Hiking in Ouray: Wonderfully Scenic Beauty: Sutton Mine Trail
Ouray Hiking Trails - Great Views of Bear Creek Falls
Ouray Colorado is surrounded by incredibly beautiful mountains and pictures abound. One of the great hikes accessed from town is the Sutton Mine Trail where some spectacular views beckon professional and amateur photographers alike. This hike is a fairly short out and back. From the trailhead, the hike is 2.2 miles to the Neosho Mine and the wonderfully decorated Antique Store.
The first 0.5 miles is akin to walking on a stairmaster with an endless series of switchbacks. The trail is in very good shape, but, it is steep so slow and steady is the way to go. With a shorter stride, the Scenic Overlook comes soon enough.
From this point on, the hike is very enjoyable. The trail undulates with an upward slope, with short spurts through stretches of pine trees with the occasional aspen. The views are very nice and you can see the Million Dollar highway below and the Amphitheater above.
The Bear Creek Drainage to the east is an interesting site and with very good eyes one can watch 4x4s meander the spur that takes Jeepers up to Engineer Pass and connects Ouray to the Alpine Loop. The Bear Creek Overlook comes 1.7 miles from the trailhead. But, keep walking another 0.3 miles to the best view on the hike.
Cross two streams (the first could easily be dry by late June and the second will last the full year), emerge from the forest at approximately 2.0 miles from the trailhead to a magnificent view of the Bear Creek Falls.
This stunning vantage point for Bear Creek Falls comes with a wonderful picnic location too. Nice rocky outcroppings make for a nice bench in which to rest weary feet and the road below makes for some interesting observations. Bear Creek Falls goes under US Highway 550 and plunges 225 feet.
And, at this same picnic location, enjoy views to the south of Mt. Abrams.
Another 0.2 miles and the trail ends at the Neosho Mine. This hike is out and back.
For photographers and those who enjoy more shade, Bear Creek Falls is to the east, so make a late afternoon of it for best light.
Getting There: The Trailhead is very near the Ouray Ice Park Office off of Camp Bird Road. From town, head south on US 550 and turn onto Ouray County Road 361. Pass the CDOT buildings, pass the Ouray Ice Park Kiosk and park on the right within 0.1 miles. The trailhead is on the left side, just after the Ouray Perimeter Trail crossing. If you have reached the Water Towers, you have passed it. There is a very small parking area here, enough for 3-4 vehicles on the side of the road.