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Gilpin Peak - 13 Things to Know Before Visiting

1 Day Treks
Mountain Peaks

About Gilpin Peak

Gilpin Peak is one of the many Colorado mountain peaks that provides stunning views of the surroundings. The peak is located in Ouray County and has an elevation of 14,028 feet. The best time to summit Gilpin Peak is from late June to early September when the snow has melted and the weather is stable. To reach the summit, hikers can take the East Ridge trail which starts at the South Mineral Campground. The hike is approximately eight miles round trip and provides a moderate level of difficulty

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Hotels near Gilpin Peak

Checkout accommodations closest to Gilpin Peak

Things to Do at Gilpin Peak

If you're looking for an adventure in the great outdoors, Gilpin Peak in Ouray County, Colorado is the perfect place for you. With its towering peaks and stunning views, Gilpin Peak is a hikers paradise. There are several trails of varying difficulty levels, so there's something for everyone. And if you're feeling really adventurous, you can even camp overnight on one of the peaks. If hiking isn't your thing, there are also plenty of other activities to enjoy in the area. You can go fishing in one of the many lakes or streams, or explore the area on horseback. There's also plenty of opportunity for wildlife watching - you might even spot a bear or two! So whatever your interests, Gilpin Peak has something for you.

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History of Gilpin Peak

The peak gets its name from Colonel William Gilpin, who was the first Governor of the Colorado Territory. Gilpin Peak is known for its stunning views of the San Juan Mountains, and it is a popular spot for picnicking and camping. The peak is also home to a number of historic sites, including an old mining town and a stagecoach stop. Visitors can learn about the history of the area at the Ouray County Museum, which is located nearby. Whether you're interested in hiking, history, or simply taking in the beautiful views, Gilpin Peak is definitely worth a visit.

Best Time to Visit Gilpin Peak

The best time to visit Gilpin Peak is from late June to early September. during this time, the weather is warm and dry, and there are no crowds. 

Tips for Visiting Gilpin Peak

  1. Ouray County is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado, and Gilpin Peak is no exception. Located just outside of Ouray, Gilpin Peak offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  2. There are several trails leading up to Gilpin Peak, and the most popular route is the Alpine Loop Road. This road is open to vehicles from late May through early October, weather permitting.
  3. Make sure you're prepared for the altitude. Gilpin Peak sits at over 12,000 feet, so it's important to acclimatize yourself before setting out. Drink plenty of water and take it easy on your first few days in the area.
  4. Pack appropriately. This means bringing plenty of water, sunscreen, hats and snacks with you on any hike. It's also a good idea to wear layers, as the temperature can change quickly at high altitudes.
  5. Choose your hike wisely. There are trails of varying difficulty throughout Gilpin Peak, so make sure to pick one that's appropriate for your fitness level. There's nothing worse than being stuck on a trail that's too difficult or dangerous for you.
  6.  Be bear aware. There are bears in the area, so it's important to know what to do if you encounter one while hiking. Make sure to read up on bear safety before heading out into the wilderness.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Gilpin Peak

  1.  At 14,276 feet above sea level, Gilpin Peak is the ninth-highest peak in Colorado.
  2. t is named after Major General Benjamin Gilpin, who was the first governor of the Colorado Territory.
  3.  Despite its impressive height, Gilpin Peak is actually one of the shorter peaks in the San Juans - several mountains in the range top out at over 14,000 feet.
  4. In addition to its physical attributes, Gilpin Peak also boasts some important historical significance - it was used as a lookout point by Native Americans long before the first Europeans arrived in Colorado.
  5. The San Juan Mountains are home to one of the largest populations of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the world.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Gilpin Peak

Given the high elevation and challenging terrain, most hikers will need at least six hours to complete the round-trip journey. However, fit and experienced hikers may be able to reach the top in as little as four hours.

How to Reach Gilpin Peak

To reach Gilpin Peak, Ouray County, Colorado, follow the signs for US 550 north from Silverton. The trailhead is located about 12 miles north of town, just past the big switchbacks. From the parking area, the trail climbs steeply for about a mile before leveling off somewhat. 

Entrance Fee of Gilpin Peak

The Gilpin Peak entrance fee is $3 per person or $6 per family, and it is valid for seven days. The fee provides access to the hiking trails and camping areas in the Ouray County, Colorado.

Opening Hours of Gilpin Peak

The trail is open from dawn to dusk, but during the winter months, it is only open from 9 AM to 4 PM. This is due to the fact that the trail can be very icy and dangerous during the winter months.

Attractions Near Gilpin Peak

Mount Emma

Mount Emma

1.32km from Gilpin Peak

Mount Emma is a mountain in San Miguel county, Colorado. It is located in the San Juans, and has a summit elevation of 14,297 feet. The mountain is named after Emma Rice, who was the first woman to climb it. Mount Emma is considered to be one of the easier fourteeners to climb, and is popular with mountaineers and hikers alike. The mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding area, and is a great place for a challenging hike or an overnight camping trip.

Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin

1.72km from Gilpin Peak

Yankee Boy Basin is a true hidden gem. Surrounded by towering peaks, the basin is home to a number of alpine lakes, waterfalls, and trickling streams. In addition to its natural beauty, Yankee Boy Basin is also known for its vibrant wildflower displays. From late July through August, the basin comes alive with color as a variety of blooms come into bloom. Hiking and camping are popular activities in the basin, and there are a number of trails to explore.

Mount Sneffels

Mount Sneffels

1.85km from Gilpin Peak

Mount Sneffels is a popular mountain peak in Ouray County, Colorado. The peak is named after the SNF power plant in nearby Ridgway, Colorado. Mount Sneffels is known for its dramatic views, particularly of the San Juans. The summit can be reached via a challenging hike or an easier scramble. There are also several technical routes up the peak for experienced climbers. Mount Sneffels is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and it's easy to see why.

Governor Basin

Governor Basin

2.26km from Gilpin Peak

Governor Basin is a scenic valley located in Ouray County. Surrounded by towering peaks, the basin is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and eagles. Fishing and camping are popular activities in the area, and the Governor Basin Trailhead provides access to a network of hiking trails. In winter, the basin is a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Governor Basin is also home to several hot springs, which are open to the public year-round.

Cirque Mountain

Cirque Mountain

2.68km from Gilpin Peak

Cirque Mountain is a spectacular sight in Ouray County, Colorado. It's highest peak, promise Peak, soars to 12,795 feet and offers amazing views of the San Juan Mountains. The mountain is home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep and elk. There are also a number of hiking trails that wind through the area, making it the perfect place to explore the great outdoors. Whether you're looking for a challenging hike or a scenic vista, Cirque Mountain is sure to impress.

Dallas Peak

Dallas Peak

2.68km from Gilpin Peak

Dallas Peak is the highest point in the San Miguel Mountains and the county of San Miguel. It rises to an elevation of 14,265 feet, making it one of the tallest peaks in the state. Dallas Peak is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest, about 10 miles west of the town of Telluride. It is named after James Dallas, who was the surveyor general of Colorado from 1869 to 1870. Dallas Peak is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, who can reach its summit via a challenging 7-mile hike.

Discover More Attractions in Ouray County, Home of Gilpin Peak

Ouray County

Ouray County

31 attractions

Ouray County is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, offering something for everyone regardless of their preferred activity. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to the county's slopes, while in the summer months hikers and climbers take to the mountains. There are also ample opportunities for jeeping, fishing, horseback riding, and more.

Location of Gilpin Peak