Sutton Mine Trail to Neosho Mine | Uncompahgre National Forest
Ouray, CO | 08/01/19 | 4.67 miles | 1,436′ gain | Class 2
We only had one full day in Ouray and we wanted to make the most of it. Nicholas had found a hike that looked really cool, and the front desk worker at the hotel confirmed that it was a locals’ favorite. And if that isn’t enough good news, the trailhead was exactly 1.0 miles from the hotel. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Ouray?
Our goal for the morning was to get to the Neosho Mine. The Sutton Trail heads straight up from Ouray and then contours along the canyon wall. If you’ve ever driven on the Million Dollar Highway, this trail is on the opposite side of the canyon. We didn’t have far to go to get to the Neosho Mine, but the overlook stops along the way sounded so nice, I was really looking forward to this one!
The first half mile to the Ouray Overlook is STEEP! (You ascend over 600′!) But the views of Ouray are great, and after that, the trail becomes more gradual.
Most of the trail is forested, but occasionally the trees would open up to a nice meadow with amazing views.
Even though it was a short hike, our views and surroundings were constantly changing. It seemed like there was always something new and interesting to look at.
The trail was always easy to follow, and after it flattened out, was extremely enjoyable. There truly was something for everyone on this hike. Forests, meadows, wetlands, water, open views, waterfalls, cliffs, and ruins. What more can you ask for!? Nicholas and I even had the place to ourselves.
We found the Bear Creek Overlook to be extremely underwhelming, but just a short ways further we caught a glimpse of the Box Canyon Falls. Why isn’t THIS the official overlook!?
Before we knew it, we’d arrived at the first sign of mine ruins. This indicated that we were getting close to the good stuff!
We were shocked to see an open mine adit, most are blocked for safety reasons. There was a warning sign, but you know we weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to explore a mine!
My camera would NOT work in the darkness, but we saw a mark on the wall that said “250”. We believe this is the number of feet that we were in the mine. We went a bit farther and some collapsed beams were hanging down from the ceiling. I wasn’t about to get caught in a mine collapse so we decided not to go any further. We next explored the few restored buildings nearby. Everything was open to the public to explore.
After a fun morning, we headed back to town for lunch. The nice thing about our hotel was that it was within walking distance of everything, so we never had to worry about parking!
We spent the afternoon exploring the Ouray History Museum, which is worth a stop if you are interested in that type of thing! I didn’t take pictures here, but the museum is in the old army hospital which is actually super spooky.
Tomorrow marked the end of our short trip, and we’d head back to Greeley after one more quick hike in the morning to see a waterfall!