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Old 07-10-2015, 09:49 AM
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Default Annual Labor Day Ouray Run - September 5-7, 2015

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Traveling the mountain passes in your favorite Toyota 4x4 is a wonderful way to experience the magnificent mountains surrounding Ouray. Ouray has been nicknamed the "Switzerland of America." The immediate vicinity offers limitless opportunities for four-wheeling, from easy scenic drives to rugged challenges, along trails miners built to passes that climb to spectacular heights. The trails traverse some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, abundant with wildflowers, ghost towns, abandoned mines, animal life (good chance of seeing moose), all with breathtaking vistas.

Looking to change things up a bit this year and have the base camp near Ironton. (Near Corkscrew Gulch Trail & Million Dollar Hwy). I'll plan to arrive on Sept. 3 or 4 and secure a spot large enough for those wanting to camp in this area. Of course you can still check out other area camping info in this post or camp at the 4J Campground within walking distance of a relaxing soak in the Ouray Hot Springs Pool. You can also stay at the Amphitheater forest service campground above town or the KOA about 10 minutes North of town. Here is a link to some other Forest Service campgrounds in the area.

San Juan Roads and Ghost Town Map attached to this post at the bottom. Check the links to the various trails to "TrailDamage.com" for more info.

Saturday – Option 1 Governor Basin/Yankee Boy - Nestled at an elevation between 11500 and 12000 feet, Yankee Boy Basin contains some of the most prolific stands of wildflowers in the state. The basin itself is surrounded by several breathtaking peaks—Mt Sneffels, Potosi Peak, Teakettle Mountain, Cirque Mountain, Stony Mountain, and Gilpin Mountain. Most are 13,500 or higher. The Governor Basin trail splits off from the Yankee Boy and climbs up to the edge of Humboldt Basin, and on to the Humboldt, Virginius, and Mountain Top mines. You drive to the Mountain Top Mine, but the remains of the Humboldt Mine cannot be reached by 4x4, but the old trail can be hiked. We’ll also take the Sydney Basin loop before returning to Ouray.

Saturday - Option 2) Poughkeepsie Gulch/Corkscrew Gulch . Poughkeepsie Gulch is a moderate trail, but some spots may be difficult for mostly stock vehicles. Corkscrew Gulch trail climbs via numerous switchbacks, the last few of which are steep and narrow. At the summit (at 12,217 ft) is the red soil of the famous Red Mountains 1, 2 & 3 visible to the south.

Saturday 6PM - Pot Luck; At the Ironton area camp. Bring your own main dish and a side dish or dessert to share.

Sunday - The famous Black Bear Pass to Telluride -, lunch in the city park. You can take a brief walk along Main Street, stop for ice cream or your favorite fru-fru coffee. We'll take Imogene Pass for the return trip to Ouray.

Saturday runs meet @ 8:30AM in the parking lot by the Ouray Hot Springs. Depart 9:00 AM!

Sunday run meets up 8:30AM, Depart 9:00 AM at Corkscrew/Million Dollar Hwy (Approximately 8 mi South of Ouray on Hwy 550).

Post up you're trail preferences and if you're interested in camping near Ironton. It will be a FUN weekend!
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Last edited by Old40Dog; 07-12-2015 at 07:40 AM. Reason: Add map
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:04 AM
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Wow does that look beautiful!
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:34 AM
DouglasVB DouglasVB is offline
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Definitely interested in going! Hopefully we can make it work with our work schedules and whatnot. If things work out, we'll camp and we also might go a day or so early to do some of the other roads in the area.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:04 AM
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Definitely planning on coming. I made reservations for Amphitheater months ago, but somehow only booked Friday-Sunday
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:38 PM
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I need to verify with my passenger-that-makes-all-the-decisions first, but please put me down. We will meet up on Friday night, 9/4, to camp at Ironton.

I'm not sure I can handle anything more than a 4 or easy 5 on TrailDamage, but I have no problem wussing out and taking a bypass.
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:22 PM
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I'm working on making this one. Need to convince my wife to take the kids out of school on Friday so we can make it before dark.
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:40 PM
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I have been camping above the ampitheatre for the last few days. Bear activity is higher than I've ever seen it. Not sure why? Plenty of moisture, lots of grasses, berries and flowers are out. Dirty camps maybe? I did not see any signs of that though.

We had a bear in camp every night and it also came by one day and tore up two tents. Someone left coffee beans in their tent and the bear made quick work of the fabric to get his/her coffee fix.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:05 PM
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I would like to join up for this run, I was denied by the closure of Black Bear Pass last time
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:54 PM
DouglasVB DouglasVB is offline
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Are there going to be dispersed camping site options that won't be completely stuffed to the gills with people this weekend or should I be trying to lock down a campground spot?
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:10 AM
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At least the last few years, the area hasn't been overrun with people on the Labor Day weekend. It's likely a little far from Denver to draw the larger crowds since most of the schools are already back in session.
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