Ouray Peak

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Colorado, United States, North America
12957 ft / 3949 m
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Ouray Peak
Created On: Sep 26, 2009
Last Edited On: Oct 13, 2017


Ouray is an inconspicuous peak that sits in the Sawatch Mountains of central Colorado south of Route 82. It rises on the crest of a ridgeline that connects Grizzly Peak to Star Mountain. Except for a few spots east of Independence Pass, Ouray Peak is otherwise not visible from Route 82.
Southern FaceSouth face of Ouray, true summit on the right

The summit of Ouray Peak consists of two high points with roughly the same elevations. The USGS Map designates the eastern point as the summit of Ouray.
East (true) Summit East FaceThe east face of the east summit

West Summit, Southern SlopesWest Summit, South Face
East Summit, West FaceEast Summit, West Face

Ouray Peak can be accessed from Mc Nasser Gulch to the south. The USGS Map shows a trail that goes from the Mc Nasser Gulch Trail to the top of the mentioned ridgeline (see map). This trail is also referenced in some of the guidebooks. In August of 2009, however, I was not able to see any sign of this trail. If such a trail ever existed, it has now most likely faded away. Reaching the summit of Ouray, therefore, requires hiking up steep grassy and/or rocky slopes (See “Route” section).

Ouray can be climbed along with the nearby Star Mountain in a single day. The beautiful ridge-top hike from Ouray to Star Mountain will take you past several unnamed high points with elevations in the 12000 ft range.

Views From the Summit of Ouray Peak:

Middle MountainMiddle Mountain
Garfield PeakGarfield Peak
Grizzly PeakGrizzly Peak
Graham Gulch & Peak 13198 ftGraham Gulch

Independence PassIndependence Pass
Lackawanna Peak & Route 82Lackawanna Peak
Mt. Elbert & Star MountainMt Elbert/Star Mtn
La Plata PeakLa Plata

Getting There

From Independence Pass on Route 82, drive 9.3 miles east (or 14.5 miles west from junction of Routes 82 and 24) to the “South Fork of Lake Creek Road” (FR 391) (the parking area for La Plata Peak Trail is in the same area). This is a dirt road that is rough with many pot holes but is technically a 2WD road.

Turn south onto the South Fork of Lake Creek Road. At 2.8 miles go straight (right). After 3.3 miles you will reach the junction of “Mc Nasser Gulch Road” (FR 394). This is your trailhead (10760 ft)

4WD can continue another 1.1 miles to road closure at 11360 ft.

Patchy Forest
On the way to west summit
Above Tree-line
Grassy Slopes

Red Tape

No fees or permits for day hiking.

For other regulations, see the site for San Isabel National Forest.

Rocky Slopes Below West SummitRocky Area Below West Summit
Rocky Slopes Below West SummitRocky Area Below West Summit
Rocky Slopes Below West SummitRocky Area Below West Summit


See the forecast for the nearby town of Leadville, CO.
Southern SlopesSouthern Slopes of Ouray

East Summit, East FaceEast Summit, East Face
East Summit from the West SummitEast Summit from West Summit
Red MountainRed Mountain
Mc Nasser Gulch TrailMc Nasser Gulch Trail

External Links

Read about the Native American Chief Ouray. I am not aware of any direct connections between Chief Ouray and this mountain.