Added by Derrick Lytle
Part of the Hardrock 100 courseSheer cliffsEspecially Scenic TrailFree
Bear Creek Trail, which leads to Grizzly Mine, is located just 2 miles outside of Ouray, Colorado on Highway 550 immediately following the first tunnel. There's two parking lots, a large one and a small one, the trail leads from the small parking lot over the tunnel and highway. There are no bathrooms or water at the trailhead.
This trail has very low traffic. I saw one person while out on it which means easy parking and room to park big trucks and RVs.
Grizzly Bear Mine is 2.4 miles from the trail head on a trail full of exposure, steep switchbacks, rocks, and more rocks. The trail head sits at around 9500 feet and the first 15 switchbacks climb 1000 feet over scree.
Once above the switchbacks the trail levels out to a degree and you will run a couple miles on rocky rooty single track that follows steep cliffs. The run or hike is intense but offers beautiful canyon views of the river and waterfalls below. Depending on the season you may encounter multiple stream crossings of cold water. The water looks clear but I am hesitant to drink it since there has been so much mining in the area in the past.
At mile 2.4 you will reach a wooden sign saying "Grizzly Bear Mine" along with mile distances to Yellow Jacket Mine and Engineer Pass. Be cautious looking at the old mine ruins then return the way you came.
After the run I would recommend making the drive over the hill to Silverton. Silverton is less busy than Ouray and has great options for food and drinks. I like Thee Pitts BBQ in downtown Silverton. It's the pink building that smells delicious. Check to make sure they are open as they are seasonal but they do offer Wifi and outlets to plug in whatever you need to charge.
Caution: This area has very quickly changing weather. My run started hot and ended in a freezing downpour. Bring rain gear. Also, watch for falling rocks. The mountain is very crumbly and you will see and hear rocks falling. Keep your eyes and ears open.
- Rain gear
- Food and water
- Good hiking or running shoes. This trail is rocky.
- Cell phone - Parts of the trail have cell service.
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