“Stay here, play everywhere.” If you are at all familiar with Montrose, you’ve probably heard that saying before. Montrose sits in the Uncompahgre Valley and is surrounded the impressive San Juan Mountains, the West Elk Mountains, and the largest flat top mountain in the world- Grand Mesa. There are endless activities to do around Montrose. We have hundreds of miles of hiking trails in the area, off road and Jeep trails, climbing and bouldering, fishing and hunting, kayaking and paddle boarding, camping, mountain biking, and scenic drives.
Hiking trails around the Montrose area
Uncompahgre Riverway Trail
This trail runs all the way from Montrose to Ridgway. The trail is very easy and has little to no elevation gain. It is great for running, walking, and bike riding. The part of the trail within the town of Montrose is also paved and runs along the Uncompahgre River.
Black Canyon National Park
Black Canyon National Park is located just minutes from Montrose and contains many hikes. These hikes range from easy, short hikes to more strenuous and longer hikes. If you want something easy, try the Rim Rock Nature Trail or Cedar Point Nature Trail. If you’re down for an adventure and want a challenge try one of the trails that goes down into the lower canyon. For these hikes you will need to get a back country permit at the visitor’s center (they’re free!).
Box Canyon Falls Park
The Box Canyon Falls are a must see if you are in southwestern Colorado. There is a short nature walk trail and an easy trail into the canyon and falls area. There is also a more difficult trail that goes over the canyon, through a tunnel, and has great views of the mountains and town of Ouray. These are just a few of the endless trails in the greater Montrose area, for more trails check out AllTrails website or app.
Have fun with some off-roading
Yankee Boy Basin
The Yankee Boy Basin road near Ouray is one of the more popular off road trails for Jeeps and other vehicles. The trail ranges in difficulty at various points. Some people choose to hike along this trail, but if you don’t have an off road vehicle, there’s Jeep rentals available in Ouray. This area is well known for having amazing color in the wildflowers throughout spring.
The Alpine Loop is a 65 mile long 4WD trail that goes by Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray. It climbs 2 mountain passes with amazing views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. This trail also passes through some ghost towns where you can see what’s left of the historic buildings. This route takes about 7 hours and is open from about June through September.
On the Uncompahgre Plateu, you can combine your off-roading trip with hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and camping. It is also know to have some world-class rock crawling routes if you have the right equipment. There are 3 campgrounds in the area with many other areas for dispersed camping. There are a lot of different terrains and roads, from mesas, canyons, gulches, and more.
Enjoy the water on your paddle board or kayak
Ridgway State Park
Ridgway State Park is located just a short drive from Montrose. It is a popular spot for stand up paddle boarding. It has great views of the foothills and mountains. The water is nice and calm and is easy for beginners.
The water sports park in Montrose is a great place to float or test out your kayak skills! The water sports park has some gentle rapid with natural obstacles. There are various points where you can easily access the river. And after you’re done in the water, stick around the park with your friends and have a picnic.
Test your skills with some bouldering or rock climbing
The area around Ouray has some of the best climbing and there are so many routes. Check out the areas around Overlook Cliff and The Pool Wall. Many of the climbing areas around Ouray are on public land that doesn’t require any additional permits
Ridgway State Park
Ridgway State Park has both bouldering and climbing. Although it doesn’t have as many routes as other areas around Ouray, it is in close proximity to the Ridgway Reservoir. You can also get good views of the Sneffels Range.