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Hiking in Ouray: Silvershield Trail

The nature and origins of trails in the Ouray area vary greatly depending on where they are located. The southern half of the county is characterized by steep, strongly mined terrain. Early miners in this area began building trails in the mid-1870s and continued for several decades after that. Above Ouray, the Silvershield trail connects the Twin Peaks and Oak Creek trails for a picturesque hike.

The Silvershield trail is located on the west side of Ouray, Colorado, in the Uncompahgre National Forest. The trail starts in the valley floor and climbs rapidly to a bench area that runs along the cliffs above Ouray’s north end. The trail continues to gain elevation at a modest rate until it reaches its ending at the Twin Peaks trail’s junction. Hikers have the option of continuing 1.2 miles up Twin Peaks or hiking 0.9 miles over to the Oak Creek route instead of turning around and returning down the trail. They can either hike down to the Oak Creek trailhead and backtrack down the valley to where they started, or hike up to the Oak Creek Overlook and down the backside of Twin Peaks, where they can rejoin the Silvershield route at the 1.1 mile mark. The Silvershield/Oak Creek loop will be 8.3 miles in length, starting and ending at the Silvershield trailhead.

To get to the trailhead from Ouray’s downtown, take 7th Avenue west across the Uncompahgre River and turn right on River Road. The trailhead is located 1.2 miles north of the Silvershield Mill. The trail begins on the west side of the new subdivision, up the hill.

A note of caution: Be aware the trail passes near to high cliffs, necessitating caution. Keep children close to you to prevent them from running ahead.

This update is provided by Twins Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs. Our Ouray Colorado lodging, full-service hotel has seven different room types including rooms for couples or families with children. Our amenities include hot springs, a free breakfast, spectacular vistas of the mountains, and much more. For additional information on our Ouray Colorado lodging location, please call 877.214.6708 or visit us at 125 3rd Avenue Ouray, Colorado 81427.

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