Ouray is known as the “Switzerland of America” because of the high mountains rising on three and a half sides of town. The town was named after Chief Ouray of the Ute Indians, a local tribe.
Originally established by miners looking for silver and gold, Ouray had more than thirty active mines in 1875. Today, it’s a gateway town to the San Juan Mountains and outstanding recreation.
In the Winter, Ouray is the ice climbing capital of the U.S. There are several waterfalls between Ouray and Durango, all popular with climbers. The annual Ouray Ice Fest brings some of the world’s top ice climbers together for competition, exhibitions and instruction.
Hot Springs – A number of options exist, including the year round, Ouray Hot Springs Pool. Box Canyon Lodge boasts hot springs, available to overnight guests. Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings offers both guests and non-guests and opportunity to soak.
Ouray Ice Park – manmade ice park featuring dozens of ice climbing routes open in the winter.
Ouray Ice Festival – Largest ice climbing competition in North America. Four days of competition, exhibitions and instruction in early January.
For an in depth photo tour of town, take this virtual walking tour.
- Animas Forks (13mi)
- Alpine Loop 4×4
- San Juan Skyway
- Ridgway (17mi)