Poughkeepsie Gulch

4.9/5 (37 reviews)
Ouray, Colorado (San Juan County)
Last Updated: 10/20/2022

Trail Information


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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Poughkeepsie Gulch can be run in either direction. If starting on the north end, the trail starts in some extremely dense forest and works its way up the valley and above the treeline. This trail gradually gets more and more rocky as you approach the timberline. Steep climbs with large loose boulders make traction difficult. Most of the trail is fairly wide, but a few short sections could be difficult to pass oncoming traffic. For an easier route, take the bypass around "The Wall" obstacle. There are several steep, rocky climbs after "The Wall" before reconnecting with the bypass route and finishing at a gorgeous high alpine lake. There are many splits in the main route, all of which reunite with the main trail. The Wall gives the trail its higher rating.

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (37)
Official Crew
Seasonal Closure
Visited: 10/20/2022

Closed for the 2022 season. See you in 2023.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/24/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Not super scenic, but its a fun challenging route even with the bypass. The camping down at the connector with Engineer Pass is nice by the creek, and its about 45min to the main road.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/20/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran Poughkeepsie Gulch with a friend this time around so we could do "The Wall". The obstacle wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and we got lucky and were able to complete it just before it started to drizzle. Definitely would be a difficult obstacle to make it up the moment it gets wet!
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Back again, and enjoyed just as much. Actually got up the wall this time without a winch. The approach to the wall seemed more dug out than it did two years ago as I made it on 32" AT's last time and this time I used a spotter with 35" MTs and both axles locked.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/17/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

So far my favorite trail out here, I think 4 might be a little light of a rating especially the steps going out from the lake while wrapping around the corners. There is definitely some technical driving here. The wall I think they have spot on and so much fun.

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