Ouray, also known as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado”, is an adventurer’s paradise. Once a bustling gold and silver mining town, today Ouray offers world-class hiking, rock climbing and backcountry skiing. Rugged peaks and charming historic buildings have earned Ouray its “Switzerland of America” nickname.
Things to do in Ouray
Whether you’re into hiking, mountain biking or rock climbing, Ouray is a great basecamp for adventures in the Rocky Mountains. The 11-kilometre trail up Mt. Sneffels unlocks sweeping views over the San Juan Range. In winter, Top of the Pines nature reserve offers some of the best cross country skiing, snowshoeing and Nordic skating trails in Colorado.
Ouray County Museum charts the rich history and heritage of the town, from its roots as a mining town to its renaissance as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado. Pick up a self-guided walking tour map and enjoy a stroll around the town centre to see its historic buildings, some dating back to the 1880s.
Box Canyon Park is a short walk from the town centre and features an impressive 86-metre high waterfall. A steel walkway takes you deep into the canyon and treats you to bird’s eye views over the river. A staircase leads down to the base of the canyon, where you’ll find the remains of centuries-old mining equipment. In winter, the canyon drips with sparkling icicles.
Casual burger joints, colourful Mexican restaurants and hip brewpubs are just some of the dining options available in Ouray. There’s also an excellent distillery where you can sample hand-crafted gin and whiskey made with locally grown corn and barley.
Getting around Ouray
Ouray is located in Southwest Colorado, a 5.5-hour drive from Denver. The town is compact and easy to get around on foot. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore surrounding sights and hiking trails at your own pace.