Ouray: the Perfect Summer Spot

Ouray may not be surrounded by the sea, but it offers plenty of opportunities for water sports for individuals and families alike.

Thanks to winter snows that melt in spring and summer, the Western Slopes are blessed with rivers, lakes, creeks, streams, and waterfalls. These are all perfect for splashing in the water and taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

From kayaking to paddling and from fishing to rafting, you’re sure to find the water sport that suits you best. Visit Ouray and let us guide you to the beauties of local water sports!


Depending on how exhilarating you want your rafting experience to be, you will find several rafting itineraries suitable for anyone, from starters to experienced kayakers.  Rafting trips can be full-day or half-day and there are plenty of rafting packages for families with young children.

You can find rafting trips on the San Miguel river, near Telluride, with twisting canyons, alpine settings, and forested mountains providing a spectacular backdrop.

Alternatively, you can go on rafting trips on the Uncompahgre river on a 10-mile stretch, either as a half-day or a two-hour rafting experience. This is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the sport and enjoy the rafting experience.

More experienced kayakers can go on a full-day trip on the Arkansas River with steep drops and challenging techniques. Kayakers looking to increase their adrenaline will love the rafting trip on the Upper Animas (Class II and III, with intermittent class IV and V) starting from Silverton.


Similar to rafting, the streams and rivers of Western Colorado are ideal for kayaking. Families who want to enjoy some fun but safe time with their children can go kayaking on the Uncompahgre river from Ridgway to the lake at Ridgway State Park.


A great place for boating is the Ridgway State Park. Windsurfing is also popular during the summer, with most surfers launching from the Dallas Creek shoreline. And the warm weather during the summer season makes the reservoir extremely attractive for water skiers and wakeboarders alike. Ridgway’s gorgeous reservoir is an ideal paddle boarding destination as well. Take in the park’s stunning mountain views as you engage in a fun, full-body workout!

And, of course, those who prefer to simply enjoy the lovely views can sit down at one of several picnic areas by the lake.


Fishing near Ouray | Stay at the Ouray Chalet Inn

The numerous lakes surrounding Ouray abound with fishing opportunities.

The Sweitzer Lake State Parks and the Ridgway State Park are great fishing spots. Both young children and adults alike can apply their talent at fishing.

The Crawford State Park is perfect for perch and crappie fishing as well as boating and water skiing.

Some lakes only allow catch-and-release, so it’s best to check before starting your fishing expedition.

Other fishing locations near Ouray are the Cimarron and the Gunnison Gorge. These offer additional thrilling fishing adventures close to nature.

All the rivers running in or near Ouray are ideal for anglers looking to find a quiet and peaceful place to do some fishing and enjoy the outdoors.


The lake at the Ridgway State Park is perfect for beginners who want to learn the beauty of paddling. Paddling beginners can find trained instructors, who will teach you the techniques behind stand up paddling.


Ouray and the surrounding area are filled with waterfalls and canyons. How about trying a little bit of canyoning during your stay?

Colorado Canyoning offers expert instructors so that both beginners and advanced canyoneers can enjoy half-day or full-day canyoning trips. Instructors know the most exceptional and secret canyoning nooks and crannies of the area and will offer an experience to remember!

Ouray is surrounded by mountains and water. Take it all in.

The spectacular setting of Ouray and the Western Colorado Slopes offer an unparalleled mixture of steep forested mountains and waterways.

Be it creeks, streams, rushing rivers, or peaceful lakes, Ouray offers plenty of water sport opportunities for families, individuals, beginners, and advanced sports aficionados.

After a great day enjoying Ouray’s water sports, relax at the Ouray Chalet Inn. Book a room online or call us now on 866-337-3585 for your ultimate summer experience!