The standard approach to Mt. Ouray is from Marshall Pass, however I will describe the longer, and scenic East Ridge Route from the Grays Creek Trailhead.
Start at the Grays Creek Trailhead (9,660 ft.) and follow a faint trail along the north side of Grays Creek for about 100 yards and then cross the creek. After crossing the creek continue another mile, as the trail becomes more defined and easier to follow. From here, the objective is to follow the trail along the tiny fading creek up into the high basin at around 11,000 ft. If you find yourself in a sustained hike of more than 20 yards to the left or right of the creek , then you may be getting off route. At 11,400 ft. the dried up creek (depending on the year) will escort you into the beginning of a spectacular bristle cone forest.
Once in the Devil's Armchair the rest of the route to Ouray’s summit is obvious. To the left is Ouray’s broad, grassy east ridge. Pick your way through the bristle cones and start your 1,200 ft. ascent up the East Ridge. The ridge is classic Sawatch; grass intermixed with talus. Once on the ridge, it is best to find the obvious climbers trail. The trail meanders up through a couple of false summits. There are no technical difficulties on this ridge all the way to the summit.
Be prepared for the worst. Be prepared to stay the night at altitude. Bring plenty of food and water.
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