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Southwest Rockies

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Gems in Southwest Rockies - 22

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gem Favorite On the top of High Dune looking east toward the San De Cristo Mountain to the east of Sand Dunes National Park.

High Dune

(46) Crestone, CO
gem Favorite Painted Wall at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP

Painted Wall Overlook

(22) Montrose, CO
gem Favorite The bold colors of Lower Blue Lake.

Blue Lakes

(17) Telluride, CO
gem Favorite Group of hikers heading to Star Dune

Star Dune

(12) Crestone, CO
gem Favorite Gunnison River flowing.

Warner Point

(10) Montrose, CO
gem Favorite Cliff Palace.

Cliff Palace

(16) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Drone view of Cathedral Lake Trail.

Marion Mine

(7) Colorad…, CO
gem Favorite U.S. Route 50 Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Pulpit Rock Overlook

(11) Montrose, CO
gem Favorite Balcony House.

Balcony House

(11) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Long House, from the end of the trail.

Long House

(5) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite It's fun to imagine what life may have been like here.

Ironton Townsite

(1) Ouray, CO
gem Favorite Views down toward Telluride from near the top of the falls and Powerplant.

Bridal Veil Powerhouse

(1) Telluride, CO
gem Favorite Views from Baker's Bridge.

Baker's Bridge

(1) Durango, CO
gem Favorite The viewpoint features a few informative plaques and benches to sit and enjoy the vista.

Bear Creek Falls

(1) Ouray, CO
gem Favorite The metal walkway within Box Canyon.

Box Cañon Falls

(1) Ouray, CO
gem Favorite San Juan views from the mill.

Matterhorn Mill

(1) Mountai…, CO
gem Favorite Zapata Falls - Looking up from base of falls

Zapata Falls

(8) Alamosa…, CO
gem Favorite Petroglyphs on the Mesa Verde Petroglyph Point Trail.

Petroglyph Panel at Petroglyph Point

(11) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Coyote Village.

Far View Sites

(12) Cortez, CO
gem Favorite The Bridal Veil Powerhouse.

Bridal Veil Falls

(6) Telluride, CO
gem Favorite Ancient ruins.

Spruce Tree House

(8) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Views from Ames Power Plant.

Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant

(1) Mountai…, CO

Recommended Routes in Southwest Rockies - 81

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Favorite Starting out on the popular and smooth Bear Creek Trail.
Intermediate

Bear Creek Falls

4.7 mi 7.5 km 1,076' Up 328.04 m Up 1,076' Down 327.82 m Down

Telluride, CO
Favorite View from the Mount Sneffels peak.
Difficult

Mt. Sneffels

5.0 mi 8.0 km 2,431' Up 741.11 m Up 2,430' Down 740.72 m Down

Ouray, CO
Favorite Ancient ruins.
Intermediate

Petroglyph Point Trail

2.2 mi 3.6 km 428' Up 130.47 m Up 169' Down 51.48 m Down

Towaoc, CO
Favorite Eureka Mountain at sunset, after the first October Snow
Difficult

Rito Alto Four Pass Loop

23.0 mi 37.1 km 5,843' Up 1780.85 m Up 5,841' Down 1780.34 m Down

Westcliffe, CO
Favorite Heading for our campsite by the pond after another long day.
Difficult

Highland Mary Lakes Loop

7.8 mi 12.5 km 1,824' Up 555.88 m Up 1,824' Down 555.87 m Down

Silverton, CO
Favorite After leaving the forest you enter a meadow and depending on the time of year you may see a field of Paintbrush with Engineer dominating the view above.
Difficult

Engineer Mountain Out and Back

6.9 mi 11.1 km 2,310' Up 704.12 m Up 2,311' Down 704.42 m Down

Silverton, CO
Favorite Descending Handies Peak through the flowers with stunning views of the American Peaks.
Intermediate/Difficult

Handies Peak - Southwest Slopes

5.4 mi 8.7 km 2,377' Up 724.45 m Up 2,376' Down 724.08 m Down

Lake City, CO
Favorite Wildflowers blanket the mountainside.
Intermediate/Difficult

Bridge of Heaven via the "New" Horsethief Trail

8.1 mi 13.1 km 2,856' Up 870.55 m Up 2,856' Down 870.42 m Down

Ouray, CO
Favorite Sunrise from Windom Peak.
Very Difficult

Chicago Basin 14er Grand Slam

28.9 mi 46.5 km 12,167' Up 3708.44 m Up 12,167' Down 3708.44 m Down

Silverton, CO

Southwest Rockies Hiking

  • 4,992 Miles 8,033 Kilometers of Trail
  • 81 Recommended Routes
  • 22 Gems Gems
  • 293 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 677 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 416 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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Areas Within Southwest Rockies

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Trails in Southwest Rockies - 1,305

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3.4 mi 5.5 km #1Ice Lake Trail
Difficult
Silverton, CO
Difficult
Silverton, CO 74 
7.6 mi 12.2 km #2Blue Lakes Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Telluride, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Telluride, CO 43 
4.8 mi 7.8 km #3Perimeter Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Ouray, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Ouray, CO 28 
3.3 mi 5.4 km #4Columbine Lake Trail #509
Difficult
Silverton, CO
Difficult
Silverton, CO 11 
8.0 mi 12.9 km #5Sneffels Highline Trail #434
Difficult
Telluride, CO
Difficult
Telluride, CO
3.2 mi 5.1 km #6Hope Lake Trail
Intermediate
Mountain Village, CO
Intermediate
Mountain Village, CO
3.8 mi 6.1 km #7Uncompahgre Peak Trail #239
Difficult
Lake City, CO
Difficult
Lake City, CO
4.3 mi 6.9 km #8Bear Creek National Recreation Trail #241
Intermediate/Difficult
Ouray, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Ouray, CO
0.5 mi 0.7 km #9Southwest Ridge of Mount Sneffels
Very Difficult
Telluride, CO
Very Difficult
Telluride, CO
7.4 mi 11.9 km #10Middle Fork #227
Intermediate/Difficult
Ridgway, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Ridgway, CO

Photos of Southwest Rockies - 2,190

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Lower Blue Lake from the Blue Lakes Trail
Apr 14, 2015 near Telluride, CO
Middle Blue Lake at sunrise.
Apr 14, 2015 near Telluride, CO
Easy going on the Colorado Divide Trail (CDT).
Jul 30, 2016 near Silverton, CO
Dog tired at the end of a long day! He ate two suppers.
Jul 30, 2016 near Silverton, CO
Ice Lake Vista taken from Island Lake Trail
May 12, 2018 near Silverton, CO
Views from Baker's Bridge.
Nov 3, 2023 near Durango, CO
Views down toward Telluride from near the top of the falls and Powerplant.
Nov 4, 2023 near Telluride, CO
Views down the summit ridge toward Telluride.
Nov 4, 2023 near Telluride, CO