Originally, we had planned to hike to one of the glacial lakes in southwest Colorado, but after spending a night in Ouray we decided we wanted more of this adorable town. Plus, we had seen all the hats & t-shirts in town which allow you to brag about hiking the Ouray Perimeter. It seemed like a challenge!
You can see parts of this trail with some incredible views by visiting Box Canyon & Cascade Falls, but the full perimeter literally loops you around the town and takes you on a tour of its history as well.
Make sure you stop by the visitor center to pick up a trail map because it offers a lot of context to the route, with geologic backstories and explaining exactly where you’re at along the way. It’s the cutest, most local tour guide in a pamphlet!
The hike is six miles if you do the full loop, but you can also do a stretch then pop into town (there are several points along the way that make this easy) then walking through town back to your car is easy.
I got a little freaked out reading the comments on AllTrails because several talked about the steep drop off and ‘cliff hugging’ – as someone terrified of heights I instantly started to worry. But while I was shaky with sweaty palms, I survived and wasn’t worried about falling off!
This hike wasn’t easy and had a lot of ups and downs, but it was well worth it. The views around the tiny city are incredible. Plus, the route takes you back behind the city along creeks, the ice park and Via Feratta. It’s very well marked and easy to follow but there are a few times where you’ll be crossing roads.
All in all, highly recommend!