Ouray Colorado Day Trips
Ouray Has It All
Known as the “Switzerland of America” and “The Gem of the Rockies,” Ouray has a little bit of everything for everyone, for every season. From the splendor of spring and summer to the vivid colors of fall and the serene wonderland of winter, the awe-inspiring beauty and boundless activities of Ouray await. Whether you simply wish to rejuvenate yourself by relaxing and basking in nature’s glory or prefer to tackle one or all of the adventures this nature’s playground has to offer, how active you are while vacationing in Ouray is based solely on your mood and your imagination.
Make the Ouray Chalet Inn your base camp for your mild or wild adventures in and around Ouray. The Chalet is centrally located on Main Street right in the heart of Ouray. This is the perfect “base camp” because not only are you in walking distance to Ouray Hot Springs, Cascade or Box Cañon Falls, and the Ouray Ice Park, but also all the amazing restaurants, galleries, and gift shops that Ouray has to offer. So no matter where the day’s adventure takes you, once you arrive back at the Chalet, small-town charm and civilization await.
San Juan Skyway
Craving recreation at high elevation? Travel to the top of the world and back in time on the San Juan Skyway. Discover history and high times in the streets, gold mines, and railway stations of towns like Durango, Silverton, and Telluride. Enjoy rafting and water sports on the Animas River, or fish and boat on McPhee Lake, the second largest lake in Colorado. Join the many visitors who converge on the byway each year for bluegrass, jazz, folk, and film festivals. The byway is your open invitation to five million acres of the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests. Experience the ancestral homes of the Puebloan Indians at Mesa Verde, once voted the number one historic monument in the world. Enjoy it all on this 236-mile sampler of the best the southwest has to offer.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Guage Train
Many of Ouray’s guests take advantage of a one-way option now available. Operating only from mid-June through early August, the railroad provides a bus which leaves Silverton at 7:30 a.m. and takes you on a magnificent drive to Durango in time to catch the 9:45 a.m. train, departing Durango back to Silverton. The train arrives back in Silverton at 1:15 p.m.
Call the Durango Depot (970.247.2733 or 888.872.4607) for more information or to make reservations. Be sure to check for possible changes in departure or arrival times. Or visit Durango & Silverton Narro Gauge Railroad
Black Canyon National Park
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the newest National Parks in the U.S. The entrance to this spectacular National Park is only eight miles east of Montroe off Hwy 50. The canyon, one mile deep at its deepest point, and 1,150 feet across at its narrowest, was carved out over millions of years by the Gunnison River. This is a great half-day adventure.
Begin your visit in the park at the visitor center, where you can get information on current activities and accessible facilites. Exhibits explain the history,flora,fauna, and geology of the park.
The best way to see into the canyon is on foot. A variety of short trails lead to overlooks on the canyon rim. Although most are rated easy, remember that you are hiking at an elevation of 8,000 feet.
For more information please visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison Nation Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Recently named the most popular National Park in the U.S., the ruins at Mesa Verde National Park are worth the drive. You will be able to see why these ancient Indians felt protected by their surroundings.
We recommend arriving as early in the day as possible to avoid the afternoon heat and then spending at least three to four hours at the park. The park opens at 9:00 a.m. Try to take in the museum before actually visiting the various ruins, as this will make the viewing of the ruins more meaningful.
For more information please visit Mesa Verde National Park
Colorado National Monument
The magnificent Colorado National Monument was esablished in 1911 to preserve one of the grand landscapes of the American West. The Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of breathtaking views. The road climbs from the Grand Valley of the Colorado River to the park’s high country, then winds along the plateau rim. The drive is ideal for bicycling as well as motor tours. A guidebook is available at the visitor center. You can park at several roadside overlooks along the way and enjoy panoramas of the park’s great rock sculptures, canyons and distant valleys and mountains. There are also a variety of picnic areas. Hiking and rock climbing are also popular in the area.
For more information please visit Colorado National Monument