Forum Index » Pre-Trip Planning » Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO?


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Ty Guillory
(TyGui) - F
Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 01/30/2012 19:16:43 MST Print View

Has anyone backpacked from Lake City Colorado across to Ouray, CO? There is the "Alpine Loop" for Jeeps and 4x4's, but I have thought of taking more of a "straight-line" approach across to Ouray and back.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 01/30/2012 19:45:18 MST Print View

This 1/4 of the "Hardrock 100".
Google is (usually) your friend.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Some Issues on 01/30/2012 21:35:37 MST Print View

Have you been up there? Some areas it woudl be easy to go cross country, others are much more rugged. Why Ourey specifically? The Colorado Trail through that area is great, why not just take it from Lake City to Molas Pass?

Ty Guillory
(TyGui) - F
Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 01/30/2012 21:48:31 MST Print View

Yes, I've been in the area many, many times. I took my trials moto up to engineer's Pass. I have a good friend who lives in Lake City, so it is a good place to park my truck in safety. I'll have to check on Molas Pass. I was simply thinking that it may be neat to leave Lake City and head to Ouray if I can do it without walking along jeep trails the whole time. Camping along the way; get to Ouray, take a break, resupply, eat a good burger, and head back. Wondering how many days it would take. Guessing miles per day in that kind of terrain isn't easy.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - F - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Some Issues on 01/30/2012 21:49:52 MST Print View

You wouldn't even really need to go off trail. Just glancing at a topo looks like there's some shortcutting you could do on the Lake City side but looks like you could stay on trails the whole way if you wanted . I've done most of what you'd do on separate trips (section south of Uncompahgre/Matterhorn/Wetterhorn a couple times as well as a loop from Ouray to Bear Creek to Horsethief back to Ouray) and it's all fantastic.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Molas Pass Parking on 01/30/2012 21:54:12 MST Print View

Actually I'm not sure about leaving a car at Molas Pass. One trailhead I think says no overnight parkign but there are several parking areas near the Colorado Trail and a campground. I imagine there is somthing up there, don't know how safe it is.

Mostly I was pushing the CT route because I figured it was a more straightforward route if you didn't know the area well.

Now that we're thinking about it I wonder if you could connect your route to the CT and make a bit loop out of it?

Ty Guillory
(TyGui) - F
Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 01/30/2012 22:49:37 MST Print View

brenden, you said "looks like you could stay on trails."

Are these trails you speak for hiking or are they jeep and atv trails? I sure dont' want to be eating dust walking along getting passed by those dad-gum side-by-sides for 4 days. If they are hiking trails, that's great. I need to get a topo of the area. I have topo's of more west areas around Silverton. I am thinking way ahead for this hike, like a year. I am actually taking my whole crew (wife, two kiddos) up to Lake City in May and I'll talk with the guys at the outdoor place to get a better feel of things.

Of the subject a little; those goobers who bring those big side-by-sides up there are a bit aggravating.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - F - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 01/30/2012 22:53:37 MST Print View

All of what I've done is in Uncompahgre Wilderness so no vehicles. Check out hillmap.com for topos (the ArcGISUSA ones are the best looking quads on there imo).

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
Considered this last summer on 02/01/2012 12:45:58 MST Print View

I was going to get dropped off near Lake City and picked up in Ouray.

Don't have my maps in front of me but was going to head through the Uncompahgre Wilderness, north of Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn and then hook up to Horsethief, Bear Creek or Bridge of Heaven trail down into Ouray.

Check out Ouraytrails.org for several of the trails in the area. The high alpine in this area is also often conducive to some off trail trail.

Didn't get it done last summer but maybe this summer.

Ty Guillory
(TyGui) - F
Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 02/01/2012 18:14:52 MST Print View

Aaron, how long do you think the trip will take? How many miles? I know these are just a guess.

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 02/02/2012 10:11:06 MST Print View

It's not that many miles really, as the crow flies it is only like 20 miles I think from Lake City to Ouray.

If you are willing to start on something like the Big Blue trail in the northeast side of the Uncompahgre Wilderness and then hook up to the Ridge Stock Drive trail around Uncompahgre (the saddle north of Uncompahgre is passable too I believe) then around Matterhorn and Wetterhorn (either north or south or climb any and all of these if you like) then take the saddle trail/ridge stock drive trail to the Horsethief trail or Bear Creek trail to drop down into Ouray. The TI map #141 shows all these trails.

Or go from Lake City to Silverton using the CDT/CT and hook over to Highland Mary Lakes and then drop right down into Silverton from Whitehead Peak or Kendall Mountain.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - F - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 02/02/2012 10:55:50 MST Print View

From the Ridge Stock, I'd recommend taking Horsethief/Bridge of Heaven/down into Ouray rather than Bear Creek. That section of the Horsetheif trail is awesome, plus then you can drop right down into Ouray rather than Bear Creek, which leaves you several miles up the road (if you had a vehicle there it would be no big deal but the road's pretty narrow and windy there...a little sketchy for walking unless you hitch a ride). The trail that drops down into Ouray from Horsethief travels through some private property and there's some websites that say that this section is closed, but it's reopened (I was there in September).

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Anyone gone from Lake City to Ouray, CO? on 02/02/2012 12:25:44 MST Print View

Yep, you are right Brendan, I forgot to mention Bridge of Heaven, if going from Lake City to Ouray in the direction I would also use Bridge of Heaven and take the previously closed section to wind up right in town basically.

I didn't get this done last summer but all this talk about it and this trip is getting high on my list for this year.

Edited by traderaaron on 02/02/2012 12:26:14 MST.