Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Hiking Project Logo

Cascade Falls and the Chief Ouray Mine

 4.5 (4)

Length


5.2 Miles 8.3 Kilometers


2,204' 672 m

Ascent

-2,204' -672 m

Descent

16%

Avg Grade (9°)

60%

Max Grade (31°)

10,070' 3,069 m

High

8,006' 2,440 m

Low

Shared By Caroline Cordsen

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

Journey through history on one of Ouray's premier foot trails.

Caroline Cordsen

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Overview

In a series of seven flumes, Cascade Falls in Ouray carries the year’s snowmelt down from the highest reaches of the mountains to its final resting place in the calm turbulence of Cascade Creek. The lowest surge of these falls, aptly named Lower Cascade Falls, is the most known, thanks to its easy vantage point from anywhere within Ouray. Spring and early summer bring the best viewing times, when the lucid outpour is harder running.

Description

From Lower Cascade Falls at the end of 8th Avenue, a vigorous trek will bring you up to the Amphitheater Campground and the entry point for Upper Cascade Falls Trail #213. From here, the trail rises through dense forests teeming with wildlife. Every step of the way, sheer views of the Amphitheater dominate the skyline beyond the trees.

Follow this route until its junction with the Portland Trail #238, then veer left to stay on the trail to the upper falls and the Chief Ouray Mine. The grade steepens at this point, switchbacks pulling you higher up into Cascade Mountain. Nearing the summit, and the panoramic views of the Sneffels Range, a tight shelf cut into the cliffside brings you to the home stretch. Topping out at just over 10,000 feet, Chief Ouray Mine comes into view across Cascade Creek Gorge.

Losing ground, the final leg follows the earth’s contours as they wrap the south side of the gorge, searching for easier terrain to cross Cascade Creek. Finding its entry at upper Cascade Falls, one final climb continues on up to what remains of the bunkhouse. Passing through the rotting and graffiti-laden remnants, the route ends at the gated mine.

Flora & Fauna

You're likely to spot the usual deer, wild turkeys, and squirrels. While uncommon, black bears and mountain lions aren’t unheard of.

Contacts

You & This Featured Hike


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 7, 2018
Art Janota
Beautiful trail! 5.2mi
Jul 19, 2018
Ashleigh Hike
7.8mi
May 28, 2018
Kristi Maulding

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#1678

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#255

in Colorado

#1,678

Overall
107 Views Last Month
2,748 Since May 12, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
33%
0%
67%
0%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking