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A lesser known trail that leads to an impressive waterfall and can be extended to beautiful Gary Copper Gulch.


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Map Key

6.2

Miles

10.0

KM

Out and Back

11,764' 3,586 m

High

9,740' 2,969 m

Low

2,119' 646 m

Up

2,120' 646 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Overview

The Gary Copper Trail is a bit off the beaten path and follows a combination of 4x4 roads and singletrack trail up to Gary Copper Falls. From here the trail continues to an old mining site before ending. The hike can be extended by following the 4x4 road that joins here another half mile up Gary Copper Gulch for stunning mountain views.

Description

The Gary Copper Trail is a bit off the beaten path, located a short ways off Highway 550 near the old Ironton Townsite. To access the official trailhead you'll need a 4x4 high clearance vehicle, but don't worry, you can also park and hike a short distance along the 4x4 road to the trail.

From the trailhead you'll follow an even rougher 4x4 road as it steadily gains elevation. The trail eventually turns into singletrack and continues through the forest. You'll break above treeline for a bit as you near the waterfall.

Gary Copper Falls is a scenic sight as it cascades from a rocky cliff. Unfortunately, the waterfall may be completely dry during the late summer months. After the waterfall the trail keeps climbing for a while to the Vernon Mine Site. You can get a glimpse of the buildings from trail, but the property is well signed with no trespassing signs so be sure to respect these.

The trail ends just above the mine at another 4x4 road, but I'd strongly recommend following the road uphill for about another half mile. Doing so leads to the best part of Gary Copper Gulch and provides fantastic wide open mountains views, including of colorful Red Mountain Number 1.

A good turn around spot is when you reach the highest point of the road, with views toward the Cement Creek Valley. Return the way you came back to the Gary Copper Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mike Windsor

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  4.0 from 1 vote

#4514

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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#560

in Colorado

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Photos

Hiking the 4x4 road up Gary Copper Gulch is well worth it.
Nov 6, 2023 near Silverton, CO
Entering beautiful Gary Copper Gulch.
Nov 6, 2023 near Silverton, CO
Views of colorful Red Mountain Number 1.
Nov 6, 2023 near Silverton, CO
4x4 roads to begin the trail.
Nov 6, 2023 near Ouray, CO
Views along the Gary Copper Trail.
Nov 6, 2023 near Ouray, CO
An old mining tunnel near the Vernon Mine.
Nov 6, 2023 near Silverton, CO

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