Senator Beck Mine
Difficulty Moderate
Length of hike 4.6 mi. RT
Starting Elevation 11560 ft.
Top Elevation 12720 ft.
Type of Vehicle 4WD
Distance to Trailhead 24.3 miles
GPS track download Senator Beck Track
Hiking time up 2:20 hours
Hiking time down 1:20 hours

Directions to Trailhead
From the Traffic light in Ridgway, drive 23.3 miles south on Highway 550 past Ironton and over Red Mountain Pass. Just past the summit, Black Bear Road (San Juan Rd. 6) takes off to the right. Drive one more mile on this road and park. Walk back from the parking area to get to the trail.


SB map
SB ele



The trail to the Senator Beck mine starts above tree line, passes through a basin full of wildflowers and small creeks, and leads to a well-preserved miners bunkhouse and a delightful lake. In some places the trail is not clearly visible, but that’s not a problem if you are following the GPS track. Wandering around the meadow and following small creeks and obscure tracks is a nice diversion. One of the mines along the way still has a few twisted rails emerging from the collapsed shaft. There are fine views into the Red Mountain and Guston mining districts.

From the bunkhouse you can make a short excursion straight north and gain the ridge overlooking Ptarmigan Lake, or go north and contour west to have a look into Ingram Basin. If you are in the mood for a strenuous outing, you can continue north from the ridge down to Ptarmigan Lake and loop back on the Ptarmigan Lake trail. If you intend to hike the loop, and want to forgo the need for a car shuttle, you can start at the trailhead for Ptarmigan Lake on Highway 550 and head west instead of north. This track will connect with the trail leading to the Senator Beck mine.