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Sideroads: Brown Mountain—Spectacular Views
Continuing the sideroads theme, the road to Brown Mountain (Ouray County Road 20) takes off from the same place as Corkscrew Pass Road. There are lots of roads in this area—if you follow my GPS track (below), you’ll find yourself way up the west side of Brown Mountain with some truly spectacular views. The photo above shows an alpine lake just at tree line with Brown Mountain looking down from above. Brown Mountain Road is not a through road, so it’s not easily made part of a loop. But, even so, it’s not to be neglected.
Corkscrew Pass Road, as you can see on the GPS track, takes off to the south and is on the far side of Red Mountain No. 1 shown in the photo above. When you take Brown Mountain road, be prepared to gain elevation quickly. In fact, this next photo shows the parking area at Ironton Park where folks like you can park their trailers and then take off on their ATVs or motorcycles. Brown Mountain is also accessible by 4WD Jeeps and similar. From the photo you get the perspective that the shot is taken from way high up. You’re right!
The next shot looks south toward Red Mountain Pass. You can see US Hwy 550 winding along the other side of the canyon.
Not all the views are from the same place, so watch for them as you go up and down. This view looks down at Crystal Lake way down by the highway.
And, as promised, here is the GPS map:
The coordinates where Brown Mountain Road splits off of the road to Corkscrew Pass are N37° 56.2633′ by W107° 40.1671′ (WGS-84). Past the “obvious turn-around point,” the road fades quickly and becomes very rocky. I suspect there was once a mine or two up further, but I think you can fully appreciate the road by stopping where I did, which is above tree line and thus has lots of views. From here I was able to see north all the way to Grand Mesa.