Ouray’s Perimeter Trail is a fascinating six-mile hiking trip that boasts remarkably diversified landscapes. Hiking it involves approximately 350 feet of elevation gain and will typically take 4-5 hours to complete.
Perimeter Trail has remained a scenically, yet challenging route for locals as well as tourists. The route begins at the visitors center which also gives a good map in case you choose to reduce your trip. Cascade Falls, located less than a mile from the trailhead, is one of the trail’s highlights.
Depending on the time of year, if you continue to explore Perimeter Trail, you’ll soon uncover rich wildflowers, as well as the aptly titled Baby Bathtubs. Perimeter Trail is made even more intriguing by the famed Ouray Ice Park and historic, abandoned mining sites that once housed vast wealth.
One extremely popular characteristic of the Perimeter Trail is that it is never more than 500 feet vertically or 1⁄2 mile horizontally from Ouray’s City limits. As a result, there are various spots along its course where one can abandon the trail and return to town without having to hike its full length. Several of the access sites are identified on the map provided at the visitors center. Good footwear and trekking poles are highly advised.