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Uncompahgre via Ouray

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby Indigomountain » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:48 am

Question. I am trying to find a topic/trip report that would give directions on how to get to Uncompahgre trail head via Ouray. Do I need to go through Lake City (which seems way out of the way) or is there route I am just not finding. I have attempted searches on the trip reports page and outside of 14ers.com. 4WD vehicle is not an issue. Just trying to figure out how to get there another way other than Lake City. Maybe LC is the best option. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks much!
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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby Fisching » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:29 am

Peter Aitchison on the risks of rock climbing and mountaineering: "That's life, isn't it? We think the challenge and satisfaction you get from doing this is worth the risks."

"Respect the mountain. Train hard. Hope you can sneak up when it isn't looking."

"The mind is always worried about consequences, but the heart knows no fear. The heart just does what it wants."

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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby Indigomountain » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:31 am

Thank you. I would not have known how to do that. Much appreciated.
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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby Dan_Suitor » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:15 am

About a month ago I went from Lake City to Ouray taking Engineer Pass (and doing Wetterhorn along the way). The 4x4 road was not bad until we got about 2/3 to Ouray. Then it got a lot rougher. I did make it in my 1 ton dually 4x4. However, when we returned from Ouray to climb Uncompahgre, we opted to take the highway around to Lake City. Time wise, it was roughly the same. So if you want some adventure, and you have the vehicle for it, take Engineer Pass. But you won't save any time by doing this, and a break-down would be timely and costly.

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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby San Juan Ron » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:39 am

I drive this all the time and I would recommend a different approach. Go south on 550 out of Ouray, over Red Mountain Pass, and drop into Silverton. From Silverton, go NE through Animas Forks and connect with the Alpine Loop. Head north over Engineer Pass (stop and catch the views at Oh! Point) and east to the TH. This route avoids the nasty Ouray Spur and you get to catch the views of Red Mountain Pass and Oh! Point. SJ Ron :mrgreen:
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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby Indigomountain » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:10 pm

San Juan Ron wrote:I drive this all the time and I would recommend a different approach. Go south on 550 out of Ouray, over Red Mountain Pass, and drop into Silverton. From Silverton, go NE through Animas Forks and connect with the Alpine Loop. Head north over Engineer Pass (stop and catch the views at Oh! Point) and east to the TH. This route avoids the nasty Ouray Spur and you get to catch the views of Red Mountain Pass and Oh! Point. SJ Ron :mrgreen:


I like the sounds of this route. I am bit more familiar with this area and absolutely love the views of Red Mountain Pass. Thanks :D
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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby screefieldstevie » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:20 pm

Ron is right......the spur from Ouray to Animas Forks is a WHOLE different ballgame than the spur from Silverton to Animas Forks......If you care at all about some minor damage avoid the Ouray spur!!
"Cause the Rocky Mountain Way Is better than the way we had" - Joe Walsh

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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby Mel McKinney » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:46 pm

screefieldstevie wrote:Ron is right......the spur from Ouray to Animas Forks is a WHOLE different ballgame than the spur from Silverton to Animas Forks......If you care at all about some minor damage avoid the Ouray spur!!


Glad to see this recent thread. I'm trying to plan a drive of the Alpine Loop taking Cinnamon Pass to access Engineer Pass in a stock Cherokee. I'm assuming when people talk about how rough EP is they're including the Animas/Ouray Spur?

In 1996 or 1997 I drove that spur in a stock Explorer with no issues (Silverton to Animas Forks to Ouray). 10 years later I rode that same spur from Cinnamon Pass with a friend in his Tacoma. Yup, totally different ball game! I wondered if we were even on the road! :shock:

So, I've been over Cinnamon on a different trip but Engineer will be a new experience. Is the section from CP to access EP very rough too? My memory fails me on how far the EP turn off is from Animas and how rough (or fairly easy) that section can be.
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby MtHurd » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:01 pm

It's not bad. I just did it in a stock 4x4 Tahoe with no problems on July 4th. There are a couple of steep switchbacks but clearance wasn't a problem. The only problem I did have is getting stuck behind newbies going way too slow. It was 4th of July so maybe there won't be that many people on it when you go.

Edit: I am referring to CP to EP in case it wasn't clear.

I think I did Ouray to EP about 12 years ago. No problems in the stock Tahoe but apparently the road is worse now.
Last edited by MtHurd on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby pkripper » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:16 pm

The drive out of Ouray is pretty rough but I think it's definitely better than going down to Ouray.

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Re: Uncompahgre via Ouray

Postby Mel McKinney » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Thanks Barry!
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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