Poughkeepsie Gulch

Ouray, Colorado (San Juan County)

Last Updated: 08/03/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 17 reviews )
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Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 07/01 - 10/14
Length: 7.16 miles
Highest Elevation: 12501 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: South
Nearest Town: Ouray
Nearest Town w/ Services: Ouray
Official Road Name: 876
Management Agency: Uncompaghre National Forest / Bureau of Land Management
District: Ouray Ranger District


Highlight: Poughkeepsie Gulch
Traveled primarily for its difficulty rather than its mining history, this 4wd trail is the hardest in the Ouray, Silverton, and Lake City area. Although difficult, this jeep trail offers spectacular views along the way as it parallels the Uncompahgre River to its source at the jaw-dropping blue water of Lake Como. Known for its one major obstacle, "The Wall," this trail will not disappoint if you are looking for an adrenaline rush of steep climbs and teeth-jarring boulders.


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Northern Trailhead (0 mi)
The northern trailhead starts 2.5 miles in, off of Engineer Pass. There are some great camping spots right at the start of the trail here. There are also some fantastic waterfalls to explore.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Ouray, Colorado

From Ouray: From 3rd Street & Main, drive south on US-550 for 3.9 miles turning left onto Engineer Pass. Follow Engineer Pass for 2.5 miles where the trailhead will start on your right at a tight turn. The trail is very well marked. From Animas Fork: Travel west 4.2 miles over California Gulch. The trail starts on your right at a 3-way intersection, just before Lake Como. The trail is very well marked.



Trail Reviews (25)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Is this doable in a GMC sierra extra cab with a slight life and all terrain tires, if I take the bypass and avoid the wall?
–Peter (08/29/2018)
–Tracy Barker (08/30/2018)

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Hi, I'm Ryan! I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion". I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure. My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others. If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.
For individual use only, not to be shared.