Bear Creek National Recreation Trail #241


The Bear Creek Trail #241 is designated as a National Recreation Trail because of its unique and spectacular nature.  The trail begins at Highway 550 and ends at the Yellow Jacket Mine. Switchbacks on the first part of the trail rise steadily for an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet and cross a large talus field of unstable rock. Just after the switchbacks the trail narrows with steep drop offs. It then levels out for some stretches as it turns eastward along the Bear Creek gorge. Many spots are ledges and cliffs so hiking with dogs is not recommended. Trail Map.

At a Glance

Open Season: June
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Open to Hiking.
Closest Towns: Ouray, CO
Information Center: U.S.G.S. Maps: Ouray, Ironton, and Handies Peak.

General Information


Bear Creek Trailhead:

From Ouray: Travel south on Highway 550 for two miles.  Trailhead parking is a pullout on the east side of the highway immediately south of the tunnel. 


T. 44 N.; R. 8 W.; Section 8. U.S.G.S. Map: Ouray. Elevation: 8,440 feet. Latitude: N38.003, Longitude: W-107.662.



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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
4.7 miles

  Elevation : 
8,440 feet - 11,100 feet