Ouray-Uncompahgre Loop

Uncompahgre Wilderness

This weekend I went on a wonderful 25 mile backpacking loop from Ouray. I started at Bear Creek, a few miles up the road from Ouray, hiked up to the rolling green tundra paradise of the Uncompahgre Wilderness, along the Horsethief Trail to the Bridge of Heaven Trail, then back down into Ouray. I camped two nights along the way.

The tundra is so beautiful right now, with lush green grass and wildflowers popping up everywhere. In contrast to last week’s brutal bushwhack, this trip was a stroll through paradise. I was practically ecstatic as I walked through one gorgeous basin after another. This hike easily ranks among the best I’ve done in Colorado, and it’s basically in my backyard!

UPDATE: I’ve finally posted my photos here.

One thought on “Ouray-Uncompahgre Loop

  1. Hi Jack. This is the first time I’ve sen your website. Your photos are beautiful. I live in Albuquerque. The week after Memorial Day I’m planning to spend several days in Ouray along with some friends from the east. We could stay in a local motel and do day hikes but your backpack trip looked so great I’d like to consider it. I have a few questions, if you don’t mind:
    We really don’t want to “snow camp” but don’t mind camping with large patches of snow around. Given that this is a pretty warm year with not tons of snow in the San Juans, do you think your loop is doable in late May if you don’t get any more snow? I see Bear Creek and Horsethief trails but not Bridge of Heaven trail. Where is it? Did you go south around Engineer Pass or straight to Horsethief trail? Where would you camp (two nights). If you were to do it in 4 days (3 nights) how would you do it? Thanks.

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