Top Things To Do In Ouray CO For Adventure Seekers

Things To Do In Ouray CO

Looking for a bit of adventure in your life? You’re not alone. Many of us yearn to break free from the daily grind and immerse ourselves in nature, but finding that perfect spot where excitement meets tranquility can seem like searching for a needle in a haystack.

That’s until we stumbled upon Ouray, Colorado—a hidden gem nestled within the majestic San Juan Mountains, boasting over 300 miles of trails.

In our quest for the ultimate outdoor experience, we’ve unearthed activities that cater to every adventurer’s heart. From ice climbing at the renowned Ouray Ice Park to sinking into natural hot springs under starlit skies after a day filled with exploration.

Whether your passion is hiking horseback riding or pushing your limits on the Via Ferrata, Ouray has something special waiting just for you.

So here’s to starting an adventure that’s as unique as it is unforgettable. Let’s explore what makes Ouray not just another destination, but a call to those wild at heart—who believe that nature isn’t just out there but something you carry with you always.

Welcome to Ouray; let’s explore together!

Key Takeaways

  • Ouray, Colorado, offers over 300 miles of trails for hiking with paths suitable for every skill level. Trails like Yankee Boy Basin and the Ouray Perimeter Trail provide stunning views.
  • The town features unique adventures such as ice climbing in the world’s first man-made ice park, Ouray Ice Park, and guided jeep tours to Imogene Pass.
  • Visitors can enjoy year-round hot springs at Ouray Hot Springs Pool and participate in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding in the San Juan Mountains.
  • Summer adventures include scaling two routes on the Via Ferrata and exploring local canyons through canyoneering with over 40 wet canyons available.
  • Historical landmarks such as old mining sites offer a glimpse into Colorado’s past, while Main Street provides cultural experiences with its museums, shops, and culinary delights.

Year-Round Activities for Adventure Seekers

Things To Do In Ouray CO - A rugged mountain trail with a winding river in a bustling atmosphere, captured in stunning detail.

Discover thrilling adventures year-round in Ouray, Colorado. From hiking to rock climbing, there’s something for every adventure seeker here. Whether it’s exploring historic Main Street or indulging in local cuisine, a world of excitement awaits.


We love taking long walks on over 300 miles of trails in Ouray. Trails range from easy strolls to challenging hikes, perfect for any skill level. Yankee Boy Basin and the Ouray Perimeter Trail offer stunning views that make every step worth it.

These paths lead us through wildflower meadows, past waterfalls, and up mountain slopes where the air feels fresh and clean.

Our favorite hikes include Lower Cascade Trail and Falls, where the sound of rushing water fills the air, and Last Dollar Road in Ridgway for its breathtaking vistas. Every trail tells a story, inviting us to explore more of what the San Juans have to offer.

Whether we’re looking for a peaceful walk or an adventurous trek, hiking in Ouray always leaves us eager to come back for more.

Rock Climbing

Ouray thrills adventure seekers with its rock climbing spots. Places like Rotary Park, The Alcove, and Pool Wall offer routes for every climber, no matter their skill level. We gear up with quality equipment from certified guides who know the ropes.

The shuttles make getting to these sites from downtown Ouray easy.

Kitty Calhoun, a climbing legend and co-owner of IRIS Alpine, guides climbers across Ouray’s challenging terrains. With the breathtaking backdrop of Box Canyon Falls and the Million Dollar Highway, every climb promises more than just adrenaline—it offers unforgettable views.

The Ouray Ice Park also presents unique climbing experiences with instructors ready to teach patience and technique in icy conditions.

Jeep Tours

We offer guided jeep tours to Imogene Pass, a breathtaking adventure from Ouray and Telluride. The journey covers 17 miles of scenic trails and takes about four hours. These tours set off at 8 am or 1 pm every day during the summer months.

Along the way, guests enjoy stops at historic mining sites, soak in stunning mountain views, and marvel at fields of wildflowers. It’s a unique chance to explore areas awarded Jeep’s Badge of Honor status.

These excursions are perfect for those wanting to see more than just city streets. They take you through backcountry roads where your own vehicle might not dare go. From the comfort of our jeeps, witness Colorado’s rugged beauty unfold before you—ancient mines that whisper tales of yesteryear, peaks that touch the sky, and meadows painted with wildflowers as far as the eye can see.

This is our invitation to experience Ouray’s natural wonders up close.


When it comes to off-roading, Ouray offers a wide range of routes for adventure seekers. Since the 1940s, this activity has been accessible, with the highest pass in the San Juan Mountains, Imogene Pass, reachable via off-roading.

In addition to Jeep tours available at 8am or 1pm daily during summer months, local tour and rental shops provide trail conditions and promote Stay the Trail etiquette for preservation.

With such extensive offerings and historical significance, these trails are perfect for those looking to explore quieter and smaller towns like Ouray.

Hot Springs

Ouray Hot Springs Pool offers a range of natural thermal pools, each with different temperatures and features. With options like the lap pool and shallow swimming pool complete with slides, it’s perfect for both relaxation and adventure seekers.

The cost of all-day access is $18, making it an affordable stop on your trip to Ouray. Don’t forget that the hot springs are open year-round, ensuring you can enjoy them no matter when you visit.

Ouray Hot Springs Pool is a popular attraction amongst travelers seeking unique and relaxing experiences in quieter towns.

Winter Adventures

Things To Do In Ouray CO - A picturesque snow-covered mountain landscape with a winding hiking trail.

Winter in Ouray, CO offers thrilling activities like ice climbing, snow sports, and snowshoeing. The snowy landscapes transform the town into a winter wonderland filled with adventure.

Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing in Ouray offers a unique adventure for those seeking thrills. Ouray Ice Park, known for its more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, is the world’s first man-made ice climbing park.

Each year, the renowned Ouray Ice Festival draws climbers from around the globe to experience these challenging frozen routes. Notably, climbing legend Kitty Calhoun co-owns IRIS Alpine and guides in Ouray, adding expertise to this exhilarating activity.

In addition to conventional forms of rock climbing such as bouldering and traditional (trad) climbing available throughout the region; dry-tooling also presents an exciting challenge for enthusiasts looking for variety in their climbs.

This diverse array of options ensures that ice climbers of all skill levels can indulge in this heart-pumping pursuit against breathtaking natural backdrops.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Ouray, Colorado is a prime spot for skiing and snowboarding. The San Juan Mountains offer diverse terrain for enthusiasts of all levels. Backcountry skiing and cross-country skiing are popular here.

However, it’s crucial to note that the area has unstable snow conditions, making avalanche courses and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center app essential resources for winter adventurers.

Lee’s Ski Hill provides various winter sports activities to enjoy against the stunning backdrop of Ouray’s alpine landscape.


Snowshoeing is a popular winter activity in Ouray, Colorado. It offers an excellent way to explore the serene snowy landscapes of this charming town. The Ouray County Nordic Council ensures safe and enjoyable snowshoeing experiences on the region’s well-maintained trails.

For those planning their adventures, apps like CoTrex can be handy tools to navigate through varied terrains here.

Things To Do In Ouray CO

Things To Do In Ouray CO – Summer Adventures

Discover thrilling summer adventures in Ouray, CO – from scaling the Via Ferrata to venturing on ATV or off-road excursions. Indulge in canyoneering and relish horseback riding with breathtaking alpine views!

Via Ferrata

One of the top outdoor adventures in Ouray is the Via Ferrata, boasting two routes: the Downstream Route and the recent addition, Upstream OVF route for 2024. The Downstream Route features the Sky Climb – a highlight not to be missed when exploring this favorite Colorado outdoor activity.

When traversing these routes, it’s advisable to bring bug spray, water, and a small snack for an unforgettable alpine experience.


Canyoneering in Ouray offers an exhilarating adventure. With over 40 canyons, it’s a haven for this activity. Canyoning Colorado provides guided tours and courses, making it accessible even to beginners.

What sets Ouray apart is its abundance of wet canyons – a rarity in Colorado where only about 100 exist. The term “canyoning” encapsulates exploring these water-filled canyons that guarantee a unique adrenaline rush.

ATV/Off-Road Excursions

When planning ATV or off-road excursions in Ouray, keep in mind that Colorado doesn’t recognize out-of-state license plates for OHVs. San Juan Scenic Jeep Tours and Rentals offers tours suitable for adrenaline seekers, couples, big groups, and kids.

They’ve been in business for over 75 years and hold the oldest tour company status. Also noteworthy is the fact that five local trails in Ouray have been awarded Jeep’s Badge of Honor.

Ensure pets and car seats are allowed on the tours when setting out to explore quieter and smaller towns like Ouray. Additionally, it’s essential to remember that visitors can bring their furry friends along while embarking on these adventures through picturesque surroundings.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding at Ouray Horseback Adventures offers an experience tailored for adventurers seeking more than just a ride. Owner Justin Mitchell owns over 100 horses and provides guided trails, including the area where “True Grit” was filmed.

They cater to beginners as young as 5 and offer half-day rides for more adventurous riders. This historical adventure is designed to enhance your understanding of the region while offering firsthand experiences in the heart of Colorado’s stunning landscapes.

Things To Do In Ouray CO – Historical and Cultural Experiences

Explore the charm of Small Towns in Colorado through historical landmarks, museums, and old mining sites. Immerse yourself in local culture by sampling cuisine at breweries and restaurants.

Explore Historic Main Street

Located in the heart of Ouray, Main Street invites us to step back in time and immerse ourselves in its rich history. Lined with historic buildings dating back to the late 1800s, this charming street offers a glimpse into the town’s fascinating past.

As we stroll through, we can visit local shops like Humble Mountain, Columbine Mineral Shop, and Gator Emporium for unique finds and curious souvenirs. Moreover, Main Street regularly hosts events and festivals throughout the year – making it an ever-evolving tapestry of historical charm and community vibrancy.

Uncover touches of old-world elegance at the Wright Opera House or delve into intriguing stories at The Ouray County Historical Museum. Additionally, tantalize our taste buds with delightful culinary experiences from Japanese delicacies to craft beers offered by restaurants nestled along this cultural hub.

Whether seeking captivating history or experiencing small-town allure firsthand, Historic Main Street promises an enchanting journey filled with hidden gems ready for discovery!

Visit Museums

When in Ouray, don’t miss out on the Ouray County Museum. It holds a fascinating mix of town, mining, and high country history. You can explore it for just $7.00 if you’re an adult or $3.00 if you’re between 6-15 years old – kids under 6 get in for free! The museum is housed in the old town hospital and has earned a remarkable 4.5 out of 5 rating based on 166 reviews.

Tour Old Mining Sites

When touring old mining sites in Ouray, you can explore the rich history of Gold Mountain at the Bachelor-Syracuse Mine Tour. This adventure takes you 1,500 feet underground to experience firsthand the complexities of gold mining.

Moreover, visitors can join guided tours and demonstrations at the Old Hundred Gold Mine and even try their hand at gold panning with local outfitters. Additionally, taking a guided tour by the Ouray County Historical Society provides an insightful glimpse into the fruitful mining history, including gem and mineral collections showcased at the museum.

Get ready to embark on a journey through time as we delve into these historical sites that underpin Colorado’s captivating past while unraveling fascinating facts about our ever-evolving landscape.

Sample Local Cuisine at Breweries and Restaurants

Local cuisine at breweries and restaurants in Ouray is a delight for food enthusiasts. Ouray Brewery offers a range of award-winning beers that pair perfectly with their pub-style American cuisine.

The rooftop dining area provides stunning views, creating an ideal setting to savor the flavors. Meanwhile, Red Mountain Brewing showcases all-natural beef, chicken, and locally sourced organic produce.

For those seeking a culinary adventure, Brickhouse 737 stands out as one of the town’s finest restaurants. Additionally, Timberline Deli tempts visitors with homemade donuts and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Discovering the Charm of Small Towns in Colorado

Discover the charm of small towns in Colorado, like Ouray and Ridgway. Stroll through historic main streets, visit museums, and explore old mining sites. Enjoy local cuisine at breweries and restaurants.

If adventure calls, try activities such as hiking, rock climbing, or jeep tours. Experience the unique blend of historical and cultural richness these towns offer.

In quaint Ouray CO or charming Ridgway CO, one can leisurely explore historic main streets lined with local shops like Humble Mountain or Columbine Mineral Shop. Discover the remnants of Colorado’s mining past by visiting old mining sites in Animas Forks or Ironton while sampling local cuisine at Maggie’s Kitchen or Ouray Brewery adds a delightful touch to your exploration.

Both towns offer a variety of outdoor activities including hiking trails for hikers and boulderers amidst stunning landscapes intertwined with exhilarating adventures awaiting discovery.

Things To Do In Ouray CO Conclusion

In Ouray, Colorado, adventure seekers can indulge in a diverse range of activities year-round. From hiking through 300 miles of trails to rock climbing and off-roading in the Rocky Mountains, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast.

In winter, ice climbing and skiing beckon while summer offers thrilling Via Ferrata experiences and ATV excursions. Historical explorations and delicious local cuisine add depth to the experience, making Ouray an ideal destination for those seeking an active and culturally rich getaway.

With adventures tailored towards families as well as seasoned enthusiasts, Ouray presents a captivating blend of nature, history, and adrenaline-pumping pursuits all in one picturesque setting.

Things To Do In Ouray CO FAQs

1. What’s special about Box Cañon Falls in Ouray, Colorado?

Well, if you’re looking for a sight that’ll leave you speechless, Box Cañon Falls is the spot. This natural wonder is where water powerfully plunges into a narrow canyon. It’s not just the falls; the surrounding area is full of trails and wildlife. You’ve got to see it to believe it.

2. Can adventure seekers find something exciting on the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway?

Absolutely! For those who crave adventure and breathtaking views, driving along the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway is a must-do. It winds through mountains and past ghost towns like Red Mountain Pass… Oh, and don’t forget your camera – the views are unforgettable.

3. Are there any good spots for climbers in Ouray?

You bet! Ouray is often called “The Switzerland of America” because of its stunning mountain scenery – perfect for climbers. There are places like Via Ferratas that offer thrilling routes for every skill level… And yes, make sure your climbing shoes are ready for action!

4. Where can cross-country skiers go near Ouray?

Cross-country skiers have plenty of choices around here… Mount Sneffels offers some fantastic trails with scenic views that seem straight out of a postcard… Just imagine gliding through snowy landscapes with nothing but peace around you.

5. Is there anywhere in Ouray to grab a good meal after an adventurous day?

After all that excitement, you’ll want something tasty… The town has everything from cozy cafes where you can grab a burger or steak to more upscale dining options… Trust us; finding a great meal here isn’t hard at all.

6.What about places to stay? Are there budget-friendly options?

Sure thing! Whether you prefer hotels or campgrounds, Ouray has got you covered… Places like Basecamp Ouray or Amphitheater Campground offer great stays without breaking the bank… And let’s not forget those budget motels; they’re comfy and won’t empty your wallet either.

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