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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Mineral Basin, CO

no permit
25 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > Southwest
4 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 11,075 feet
Elevation Gain 1,765 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,850 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.25
Interest Historic, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
25  2012-01-01 Jim_H
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 55
Routes 44
Photos 7,651
Trips 1,615 map ( 9,681 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:58am - 6:08pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Red Mountain #3's Neighbor
by Jim_H

Likely In-Season!
Mineral Basin is one of the easier accessed alpine basins in Colorado. In reality, this hike uses a 4x4 road, but it is an enjoyable hike and can be done in any season, so long as you are careful about conditions and have proper gear. Summer, during the wildflower season, is probably the nicest time of year to hike the basin, but it can be enjoyed in any season. Autumn can offer some clear, dry air and snow free conditions, and winter can provide back country skiing and spectacular long distance views.

The hike, on the Black Bear Pass Road, takes you to 12,840' and Black Bear Pass. From there, it only requires a little more effort to summit nearby 13,321' Trico Peak, named for the 3 counties that meet on the summit. Numerous lakes dot Mineral Basin, and as with all the alpine lakes in the region, you could swim in them if you like cold, cold water. The hike itself offers fantastic alpine scenery and views of the area. While you might want to summit Trico Peak, you don't need to in order to enjoy views that stretch to the La Sal Mountains outside of Moab, Utah. You might not be able to see that distance in summer with the monsoon moisture in the air, but the Valley to the west is still very impressive and the nearby alpine terrain is quite enjoyable. This hike requires relatively little effort for a large amount of rewards, and makes a good easy or introductory hike to high elevation Colorado hiking.

The hike begins at Red Mountain Pass and leaves on the 4x4 road at the SW side of the pass. Look for the signs. It is mostly long gentle switchbacks. There are a few other road junctions, and you may want a map to ensure you remain on the correct path. You will ascend a few long switchbacks and gain the eastern ridge of Trico Peak before dropping into the basin and weaving through the terrain before topping out at the pass. The road continues on to Telluride, and can also be done as a motoring trip, if you would rather not hike. High clearance 4-wheel drive required if you choose that option, which I recommend against.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2012-01-04 Jim_H
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Mineral Basin
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Parked at Red Mountain Pass and hiked up the road (County Road 16) to Mineral Basin. I used my snowshoes and while the snow is thin, it may not have been safe for me if it had been thick. I camped at a nice spot in the frozen alpine zone at 12,760'. It was a relatively mild (but still very cold) and almost wind free night. If it had been colder, or windy, or both, I would have had to cancel. Good thing the weather was as forecast and I had a nice night up high. Actually, this was the second highest I ever camped. The stars were obscured by the moon, but it was still nice being up there. The next day I hiked up the rocky slope to Trico Peak at 13,321' and had my first real summit in a long time. I descended the same day and went to Ouray for the night. A nice relaxing trip and a fun way to start off the year. Stats reflect the summit, but there was enough up and down to round up.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Durango, CO, proceed north on US 550, pass by Silverton, and continue to Red Mountain Pass. Park at the pass.
    page created by Jim_H on Jan 03 2012 11:43 pm
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