Attractions Less than 1 hour from Ouray
Off Road Touring - Rent a Jeep
Ouray has earned the much-deserved reputation as the "Jeeping Capital of the World". Jeep roads, rated from easy to difficult, traverse a variety of terrain from extreme high mountain passes and rugged winding roads to areas of spectacular wildflowers that blanket the ground throughout the spring and summer. Four-wheeling enthusiasts travel here all summer long for the breathtaking scenery and then again during the fall months for the spectacular amber colors. In fact, the world-famous Jeep® Jamboree holds its annual rally here every fall. The roads and vistas are truly spectacular.
The immediate vicinity offers limitless opportunities for four-wheelers, from easy scenic drives to rugged challenges, along trails the miners built to passes that climb to spectacular heights. All of these have one factor in common: they traverse some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, abundant with wildflowers, ghost towns, abandoned mines, animal life, all with breathtaking vistas.
Day Trip Recommendation
Rent a jeep and drive this loop. Drive south on US550 to Ironton. Take Corkscrew Gulch trail across Hurricane Pass, around Lake Como, and up California Pass (12970 ft). Decend California Gulch to the ghost town of Animas Forks. Continue to Silverton for lunch. Detailed route descriptions will be availabe from our vounteer activity planners.
Enjoy a comfortable ride in a custom open-top tour vehicle, while your guide shares with you the magic and history of the San Juan Mountains. Customized ghost town, photography, and wildflower tours are avilable. Day trips across Blackbear pass to Telluride, the Alpine Loop to Lake City, and all routes to Silverton are available. Sit back and take in the sites while your professional driver manages the road.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The south rim entrance is located 15 miles (24 km) east of Montrose. The park contains 12 miles (19 km) of the 48-mile (77 km) long canyon of the Gunnison River. The national park itself contains the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon. The canyon's name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day, according to "The Black Canyon of the Gunnison." In the book, Vandenbusche states, "Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon."
The Gunnison River drops an average of 34 feet per mile (6.4 m/km) through the entire canyon, making it the 5th steepest mountain descent in North America. By comparison, the Colorado River drops an average of 7.5 feet per mile (1.42 m/km) through the Grand Canyon. The greatest descent of the Gunnison River occurs within the park at Chasm View dropping 240 feet per mile (45 m/km). The Black Canyon is so named due its steepness which makes it difficult for sunlight to penetrate into its depths. As a result, the canyon is often shrouded in shadow, causing the rocky walls to appear black. At its narrowest point the canyon is only 40 ft (12 m) wide at the river. The extreme steepness and depth of the Black Canyon formed as the result of several geologic processes acting together. The Gunnison River is primarily responsible for carving the canyon, though several other geologic events had to occur in order to form the canyon as it is seen today.
Telluride Via Feratta
The Telluride Via Ferrata has the potential to be the highlight of your vacation to the majestic San Juan Mountains. Set above the quaint mountain town of Telluride, this unique adventure combines all the best elements of mountain hiking and the classic via ferrata ladder/cable systems.
Via Ferrata, Italian for “iron way”, offers the ability for participants to experience the thrill of travelling through the mountains in an exposed setting with the protection of cables and steel/iron rungs. Originally developed during the first World War to aid the progress of troops through the mountains, Via Ferrata are now widely recognized as inspired tourist attractions on mountain features that would otherwise be inaccesible.
The position and setting of the Telluride Via Ferrata cannot be beat. Breathtaking views of the town of Telluride, the surrounding mountains, and the iconic Bridal Veil Falls, dominate the scenery on this must-do adventure.
Museum of the Mountain West
More than 500,000 artifacts of the Mountain West from 1880 to 1930 are displayed in store and office settings at the Museum of the Mountain West.
Housed in the 10,000 square foot main building is an historic post office, doctor's and dentist's offices, drug store, saloon, dry goods store and many more fascinating displays from our past. From the 1913 German Lutheran Church to the 1890 school to the 1882 Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Section House, you will be captivated at life as it was over a century ago.
All tours take about two hours and are guided by a knowledgeable docent, offering an experiential taste of what it was like to live in Western Colorado in the early days.
Come and spend a fun-filled, leisurely day learning more about this wonderful area in beautiful Western Colorado.
Recomendation - Day Trip
Pack a pimcic lunch and take a one day trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. After your visit before exiting, turn left just before exiting the pay booth. Eat a picnic lunch down on the river at the East Portal picnic area. Then visit the park and visit the Museum of the Mountain West as you return toward Montrose. After your visit plan to eat dinner at Ted's Steakhouse. Head back to Montrose on US50. Turn left at Rose Lane, which is about 300 yards past the first trafic light as you enter Montrose. Then return to Ouray.
Hiking Ouray - Welcome to Ouray Trails
The Ouray Trails Group site provides information and updates on the 83 mapped and maintained trails available to Ouray hikers. Users may digitally navigate these trails and peruse pertinent maps and pictures before they hike. A FAQ section is meant to answer common concerns. Other useful sites include the Ouray Chamber and Resort Association, Ridgway State Park and US Forest Service.