Alpine Mine and Overlook

Round Trip Distance: 2.4-5.4 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 9,921 - 10,958 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Weehawken
Fee: none
Attractions: Gold mine, scenic overlook

The Alpine Mine and Overlook trail is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest west of Ouray, Colorado. The trail begins off of the Weehawken trail where it climbs upward and around the mountain side to what remains of Alpine Mine. From there it continues on up to the point of a ridge that offers spectacular views of the town of Ouray and the surrounding mountains and passes.

The Alpine Mine trail begins around the 1.5 mile point of the Weehawken trail.

As it departs from the Weehawken trail it begins angling its way on up the mountain.

The well worn trail is easy to follow as it takes advantage of a few switchbacks to make its way up the steep slope.

About half way up the mountain the trail passes by a small overlook where Hayden Mountain fills the southern skyline.

The trail gets a little narrow as it contours its way around the mountain above a precipitous gorge. This is the kind of place where you put your kids on a leash if you have any in tow.

A very pleasant stretch of trail comes up after that.

The rustic remains of the Alpine Mine sit along the outside bend of one of the switchbacks. There is an ore car with a small section of tracks as well as an impella and parts of an old pump or engine decorating the site like exhibits in an outdoor museum.

After passing the mine the trail continues along a steep slope that angles up the mountain. Eventually the trail reaches a ridge that leads to the overlook and levels off for the most part.

The Alpine Mine Overlook sits at the end of the ridge where a sign lets you know that you have arrived at your destination. (Another good spot to keep your small children in hand.)

On this day when rain was occasionally falling the sunlight was silhouetting shadows of clouds upon the small hamlet of Ouray that is fondly known of as the Switzerland of America.

A waterfall can be seen cascading from a basin down the side of Hayden Mountain adding strength to the roaring Canyon Creek that thunders past below along the Camp Bird Road.

Looking to the west past the hulk of Hayden Mountain you can see the road winding up Imogene Pass where it drops down the other side into Telluride. They had just held the 43rd annual Imogene Pass Run on the day previous to when these photos were taken.

The Alpine Mine and Overlook trail sees many more hikers than the upper portion of the Weehawken trail does. It actually gains as much elevation in its 1.2 miles as the Weehawken trail does in its final 3.5 miles making it the steeper of the two trails. The Alpine Mine itself is very quaint and the overlook with its spectacular views is well worth the hikes effort. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.