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Governor Basin

Majestic views, endless wildflowers and much more.

Total Miles

2

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Elevation
12,020'
Duration
2 to 3 Hours
Technical Rating
5 / 10
Best Time
Summer - Fall

As we continue to improve our trail coverage, we'd love to hear what you think and which areas to add next.

Trail Overview
Governor Basin
You'll love this amazing high-elevation drive. The route runs past the historic and enormous Virginius Mine as well as Mountain Top Mine. You'll need to remain on the trail to view them, as they are both on private land. If you're up for a side trip, visit Sidney Basin. Roads are open to all vehicles from May 16 to November 30.
History
The boarding house, still standing at the Mountain Top Mine, is a relatively recent structure compared to other mines in the area. It was first constructed in 1912 to house 30 men and later expanded to three stories to accommodate 50 men. In 1922, this mine was the largest employer in Ouray County, but went bankrupt just two years later. The mine has been worked sporadically as late as 1996 and there is still a slight chance that it could be opened in the future. It has been designated a Ouray County Landmark.
Getting There
Head south from Ouray on U.S. 550. Just 0.4 mile from the Beaumont Hotel, turn right on Camp Bird Road, C.R. 361. Bear right after 4.6 miles past the Camp Bird Mine on C.R. 26. The turn for Governor Basin is a total of 7.0 miles from 550.
Contact for Current Conditions
Uncompahgre National Forest
Ouray Ranger District
(970) 240-5300