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More Than You Can Imagine

colorado-national-monument Want to get lost in the woods for days? Or maybe you’re looking for a short stroll to cascading waterfalls and yellow aspen? Montrose is literally surrounded by hikes for every level of hiker for as long or short as you’d like to go. Descend from the high dessert to the rugged beauty of deep canyons. Or climb above the clouds to the top of the world. You can literally spend a lifetime hiking near Montrose–and you’ll still find overwhelming and unforgettable scenery that awaits your discovery.

Starting Small

New Comer

I met one of my best friends here in Montrose, Colorado. She grew up in California, but we instantly hit it off because of her sense of adventure. I didn’t hesitate to invite her camping up Kinikin Road. On top of the mesa, we found amazing views, dirt roads, small lakes and great places to camp.
Halfway to camp, she turned and looked at me, with a worried expression, and asked if there were really bears [...]

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At nearly 6000 feet, the air in Montrose is a little thin. So you might want to take a few days to get acclimated. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have to wait to hike. By hiking just a few hundred yards from the center of nearby Ouray, you can stand below the spray and majesty of the 100-foot Cascade Falls. Drive across town or hike around it on the Perimeter Loop and you’ll be standing a few hundred feet from Box Canyon Falls–the natural wonder of Ouray. Montrose locals looking for shorter hikes like to take the “hidden” entrance into the lower part of Black Canyon National Park through the Gunnison Gorge on hikes like the 2.2 mile Chukar Trail.

The Next Step

After you’ve caught your breath, you’ll be ready for some of the longer hikes in the area. Locals love to escape to breathtaking beauty and the vertical rocks of the nearby Cimmaron Mountains. Be prepared to see amazing views, aspen, wildlife, mountain streams, and sheer-rock faces. Courthouse and Owl Creek Pass offer must-see hiking scenery. The Bear Creek National Trail offers the only route to the Yellow Jacket Mine on cliff-bound shelves overlooking spectacular waterfalls. Grab a local guide book or stop by the BLM or Forest Service in Montrose to find more hiking options than you can possibly imagine.



Over the Top

If you want an unforgettable hiking challenge, Montrose is the place to start. There are a number of peaks in the area that are over 14,000 feet. Mount Sneffels is the most accessible with the shortest hike. However, it’s steep and the air is thin. Make sure you plan for dramatic changes in weather, pack plenty of water, and do your research on high-altitude safety. Backpacking options also abound. Unlike the mountains near Denver, it’s not difficult at all to find overgrown trails and real deep-woods country. So always make sure you have a topographical map and compass, the proper back-country equipment, and serious backpacking expertise.

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