Spirit Gulch

Distance: 5.2 - 5.0 miles (round trip)

Uncompahgre National Forest, near Ouray in Southwest Colorado

Red Mountains

Red Mountains


This pretty trail travels along an old mining road through three wildflower-filled basins accompanied by grand views of the Red Mountains towering above the west side of the Million Dollar Highway. Ruins of the Barstow and Greyhound mines add interest to the walk
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 7.0 miles (round trip) to Spirit Gulch
  • Elevation: 10,670-ft. at Trailhead
    12,040-ft. at Spirit Gulch
  • Elevation Gain: 1,370-ft. to Spirit Gulch
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • More Hikes in:
    Ouray / Silverton / Southwest Colorado

Why Hike Spirit Gulch

Just south of the overlook for the Red Mountain Mining District is an old mining road, now closed to vehicles. This hike follows the road as it ascends Commodore Gulch to the Barstow Mine and then climbs through meadows to Spirit Gulch. During the height of the summer the area is awash in wildflowers. Views encompass the high peaks rising surrounding Spirit Gulch, the Red Mountains, Mc Millan Peak and Ohio Peak. At the high point above Spirit Gulch Bear Mountain and the Twin Sisters are visible to the south.

The hike continues beyond Spirit Gulch, contouring though beautiful meadows with nonstop views of the Red Mountains, to McIntyre Gulch. Here another viewpoint boasts vistas to the east and south along with views that extend northeast as afar as Wildhorse and Wetterhorn Peaks. Mining buffs with want to continue a short distance further to the Greyhound Mine.

Beyond the mine the road drops through meadows and then forest to Highway 550, 2.4 miles from the trailhead. This option requires a car shuttle. Total distance for the shuttle hike is 6.4 miles.

My advice is the walk as far as time and energy permit and then retrace your steps to the trailhead, enjoying the great views and wildflowers again on the return leg of the hike.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile for the Spirit Gulch Hike

Best Hiking in Southwest Colorado around Ouray, Telluride and Silverton

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Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:
Ouray / Silverton

Region Information:
Southwest Colorado

Other Hiking Regions in: