Chief Ouray Mine Trail

HARD 38 reviews

Chief Ouray Mine Trail is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ouray, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2536 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Steep hike to beautiful secluded falls, overlook of Ouray, and famous mine Follow the trail located directly behind the sign and head uphill. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. When you reach a T junction take a left. Remember this location so you don't miss this turn on your return trip. Continue along this trail as it heads into the Amphitheater. At the Y intersection veer left (uphill) and begin a tough set of switchbacks that will take you up the amphitheater wall. The trail will then traverse West, cross the ridge and traverse back East to the Falls. Carefully cross Cascade Creek. This crossing can be trick with high water or ice present. After the crossing follow the trail to the bunkhouse, go through the bunkhouse, and continue on the trail on the other side. The next building is the mine building, and if you descend a little and continue a short ways you will find the old mine shaft. Return the way you came.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

The 2,000 ft. elevation gain and numerous switchbacks makes this a more strenuous hike for occasional hikers, but has some great views of Ouray and the surrounding scenery (Shout out to Sneffels who looks grand from just about anywhere but real shines on this route!). I hiked up from downtown Ouray and left around 7am so my walk up would be in the shade and solitudinous. I achieved both, and didn't encounter other hikers until around 10:30 when I was half way back down. Some parts of the switchbacks may seem a little narrow for novice hikers, just make sure your shoes/boots have decent traction and you'll be in good shape.

hiking
1 month ago

Switchbacks are tough on the way up, but so worth it for the incredible views of the mine, waterfall and of Ouray.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views of Ouray. If you're physically fit, it's pretty easy. If you're out of shape, but take your time, you can do ok. Nothing too crazy.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great route, tough but well rewarded. We started from the campground and took 6 hours over it. The switchbacks are a grind and we did it in mid June so the creek was hard (and dangerous) to cross above the upper cascade. The mine sheds and equipment are in great condition and there is even an old working adit left accessible on the starting side of the creek (just below the path).

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Tough and scary in a good way!

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Fun trail very steep had a 1 year old and a 4 year old tagging along. Some areas have no shade so be prepared for that

hiking
7 months ago

Great views once you hit the top. Went on a hot summer day and there are a few areas with NO tree coverage/shade so come prepared.

hiking
10 months ago

Outstanding but steep hike. Not for the faint of heart - I did get butterflies in a few spots. Gorgeous views all the way to the top. Stopped and made hot coffee with the jetboil just past the first building and simply enjoyed the wonderful view of Ouray and the mountains. Garmin logged 5.13 miles roundtrip and 2,663 elevation gain.

10 months ago

Very steep and very beautiful!

hiking
11 months ago

This is truly an a** kicking trail. Loved it ! with gorgeous views at the top. Also there's a nice waterfall at the top where you can kick off your hiking shoes, and relax your feet :) Did this two years ago, summer of 2014

hiking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

Gorgeous views all during the hike! Steep and difficult- went mid day which was a mistake. Go in the am. Waterfall was a nice end point!