Mt. Ouray
West Ridge
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Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Risk Factors:
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
 
Trailhead:Marshall Pass
Start:10,850 feet
Summit:13,971 feet
Total Gain:3,275 feet
RT Length:6.0 miles
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Last Updated:7/2015

Trailhead

From the U.S. 50/285 junction in Poncha Springs, drive approx. 5.5 miles south on U.S. 285 and turn right on the Marshall Pass road (FS 200, dirt). Follow the signs for Marshall Pass and drive 13.5 miles to reach the Marshall Pass trailhead.

Route

You can start this hike from either the main Marshall Pass trailhead or from the end of the Forest Service 200C spur road, which is on the north side of the main road, just 0.1 mile before the Marshall Pass TH. Parking at the end of the 200C road will shorten your hike slightly and it has toilet! If you start at the main trailhead (#1), walk east down the main road and turn left onto 200C - #2. Walk past the Hutchinson & Burnett cabin (#3) and turn right to start north up through the trees - #4 and #5. Hike north to reach treeline at 11,800' and continue up easy terrain, toward a ridge crest - #6.

Hit the ridge near 12,000' to see the rest of this short route - #7. The summit is off to the northeast but turn left and follow the ridge north toward Ouray's west ridge - #8 and #9. You'll find some faint trail segments along the ridge but if you don't, simply stick to the ridge crest. Near 12,500', ascend a small, rocky bump (#10) and continue to the west end of the west ridge - #11. Turn east and hike toward the obvious summit - #12. After hiking over a couple of small bumps on the ridge (#13), reach the final, 1,300-foot pitch - #14.

Start up the steeper ridge and you'll soon encounter a mix of rocky (#15) and grassy (#16) terrain. Stay near the ridge crest to reach a strip of light-colored rock - #17. Bypass this area on the left (#18) to regain the ridge near 13,500' and continue up (#19) to the summit - #20.

Notes

None

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Route Photos  Print Options

Photo #1
#1: At the Marshall Pass TH, looking down the road to the 200C road and Mt. Ouray.
Photo #2
#2: The 200C road is only 0.1 mile long. It has parking and a toilet.
Photo #3
#3: The cabin and toilet at the end of the 200C road.
Photo #4
#4: Leaving the end of the 200C road.
Photo #5
#5: Hike north up through the trees.
Photo #6
#6: Above 11,800’, approaching the ridge crest.
Photo #7
#7: Reach the ridge crest near 12,200’. Turn left and continue to the west ridge.
Photo #8
#8: Hike north toward the west ridge.
Photo #9
#9: You should find faint trail segments along the ridge.
Photo #10
#10: Near 12,500’ on a small ridge bump.
Photo #11
#11: On the west end of the west ridge, looking east to the summit.
Photo #12
#12: Continue east along the ridge crest.
Photo #13
#13: Approaching steeper terrain.
Photo #14
#14: Near 12,700’, at the base of the final pitch.
Photo #15
#15: Rocky ridge.
Photo #16
#16: And some portions of this pitch are quite mellow.
Photo #17
#17: Approaching the strip of light-colored rock.
Photo #18
#18: It’s easiest to bypass the light-colored rock on the left.
Photo #19
#19: Continue along the ridge crest.
Photo #20
#20: On the summit, looking south toward Antora Peak (13,269’).

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