Ouray Travel Guide

With its location in the scenic San Juan Mountains and spring and summer seasons promising blue skies and a wealth of vibrant color from its rich collection of flora, Ouray in the state of Colorado is every bit deserving of the moniker ‘the Switzerland of America’ that is often used in references to it in promotional literature.

This small but inviting city requires a drive along the Uncompahgre River and over the Red Mountain Pass to reach it, offering some awesome scenery en route. Once at the city, visitors can enjoy a distinct small-town atmosphere with friendly locals and a traditional ‘old Colorado’ way of life. With less than a thousand permanent residents, after a few days you’ll find yourself recognizing plenty of the regulars about town.

Just a few miles from the town is Yankee Boy Basin in the Uncompahgre National Forest; this popular scenic spot is famous for its wild flower display during the spring and also for the picturesque waterfalls known as the Twin Falls, located at Sneffels Creek.


Ouray Ice Park: this designated area of frozen wilderness is dedicated to the sport of ice-climbing. The park is open only in the winter season and offers free use for all during that period.

Yankee Boy Basin: hire a four-wheel drive vehicle and head into this scenic alpine basin where secluded camping areas can be found and sights of a variety of indigenous wildlife species can be enjoyed.

Ghost towns: within easy driving distance of Ouray are a number of old abandoned mining towns. Old and heavily decaying residential structures can be found at most of the towns, most left untouched since their last occupants left.

Ouray Hot Springs: nestled on the banks of the Uncompahgre River is this commercialized natural attraction, the perfect place to take a hot dip.

Box Canyon Falls Park: not for the faint-hearted, a rickety wooden parapet leads to the dark and eerie canyon where the falls can be seen.