Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,420.00 ft (432.82 m)
Trail type
4.10 mi (6.60 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

One of the most aptly named mountains in Colorado, Red Mountain N3 is in fact one of at least 3 reddish mountains in the San Juans. The views are phenomenal and begin early in the hike, but the summit undoubtedly has the best unobstructed 360-degree vistas. Despite the views and the manageable distance, this out-and-back hike seems to be largely undiscovered, and sees very little traffic.

The trailhead lies about midway between Ouray and Silverton off of the Million Dollar Highway. To reach the trailhead, navigate to "St. Paul Lodge", following Road 825 off Rt. 550 for about 0.7mi steeply uphill, but upon reaching the large gate with a "private property" sign, rather than turning right towards the lodge, park along the road just downhill of the gate (be sure not to block the gate). While Red Mountain N3 is located on private property, hikers are welcome to use the gravel road that leads to the summit.

The trail to Red Mountain N3 consists entirely of a gravel road with constant elevation gain. The grade is mostly shallow and reasonable, though there are several very steep sections. The gravel road offers a defined path that's easy to follow, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels.

The road is about 2.1 miles long. At about 1.0 mile in, the road reaches a saddle you can climb over for phenomenal views of the mountains around Silverton Mountain Ski Area. The road begins switchbacking and gets steeper and rockier, with more loose gravel past this point. At 2.0 miles, there is a small utility tower - at this point there are just 2 short switchbacks to the summit!

The views continue the whole way up to the summit. Most of the road has excellent views of the various San Juan subranges, including views of the Needle Mountains, MacMillan Peak, Emery Peak, and Tower Mountain. Once you reach the summit, you are rewarded with great views of the other Red Mountains as well as a vista looking north down the valley towards Ouray.

While the landowners allow visitors on the road, please be respectful of the fact that it's on private property. Stick to the road, pack out all trash, and leave no trace of your visit.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful, unique views. No crowds. Straightforward route.


Gravel road may be uninspiring for some. Limited parking.

Trailhead Elevation

11,424.00 ft (3,482.04 m)

Highest point

12,871.00 ft (3,923.08 m)


Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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