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Mineral Creek

2 Reviews
Location Ouray, CO
Rating Difficult,
Length 7mi
Time 2hrs

Vehicle Types


Challenging shortcut from Ouray to iconic Alpine Loop.

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 climbs up scenic narrow canyon and accesses Poughkeepsie Gulch and Mineral Point. Hidden waterfalls at Poughkeepsie entrance. This popular trail has limited parking at start and can get quite congested on busy weekends.


Trail Ratings Defined

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.






High Point


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Current Conditions

(970) 240-5300Uncompahgre N.F., Ouray R.D.

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Trail Updates

Submitted by Matthew
I Ran Mineral Creek and the road to me seemed a bit rougher than what I remember from 2 years ago. My recommendation is to get on this trail early from the HWY 550 side to avoid having to deal with vehicles trying to pass going in the opposite direction. I would also recommend you link this with California Pass to Hurricane Pass then onto Gladstone. Exit back to Silverton via 110. This makes for a great day trip with nice views and a variety of landscapes. You can

stop and check out the town of Animas Forks also. Best run we did of the whole trip.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Larry says

I just completed this trail along with engineer pass today in a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trail Hawk, your review is 100% correct, I was able to complete Mineral Creek with some minor skid plate scraping. Your review of Engineer Pass was also spot on, it was an excellent, beautiful day on the trails.

Andrew says

Actually did this in the reverse direction after doing Engineer Pass. Completed it in a stock 07 Xterra Off Road with rock sliders (definitely recommended--had to rely on them to bear weight a couple of times). Some very rocky/tilty challenging spots mostly in the switchbacks around the Poughkeepsie Gulch intersection. Came out mid-day on a Saturday and it wasn't too busy. Handful of SxSs and Jeeps. A couple out-of-staters got upset because they had to pass me on a tight corner with their (very clean) 4-door Rubicon on 37s. They claimed that "it's morning, everyone's going uphill" (I was going down). But everybody else I encountered was friendly and helpful.
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