view from uranium mine trail

Roadtrip to the Rockies: Uranium Mine Trail

  • Uranium Mine Trail
  • Distance: 3.1 Miles RT
  • Type: Moderate, Out-and-Back
  • Elevation Gain: 593 ft
  • Other: $5 Parking Fee, Toilets Available, Dogs Allowed
  • All Trails Link

For our first afternoon in Steamboat Springs, we selected a short, moderate hike in order to acclimate to the altitude as my visiting friends came from sea level.  The Uranium Mine Trail begins just down the road from the upper parking area for Fish Creek Falls.

Fish Creek Falls is a popular destination which may be seen from all the trails at this parking location which costs $5.  If the area is not too busy, pop up the short and paved overlook trail for excellent views of the cascade before tackling the Uranium Mine Trail.

The Hike

As I previously mentioned, the Uranium Mine Trailhead is located just down the road, west of the bathrooms.  The rocky trail ascends through southwestern terrain with little shade.  A variety of wildflowers line the path while scrub oak and sage blanket the hillside.

As the Uranium Mine Trail climbs, it offers distant views of Fish Creek Falls to the right.  Take a minute to admire them and turn around for views of the valley and Steamboat Springs.

Eventually hikers enjoy a reprieve from the sun as they pass through a grove of large aspen trees.  While the shade is welcome, beware of vicious mosquitoes.  I highly recommend bug spray!

The Uranium Mine

Continuing, trekkers will find the abandoned uranium mine, the trail’s namesake, on the left-hand side.  The “Fair U Claim” was prospected for uranium in the 1950’s.  The mine includes two passageways, one which extends 600 feet. 

uranium mine

Though the entrance is gated, visitors can see the rusted tracks under standing water.  The space in front of the opening is also remarkably cool.  Take a short rest here or on the “waste pile”, a nice rocky outcrop before continuing to the river where the trail ends. 

the girls on uranium mine trail

The Uranium Mine Trail is a 3.1 mile out-and-back hike.  The initial ascent and sun-exposure give the path its moderate ranking.  Don’t forget sunscreen and water!  ETB

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Published by

Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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