The snow is melting in Ouray! With warmer weather knocking on the door, there's no time like spring time to plan your summer adventures. Mike is sharing his favorite local picks after more than a decade of living in southwest Colorado.
Bridge of Heaven
Just two miles south of the inn, this eight-mile trek rewards you with panoramic views of the Cimmaron and Sneffels mountain ranges, plus Red Mountain and Ironton Pass. The road there will require four-wheel drive, but that's not hard to come by in the Jeeper paradise that is Ouray. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep while you're on the trail - Mike sees them all the time!
Another of Mike's favorites can be hiked from Highway 550, just south of the inn, or Camp Bird Road. Stunning views await as you climb up and over Mt. Hayden on this approximately six-mile trip. Cairns and posts help you navigate the higher parts of the trail, which winds through fields of wildflowers, stands of aspen trees, and into the alpine tundra.
Bear Creek Trail
Explore the American Flats Wilderness Area as much or as little as you'd like on Bear Creek Trail. If you make it as far as Engineer Pass, you can pick up a number of other trails for backcountry camping, including hooking up with the aforementioned Bridge of Heaven for a 17-mile loop. Be ready for the butt-kicking switchbacks at the beginning!
The best plans are made around our breakfast table! Mike and Jen love helping guests find the best Ouray adventure for them over a cup of coffee at AlpLily. After living in southwest Colorado, they're happy to share their local knowledge for recommendations of all levels during your stay.
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As always, use your best judgment for when choosing what level of hiking is most appropriate for you.