Mineral Creek

This is a very difficult route to the Alpine Loop and Engineer Pass from Ouray.

Total Miles
7.0

Elevation

3680.77 ft

Duration

1 to 2 Hours

Technical Rating

5

Difficult

Best Time

Summer/Fall

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Trail Overview

This is a quick way to get from point to point, but it's challenging. It's a fun climb up a thin canyon to Poughkeepsie Gulch and Mineral Point. Look for hidden waterfalls at the entrance to Poughkeepsie. There is not a lot of parking at the trailhead and it can get really packed on the weekends.

Difficulty

Difficult. Starts out quickly with difficult spot that has optional easier lines. Rocky and steep in places, especially after Waypoint 02. Stock 4x4 SUVs can do it with careful tire placement and patience. No room to pass along several sections of narrow ledge roads. High clearance, low range and skid plates recommended.

History

The town of Mineral Point (a.k.a. Mineral City), located near the San Juan Chief Mill, existed during a period from 1873 to the 1890s. It served as a mid point stop for prospectors heading for what would soon become the town of Ouray. Stagecoaches and wagons used this road before Highway 550 existed. Side roads, south of Waypoints 03 and 04, once ran through Mineral Point. As you Passing can be challenging in some spots. drive through the area, please respect what remains.

Technical Rating

5

Access Description

From Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, head south 3.8 miles on Highway 550 and turn left at sign for Alpine Loop (C.R. 18).