“This seldom-used trail in Ouray offers breathtaking views of the high peaks surrounding the Weehawken Creek drainage.
— Caroline Cordsen
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Skiing is popular on the lower half of the trail before it pulls in towards the water, but avalanche chutes stripe the mountainsides on either side of the Weehawken Creek drainage. Take extra precautions while exploring the area in the winter.
The first mile and a half of the Weehawken Trail gains 1,200 feet on a broad mountainside stamped with long switchbacks. Where the route levels off, a trail marker offers you the hard choice between continuing on to the Weehawken Creek Overlook, or turning right for the Alpine Mine and overlook.
Continuing straight, the trail heads northwest to follow a high contour above the Weehawken drainage into our first views of Mt. Ridgway and the craggy face of Potosi Peak’s northeastern flank. About a half mile from the split, a second fork navigates a steep side trip to the old Weehawken Mine that’ll tack on another quarter mile of hiking. Not much remains but a gnarled battleground of twisted and rusting metal.
Imprisoned by the harsh volcanic-born summits of the basin’s northeastern wall, the remaining route on the main trail travels from one exposed washout to the next, losing all sense of direction, but finding cairns to navigate each. The trail climbs to its highest elevation of about 10,500 feet before easing off in a gradual descent towards the creek, and a dead end at the overlook.
Near the overlook, a faint trail branches off to the right, which wraps the remainder of Weehawken Creek to the foot of Potosi Peak's seasonal North Couloir, providing an access route to the 12ers and 13ers which wrap the basin.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, mountain goat and bighorn, as well as the occasional mountain lion or bear, can be sighted along any of the Ouray area trails. Come spring, the wildflowers are fantastic along this trail.