Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Wildflowers
This trail is primarily in spruce and fir forest and skirts the nearby Mount Sneffels Wilderness area. It contours from Alder Creek Trail towards County Road 17 and Hwy 550. It eventually ends just outside the town of Ouray. This trail doesnt get a lot of use during the summer season. It does get heavier use by hunters in the fall.
The trail can be accessed from a number of spots. Two fun outings both start at the popular Blue Lakes Trail
1) Going east (left) from the trailhead you can combine a section of this trail with Blaine Basin Trail - Upper Segment
to reach a great open encircled with rugged mountains and carpeted with wildflowers. This segment of Dallas Trail crosses Wilson Creek several times. The first crossing is over East Fork Dallas Creek is a solid bridge. After that, the crossings are over multi-log bridges. If you are looking at a single log or jumping from rock to rock then look around and see if there isn't a multi-log bridge just out of sight. You'll need a good sense of balance, but hiking poles can help too. The reward of Blaine Basin
is worth the effort.
2) Going west (right) from the trailhead, Dallas trail alternates between forest and open meadows. In the open meadows, you get grand views of the surrounding mountains. At about 1.5 miles in you reach a big meadow which the trail skirts along the edge. Be sure to look back to see Mt Sneffels and its mighty neighbors. The trail rises gradually for the first mile or so and then drops quickly down to a sloped meadow. The trail re-enters the woods and switches to a series of small rises and falls. At times, the trail suddenly pops out of the woods and offers up a grand view of mountains. When you are in amongst the aspen watch for bear claw marks on some of the tree bark - they show up as 4 parallel short lines.
The area is particularly pretty in early October when the aspen have turned yellow and there is fresh snow on the rugged San Juans.