Red Mountain Mining Area

Ouray, Colorado 81427

Red Mountain Mining Area

Red Mountain Mining Area Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The northern portion of this route takes you on a tour of the Red Mountain mining district and a townsite once known as Guston. Some of the road follows an old grade of the Silverton Railroad. The southern portion continues south on U.S. Basin Road and provides impressive high views of U.S. 550 and all surrounding mountains. Don’t miss an opportunity to see the Red Mountain Peaks at sunset. Their fluorescent red and yellow glow is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. To prospectors back in 1879, that glow was the promise of vast riches. Indeed, over the next two decades, fortunes were extracted from these mountains in the form of gold, silver, lead and copper. No less than six towns—Chattanooga, Red Mountain City, Guston, Hudson Town, Rogerville and Ironton—grew out of this promising valley. Fortunately, many important mine buildings from that golden era are still standing. They are surprisingly easy to reach if you know where to look. Pick a clear day for this trip. ATVs are allowed on entire trail but southern half of trail is better suited for unlicensed vehicles. View mines from a distance. A fun, meandering road covering a variety of terrain from graded gravel to narrow two-track. Suitable for all 4x4 SUVs with moderate ground clearance. Low-range gearing helpful on some of the steeper grades at higher elevations. Do not drive this route during wet periods."

Red Mountain Mining Area Trip Reports

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This is one of the best areas of Colorado. The mountains are stunning, and there is a huge amount of backcountry to get away from it all. The drive over Red Mountain pass is possibly the most scenic pass you can do without leaving a paved road.

Be careful though, there are some areas just out of Ouray that are essentially one lane.

Red Mountain Mining Area Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
ATVs and Dirt Bikes
About 3 hours
Spring through fall; when snow free
Uncompahgre National Forest, San Juan National Forest
Local Contacts
Colorado Atlas and Gazetteer; Uncompahgre National Forest map, San Juan National Forest map; Trails Illustrated Silverton, Ouray #141
Local Maps

Trail Log