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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Ouray Ranger District

Quick Facts

Wetterhorn Basin Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,760 Feet (3280 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,800 Feet (549 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,560 Feet (3828 Meters)
Length: 5.0 Miles (8.0 Kilometers) to the Cebolla Ranger District
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 226
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Wetterhorn Peak Quad

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Wetterhorn Trail is a popular and scenic route into one of the more remote portions of the Big Blue Wilderness. Except for the first mile, the trail is located above timberline. This trail offers spectacular views of the Wetterhorn and Coxcomb Peak areas as well as the rugged upper Cow Creek drainage.

The first mile and a half of the trail is well maintained and easily traveled. Slide rock in the Wetterhorn Pass area makes the trail difficult for horse use. South of Wetterhorn Pass, the route is marked with cairns; however a topographic map is suggested. Travel time to Wetterhorn Basin is four hours in each direction.

This trail leaves the West Fork Road and follows along open meadows surrounded by spruce-fir into a large open basin in the upper West Fork. From this area the trail switches back and climbs steeply to the top of Wetterhorn Pass. Loose talus slide rock has crossed the trail in this section.

Large drifts of snow lasting into mid summer are common. Thunderstorms in the Upper Cow Creek drainage may be sudden and very intense. High open ridges should be avoided during lightning activity.

Wetterhorn Basin is a favorite spot to view alpine plants and wildlife. Sightings of mountain sheep are common. Other alpine animals such as marmots and pikas may readily be watched.

Directions from Cimarron Road: Take Cimarron Road to Owl Creek Pass. Turn south on West Fork Road #860 1/4 mile east of the pass. Stay on the main road through the drainage bottom for five miles to end. The last one and a half miles require a pick-up or other high clearance vehicle.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Wetterhorn Basin Trail

More Information

Visitor Information:

Montrose County Chamber of Commerce, 550 N Townsend , Montrose, CO, 81401, Phone: 800-873-0244


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