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Ironton Park: Hayden Trail & Colorado Boy Mine

San Juan Triangle | Monday, July 3, 2023

After cutting our backpacking trip into the Flat Tops Wilderness short this past weekend, I decided to head down near Ouray on Monday morning to get in a little more hiking before the Fourth of July holiday since I definitely need to start getting back into shape and hiking at higher elevations again. For this day trip I planned to focus my attention on the Ironton Park area and hike one of the trails that climbs up to the shoulder of Hayden Mountain. I woke up extra early on Monday morning, grabbed a quick breakfast on the way and made it to Crystal Lake just after 7:00am so I could start hiking up the south side of the Hayden Trail.

The Hayden Trail starts near Crystal Lake which is a popular stop along the Million Dollar Highway.

Hayden Trailhead Sign

Crystal Lake and the Red Mountains

Crystal Lake & Red Mountains

Here’s a closer look at Red Mountain #2 and #3.

Red Mountains

After hiking up through the trees for a while with limited views, I eventually broke out into the splendor of the alpine tundra.

Tundra & Waterfall

It felt great to be hiking above treeline again, although my lungs would probably disagree…

Hayden Trail View

The landscape became more rugged as I reached the highpoint of the trail.

Snow & Rock

I turned around shortly after the highest point of the trail and returned the same way I had come.

Hayden View

Hayden Trail Pass

Hayden Trail Pass

Making my way back across the large snowfield.

Snow Crossing

An upper section of the Hayden Trail.

Upper Hayden Trail

The views were great on the way back with Brown Mountain, the Red Mountains, Gray Copper Gulch and Ironton Park all visible in front of me.

Hayden Mountain View

Hayden Mountain Clouds

Descending back down the Hayden Trail.

Hayden Trail Descent

Looking up one other snow chute that I had to cross on the trail.

Snow Chute

After returning to my Jeep I thought I might try another longer hike, but my legs were having none of that today, so I settled on a short walk from Ironton over to the Colorado Boy Mine. Although I have seen this mine from the road many times, I had never actually hiked over for a closer look.

Here’s an unnamed peak on the opposite side of the valley that was visible as I followed the Colorado Boy Trail.

Colorado Boy Trail View

After a short walk I soon reached the Colorado Boy.

Colorado Boy View

The interior of the Colorado Boy.

Colorado Boy Interior

Looking Up

Looking straight down the deep vertical mine shaft.

Into The Dark

The Colorado Boy

Colorado Boy

On the way back to my Jeep I wandered around a couple of the other buildings still standing in Ironton since it’s been quite a while since I last visited. Afterwards I headed back home and was happy to be leaving since Ouray was very busy!

Front Door


Back Door


White House

>> Hayden Trail & Colorado Boy Mine Photo Gallery

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