Distance: 5.0 - 6.6 miles (round trip)
Uncompahgre National Forest, near Ouray in Southwest Colorado
Great views of the peaks rising above Ironton Park are the rewards for this stiff climb up the east facing slopes of Hayden Mountain. A traverse below the Hayden Ridge then leads to a route ascending to Peak 12578 with terrific of Yankee Boy Basin.
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- Distance: 6.6 miles (round trip) to Hayden Trail
- Elevation: 9,620-ft. at Trailhead
12,578-ft. at Hayden Trail
- Elevation Gain: 2,958-ft. to Hayden Trail
- Difficulty: strenuous
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Ouray / Southwest Colorado
Why Hike Hayden Trail
This steep trail climbs high above the west side of Ironton Park to the tundra-clad slopes beneath Hayden Ridge. Here views extend south to the Red Mountains and high peaks to the north of Silverton. Across the valley Abrams Mountains anchors the north end of the Brown Mountain ridge while a sea of peaks fills the skyline above the Engineer Pass road.
A traverse through scree and then tundra-clad slopes below the ridge leads to a route ascending the ridge crest to Peak 12,578. Here the high peaks soaring above Yankee Boy Basin dominate the view to the west.
The stiff climb and views from this trail are similar to the Richmond Pass trail to the south. If I only had time for one of these hikes I would choose Richmond Pass. The trailhead for Richmond Pass is harder to find but after surmounting this challenge, the trail and the views on the ascent to Richmond pass are better. Footing on the small upper section of the Hayden trail is precarious in places and could cause some parties to stop before climbing to the ridge.
Experienced hikers looking for solitude and a good workout will like this trail. The trail is also recommended to hikers who are looking for some new ground to cover after hiking the more popular trails in the area.
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Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map
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