Oak Creek Overlook
ElevationAscent: 2,545' 776 m
Descent: -2,544' -776 m
High: 10,582' 3,225 m
Low: 8,177' 2,492 m
GradeAvg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 52% (27°)
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“There's gold in them thar hills!”— Caroline Cordsen
The snowmelt in early spring can bring unsafe and impassable conditions crossing Oak Creek at the standard point of entry, but climbing about seventy feet upriver, I found a half-submerged line of boulders to provide a drier crossing.
The trail parallels Oak Creek’s opposite bank for about .75 miles until it draws away into an overgrown meadow. As the elevation climbs, route-finding grows increasingly difficult, but in its final ascent toward the overlook, the trail comes back full force, soon ending at a rock fin at the 10,500 foot overlook. From here, the view stretches all the way from the Amphitheater in the north to the lesser-known Darley Mountain in the south. Look to the west, and Whitehouse Mountain and a high waterfall along Oak Creek stand prominently against the horizon.
A quarter mile in, watch for the two adits on the side of the path, another indication of Ouray's illustrious mining history.
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Local Club: Ouray Trail Group
Sep 8, 2019: GMUG Welcomes Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor