Lakes, Ice Lakes, and Highland Mary Lake trails! This would be a really nice hike for a young family, with great views of Ouray and an enjoyable stop at Lower Cascade Falls after a short hike up to overlook Portland Mine. Enjoyable hike with some beautiful views, worth the extra 200' vertical to the old cabin. We brought the Upper Cascade Falls trail back down to the Perimeter Trail, then on to Lower Cascade Falls, and around to the Visitor Center. Beautiful views of Ouray at various points along the way.

The hike up to Chief Ouray Mine is no joke. Very steep but the payoff is worth it. The views are amazing. For anyone looking for a real challenge with a reward if recommend this. The remainder of the Portland trail is just okay. It’s a nice walk in the mountains. Trail is pretty easy to follow the whole way. Would do again!

hiking
over grown
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

It was a tough incline for this pregnant lady, but worth it for the views at the top! The waterfall was really nice!

hiking
11 months ago

We just did the Portland loop from the Amphitheater Campground parking (about 3.7 miles total). It was easy/moderate and very lightly used on a weekday. Good for dogs and a few nice views along the way.

backpacking
Fri Jun 28 2019

Great trail for backpacking and very dog friendly!

hiking
Mon Jun 24 2019

Great hike. The trail is sheltered near the bottom, and gets more exposed as you incline. The incline is fast and steady with a lot of switchbacks. We did not t see the bear and her cubs as someone saw a couple days ago. We also did not make it to the mine because the water was running fast from the waterfall and we decided not to cross it but it was so close . There was a little snow left near the waterfall and the views were beautiful! This was a very lightly traveled trail and hope to come back soon.

hiking
rocky
Fri Jun 21 2019

we did not do the Portland loop side of this hike and the hike up to the waterfall was definitely grueling enough switch backs and climbing elevation all the way for about 1500 feet straight. Top gets a little narrow with edge there but once around to the falls side it's beautiful and relatively flat. overall great challenge and the dog came too!

hiking
Sat Jun 15 2019

Beautiful hike! Nice mix of sun and shade. Was told that there was a mama bear with two cubs near the junction toward the falls, but I didn’t see them. Will definitely hike again

backpacking
Fri May 17 2019

It's pretty strenuous going up especially if you're not used to the elevation but my god the view at the top is incredible. It looks like the Swiss Alps up there. Highly recommend.

backpacking
Wed May 15 2019

Stunning views at the top. There are spots to camp but you have to find them. The trail is well maintained and basically just a bunch of steep switchbacks but it's worth it.

hiking
Fri Aug 17 2018

Beautiful views!! It was a pretty narrow trail in most places. Steep and such a Great workout. Not very many people on the trail. Locals say to be get to the trails early in Ouray because like clockwork, it almost always storms at noon.

hiking
Mon Jul 16 2018

Great hike with amazing views of Ouray. You walk through the mine, which is cool. I would suggest going up to the mine first and then doing the remaining part of the Portland Loop trail as that will get the hardest part over first.

backpacking
Wed Jun 27 2018

Really fun with a rewarding view at the top. The falls are great even in this super dry year, forming small pools to cool off in. Highly recommend going on to the old mine buildings, particularly the far one which has an old Denver mining co drill and some other interesting equipment in it, not to mention a fantastic view of the town below. The blocked off cavern just past it contains a vertical shaft apparently created with that rock drill in the building.

hiking
Thu Dec 07 2017

My husband and I tried this trail for the 1st time on 12/7/17. Mostly clear of snow and ice, the downhills weren’t all that bad but if it was wetter it could be bad in spots. We really enjoyed it and plan to do it with snowshoes or at least try it.

Tue May 16 2017

Beautiful trail on a late spring day. We viewed waterfalls, numerous spring wildflowers, one twisted and one huge aspen. And we found a small number of morels.

hiking
Sat Jun 28 2014

At first this trail was hard to to figure out which one was it as in the begain ing several met up at the start and the trails are not labeled. After getting on the right one, it take you through nature with loads of trees and wildlife. Saw several deer and some great overlooks. This is a good trail to get you warmed up to the longer trails you can take.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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