Planning Your Trip to Ouray, Colorado
So many things to do in Ouray.
Whether you prefer the action of the peak summer months or the quiet of an off-season visit, everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to history buffs to relaxation specialists can find plenty to do in Ouray. The natural hot springs, the Million Dollar Highway, Box Canyon waterfall, spectacular jeep trails, and challenging ice climbing routes are just a few of the things that draw people here year after year.
Year around, Ouray visitors can play in sulphur-free hot springs at the Hot Springs Pool, explore the mining history of the area at the County Historical society or the railroad history at the Ouray County Railroad Museum, take the walking tour of well preserved Victorian era town in the Historic district, shop in the unique boutiques and art galleries on Main Street, and enjoy a range of high quality dining experiences at the town’s many restaurants and cafés. In addition, each season has its own charms and signature activities.
The calm awakening of Spring attracts visitors looking for warm sunshine and snow capped mountains. The big-horned sheep and elk come down to graze along side the highway and eagles perch on nearby trees. The aspens and wildflowers are green and the town is coming alive; shops and restaurants are open but the streets remain uncrowded.
Summer means excitement and high energy as the mountain passes open up and the rivers and waterfalls start running. Ouray’s old-fashioned July 4th weekend is the highlight of the summer. Carrying on a 100 plus year tradition, the town puts on a party that includes a traditional parade on Main Street, picnics and the famous Firehose Water Fight. The weekend culminates with a grand Jeep parade down the mountain followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Ghost towns, back country jeeping and wildflower photography top the long list of things to do and see.
For many, Autumn is the best time to visit Ouray. The change from mid-summer is quite dramatic as the leaves begin to change. The brilliant fall colors bring photographers and visitors from all over the world. However, there is still much to do as summer activities usually extend into fall.
Winter brings the challenges of ice and the snowy beauty of the San Juan Mountains and signals the start of the winter sports season. In Ouray, ice climbing leads the list of active outdoor sports, though cross country and downhill skiing, sledding, ice skating, and snowshoeing are not far behind.