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Fairly steep hike to some jaw-dropping views of the Uncompahgre Wilderness.


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Map Key

10.8

Miles

17.4

KM

Out and Back

11,288' 3,441 m

High

9,224' 2,812 m

Low

2,488' 758 m

Up

2,487' 758 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

30%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

Overview

This trail offers views of crazy rock formations both near you on the trail, and far off in the distance. After some elevation gain, you'll get to some of the best views around.

Description

Park at the Alpine trailhead close to the Silver Jack Reservoir. From the parking pullout on the side of the road, you can already see some of the really cool rock formations above you.

The trail starts at over 9,000 feet on singletrack in the field, headed straight towards the formations. Not too far in the field is replaced by a nice aspen forest. The aspens are always beautiful to see, but they're extra beautiful when they put on their golden fall color.

You start gaining elevation pretty early on. The hills all around you have these really neat jagged rock formations that you can glimpse through the trees on the way up. At about 2 miles in, you'll start seeing some of these cool geologic formations up close; they are made up of conglomerate rock that is interesting to look at. Be sure to be looking out at the view also because there are a bunch more out there to see!

As you keep climbing through all the switchbacks, the aspens change to pine. After about 3.25 miles, when you're over 11,000 feet, the switchbacks end, and you're hiking along a pretty flat, beautiful forested trail.

At just about 4 miles, the trail opens up to the right and offers an insanely stunning view that can't be missed. This view includes Uncompahgre, Wetterhorn, and the green forests below. This would also be a great spot to camp. A short while later, there is another opening on the similarly stunning view with another large meadow that is great for camping.

A little after the flat meadows, the trail enters a heavily logged area, and at around 5 miles, the trail starts descending and makes a great turnaround point. This segment makes for a great day hike or overnighter backpacking trip.

Feel free to continue on and do the whole Alpine Trail if you prefer, but this section is definitely the highlight.

Shared By:

Ashley Peterson

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#3153

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#446

in Colorado

#3,153

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Photos

Looking south at the Uncompahgre Wilderness.
Sep 28, 2023 near Ridgway, CO
Southeastern views on the climb up.
Sep 28, 2023 near Ridgway, CO
Cool rock formations on the way up
Sep 28, 2023 near Ridgway, CO
A neat rock formation on the left side of the trail.
Sep 28, 2023 near Ridgway, CO
Another great view of the rock formations from the Alpine Trail.
Oct 3, 2023 near Ridgway, CO
Beautiful aspens on the Alpine Trail,
Sep 28, 2023 near Ridgway, CO

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