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Mineral Creek 4x4 Trail

Rocky climb up narrow picturesque canyon.
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Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 6.9 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  From Ouray, this is the quickest and most direct way to the Alpine Loop and Engineer Pass, but it is also the most difficult. Road... more »

Tips:  This trail starts off pretty steep and rocky, so novice drivers may be intimidated at first. But with a little patience and... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Wide Area at Start

Coming from Ouray, you'll turn left off Highway 550 at sign for Alpine Loop and Engineer Pass. The road is wide at the beginning with room to park and unload unlicensed vehicles. It can get crowded on weekends.

2. Narrow Shelf Road

Road narrows to one lane along high cliffs. Make sure route is clear ahead before proceeding because passing along this section is not possible.

3. Mickey Breen Mine

You pass the interesting Mickey Breen Mine on left.

4. Poughkeepsie Gulch to Right

Trail turns sharply uphill to the left over a large rock dome. Note sign on right for Poughkeepsie Gulch. If you walk downhill to the right, there is a great 3-tier waterfall to see. Upstream there are several more waterfalls.

5. Des Ouray Mine

Trail zigzags through Des Ouray Mine.

6. San Juan Chief Mill to Right

Main trail swings left up switchbacks. A right turn here goes to the San Juan Chief Mill and Mineral Point.

7. Overlook of San Juan Chief Mill

Vault toilet marks location of overlook. Below you can see the massive remains of the historic San Juan Chief Mill. Beyond that looking south, you can see roads heading to Mineral Point.

8. Another Way to Mineral Point

Roads on right go to an interesting building at Mineral Point.

9. 9 County Road 2

Intersect with wider County Road 2. A sharp left uphill goes to Engineer Pass (available as eGuide from FunTreks). Continuing straight downhill on County Road 2 connects to Cinnamon Pass and California Gulch (both available as eGuides). County Road 2 continues all the way to Silverton.