Hiking Near Ouray Colorado: Silver Shield Trail
A Short Afternoon Hike to Great Vistas Await You on the Silvershield Trail by Ouray
For those people visiting on a Colorado vacation who enjoy hiking, Ouray Colorado is one of the best places to enjoy the trails. Ouray County boasts over 74 trails throughout the area. From the City of Ouray, there are numerous hiking trails that lead up into the National Forest and eventually into some National Wilderness areas. Ouray Colorado hiking has its share of steep ascents and some trails have switchbacks to ease the burden. Many hiking trails in Ouray provide great views of the surrounding mountains and the Silvershield Trail is no exception.
The Silvershield Trail begins north of the downtown area next to the Silvershield Mine. Find the trailhead off of Ouray County Road 17 (County Road 17 is the former railroad grade road that parallels the Uncompaghre River from 7th Avenue and heads north) about 1 mile north of the intersection at 7th Avenue near the mine relics that share its name.
Once you find the trailhead, the trail itself is easy to follow! The trail begins steeply ascending the beautiful red rock cliff face; it is hot and dry here with some loose rock but it gets better. There is a small overlook and memorial after 0.3 miles.
The trail remains fairly steep until you reach the junction of the Oak Creek and Corbett Trails about 1.1 miles. Just muscle through it because it gets much better!
The remaining 1.2 miles to the intersection of the Twin Peaks Trailhead are less steep and the ground gets nicer and the bounty of the forest reveals lush areas with wildflowers, native grasses, spruce trees and aspens. Once you reach the intersection of the Old Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks Trail and the Silvershield Trail you can enjoy a snack overlooking some amazing vistas. You can retrace your steps or take a new way down to get back to Ouray.
It helps to have the Ouray Trail Groups wonderful topographic map of the area. We sell it at the hotel, and it is readily available throughout Ouray County. You can order it online too from Ouray Mountain Sports or the Ouray Trail Group if you like to plan in advance.
This is a mostly dry trail (unless you descend via Oak Creek) so bring plenty of water as there is virtually no replenishment in July. Silvershield trail is 4.6 miles out and back.
Enjoy our natural hot springs that are terraced on the hillside after your adventure; the natural hot springs water reinvigorates tired muscles so you can enjoy a delicious dinner in town!