Hiking in Ouray Colorado: Fantastic Options to Enjoy the Great Outdoors
The Dallas-Corbett Loop hiking trail just outside of Ouray is a splendid 6.0 mile loop with a 2000 foot elevation change.The first 0.9 miles is a steep section with switchbacks up a red rock face. At the junction of Corbett and Dallas, hikers can choose. Dallas is not as steep and winds through a forest with coniferous trees while Corbett winds its way on the south side of a gorge so it can be hotter. Corbett is steeper and dryer initially but the views are stunning of Corbett and Whitehouse. From Corbett, some waterfalls are viewable in the distance of the Corbett creek and eventually, you end up in the beautiful aspen forest.
The one mile stretch between Corbett and Dallas cross a perfect aspen forest, dotted with occasional spruce trees. The ground is covered with ferns, delpheniums, queen anne's lace and other plants. In places, the foliage obscures the trail somewhat, but the scene is spectacular. This one mile stretch is the best part of the trail and worth it, just to enjoy this section. In the photo below, the 60 pound puppy is on the trail and the foliage is 3-4 feet high. It is a quiet trail, even though it is so close to Ouray and provides a wonderful wilderness experience. A small creek intersects the Dallas Trail just 30 feet past the junction of the Dallas and Corbett Canyon Trails.
The remainder of the hike down the Dallas Trail is enjoyable, through coniferous forests.
Trail signs dot the intersections with well marked pointers but it is always good to carry a map. There is a hiking map for all the trails in Ouray County put out by the Ouray Trails Group. One can purchase them in town on arrival at many locations and they are also available in our lobby. The trail group also sells them and gladly mails them. Hiking in Ouray yields over 80 signed and maintained trails stretching hundreds of miles through National Forest and National Wilderness areas. They are a volunteer group and they do the heavy lifting so that all visitors and residents alike can continue to enjoy the beauty that Ouray has to offer. Three cheers for the Ouray Trail Group! and one million thank yous!
Getting There: The Dallas Trailhead is about 2.4 miles north of Ouray on County Rd 17. Take US 550 South just past the City Limits. On the left, there is a bridge crossing the Uncompaghre River. Cross the bridge and immediately go right (This is County Rd. 17) and continue towards Ridgway for 1/2 mile or so. The trailhead is on the left.
Of course, after a long hike, a soak in soothing natural hot springs relieves tired muscles and feet. And, who can resist a meal at one of Ouray's Premier dining establishments to replenish all the spent calories? Why not enjoy pasta at the Bon Ton or a tasty Cowboy Ribeye at the Outlaw? Review our dining page for more options.
What is your favorite Hiking Trail in Ouray? Why do you like it?