- Closest town: Ouray, CO
- Trailhead: Sutton Mine Trailhead
- Distance: 4.5 miles round trip
- Dog Friendly
From the town of Ouray, head south on Highway 550 until you reach the intersection with Camp Bird Road/County Road 361. Take a right onto Camp Bird road, which will take you over the Uncompahgre River. After crossing the bridge, keep your eyes open for the Sutton Mine Trailhead sign on the left side of the road. Park on the roadside by the trailhead.
This incredibly scenic hike will take you to the historic Neosho Mine, which sits high on a cliff above the Uncompahgre River. The site also has a blacksmith shop, bunkhouse, and a few other small buildings like an old outhouse. There’s also a famous clothes line that hikers are known to leave clothing items on. The blacksmith shop reads “Antiques 9-5:30” and can be seen from Highway 550 with really good eyes or a zoom lens.
The first 0.5 mile of this trail is quite steep, but you’ll be rewarded at the top with a beautiful overlook of Ouray (shown above). After that, it’s slow and steady for another 1.75 miles to the mine. We hiked this trail on October 3, 2020 (my birthday!) and the aspens were beautiful, 10/10 recommend. Once you reach the Bear Creek Overlook (the waterfall below) you’ll know you’re super close to the mine, keep going! We were running out of daylight and almost decided to turn around at this point, but I am so glad we didn’t!
I’ve always wanted to visit this unique spot ever since learning about it, and being up close did not disappoint! Sam and I were the only ones there, so we wandered around the buildings looking at the trinkets and tools left behind by miners. I found the bunkhouse to be a bit creepy but Sam convinced me to quickly check it out on the inside.
It was so cool to see these historic buildings nestled on top of this beautiful and precarious cliff side! This hike is well worth the effort with amazing views the whole way. It got dark on our way down but the trail is well maintained and we had no trouble following the trail.
After making it back down, we got dinner at True Grit Cafe in Ridgeway. The salmon was delicious, definitely recommend!
As aways, please practice Leave No Trace and leave this beautiful place better than you found it!