After a long and busy summer in Ouray, it’s nice to take a deep breath, relish, and enjoy the slow, easy going moments. What does our little mountain town offer after the kids go back to school and everyone goes home to look back at all their fun-filled photos spent on vacation in southwest Colorado? Cooler temperatures throughout the day means wonderful hiking weather with beautiful sights of snowcapped mountains and golden, rustling leaves. A few of my favorite day hikes are the Perimeter Trail, Sutton Mine Trail, and Blue Lakes – all of which offer amazing views within the San Juan Mountain Range.
Like the name suggests, the Perimeter Trail circumnavigates around the town of Ouray. I like this trail because I can hop on it from anywhere in town, it’s never too busy, and I love watching Ouray from a higher vantage point. Also, the beauty of this five-mile hike is that it can be accessed or left at on various points of the trail. So, if you’re in a time crunch, you can travel as far and for as long as you want.
The Sutton Mine Trail is a popular hike and everyone seems to ask questions about it without even knowing what trail it is. This trek ends at the old Neosho Mine, seen across the gorge while driving over 550, it’s the one that has the recognizable cabin with the laundry hanging outside of it. In my opinion, this is a mellow 4.5-mile roundtrip hike with a couple uphill and downhill sections. Be wary while hiking near the cliff edge, as with all the trails around here.
I enjoy hiking trails with a reward at the end of them.Blue Lakes, as the name implies, takes you to a couple of high alpine lakes situated below Mt. Sneffels. There are two options to get to these lakes, one is going through Ridgway and driving up Dallas Road and the other option is to go into Yankee Boy Basin. I prefer the Dallas Road trailhead. Going this way will take you through a beautiful and quiet pine forest, with small meandering creeks, and up the well-loved trail. This trail is a little on the difficult side, gaining 3,600 feet in elevation in a 11.5 mile roundtrip trek.
All in all, any hike you do around here will be adventurous and filled with memorable views. Please visit http://www.ouraycolorado.com/things-to-do/hiking for more information about these hikes and many more in the area. Also, since we are in the transition period of fall to winter, be sure to bring extra layers and winter items in case the weather decides to turn.