Heritage Like No Other
Located along America’s most scenic highway, the “San Juan Skyway”, Ouray has been a special destination of world travelers for over 100 years. Our small intimate community, nestled in some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere, is often referred to as “The Switzerland of America”, “The Gem of the Rockies” and “Our Special Place”.
The Ute Indians, who were the original inhabitants of this area, fondly referred to the San Juan Mountains as the “Shining Mountains”. The Indians considered Ouray to be their sacred grounds, offering plentiful mineral healing springs, abundant foliage and a large variety of wildlife. We are still blessed with stands of aspens, rivers, streams that create tremendous waterfalls and forests teeming with deer, elk, moose, bear, sheep and, of course, marmots.
Our area is surrounded by more 14,000-foot peaks than any other region in the United States. The San Juan Mountain Range is the youngest and steepest of the Rockies.
We are nestled in Southwest Colorado in the San Juan Mountain range of the Rocky Mountains. Ouray County has three towns, Ouray (the County Seat), Colona and Ridgway. Each is uniquely different. Ouray boasts a long mining history, while Ridgway’s heritage is ranching. Each remains true to the best of Western Colorado tradition: a relaxed, meaningful quality of life that most people can only dream about. Here, your word is your bond and a handshake is binding.
Ouray County lies within the Uncompahgre National Forest. It has some of the best hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, jeeping, mountain climbing, horseback riding, gold panning, mineral collecting, photography, ice climbing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Most are only footsteps or a short drive away.
The entire City of Ouray is listed on the National Register of Historic Districts. Enjoy the Victorian architecture, the friendly people, the town’s peaceful atmosphere, the relaxing and therapeutic hot springs and many recreational opportunities. We invite you to share this truly special place with us, where life is simple, the mountains are inspiring and the people care.
Elevation: 7,760 ft.
Average Snowfall: 152”
Population: City of Ouray 843, County 3,888 (1 stop light)
Average summer temperature is 76° with low humidity. Summer days are sunny, with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s during the day, and nights usually in the 50’s and 60’s. We average 265 sunny days.
Ouray is part of the San Juan mountain range in the Rocky Mountains. We are on the west side of the Continental Divide.
Ouray is full of activities all year round, see what’s going now at the Ouray Chamber of Commerce website
Relive history with the sights and sounds of yesteryear for a truly spectacular journey on board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.Experience the adventure of traveling by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the same tracks miners, cowboys and settlers of the old west took over a century ago. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad winds through spectacular & breathtaking canyons in the remote wilderness of the two-million acre San Juan National Forest for an unforgettable year round adventure.