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.
South 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.
The east face of the east summit
West Summit, South Face East 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: