A Rocky Mountain Retreat
About Ouray

Townhome Details
Townhome Photo Gallery
Summer Activities
Winter Activities
Favorite Area Restaurants
Guest Testimonials
About Ouray
Driving Directions
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Welcome to the "Switzerland of America"

Ouray, the "Switzerland of America" has been a destination of world travelers for more than 100 years. The entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Districts. Ouray is nestled in the San Juan Mountains, the "Shining Mountains" of the Ute Indians--their sacred hunting grounds. The San Juans are the youngest and most rugged mountains in the Rockies. Ouray is a year round paradise. . . come spend time with us and let your heart soar to new heights in the crystal air.

Ouray - Then and Now

Ouray was founded in 1876. The first non-Indians in the valley were looking for gold and silver. They found it and settled here. Within ten years, Ouray had more than 1,200 inhabitants. The town had a school, several churches, a hospital, a four-star hotel, several restaurants, dozens of saloons and brothels, and the usual array of hardware, clothing, and mining supply stores. Most of Ouray's more permanent buildings were built between 1880 and 1900, and virtually all of them are still standing. Today Ouray looks like it did 100 years ago. Come take our Historic Walking Tour and visit our heralded museum and step back a century in time.



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Facts About Ouray

Ouray was incorporated in 1876. Many of its buildings were built between 1880 and 1900. It has been designated a National Historic District.


Ouray is located in southwestern Colorado on US Highway 550, approximately 80 miles north of Durango and 35 miles south of Montrose. The portion of Highway 550 between Ouray and Silverton, 24 miles to the south, has been named The Million Dollar Highway and is part of the San Juan Skyway, one of the most scenic and spectacular mountain drives in North America.

Physical and Climate

Elevation: 7,760 feet
Topography: Surrounded by the San Juan Range, the youngest and steepest range of the Rocky Mountains, peaks surrounding the town rise to 13,000' - 14,000'.
Population: 800 year-round
Size of Town: 9 blocks long, 6 blocks wide
Climate: 285 sunny days per year.
Summer: A typical summer day is sunny, in the 70's and 80's with evening temperatures in the 50's. The humidity is very low with brief afternoon showers typical in July.
Winter: 140" average snowfall. A typical winter day is sunny and bright, with highs averaging in the 40's and lows in the high teens. Snowstorms are sometimes heavy. Although not necessary, it is advisable to have four-wheel drive, snow tires or chains.


Durango: 80 miles (2 hours)
Telluride: 47 miles (40 minutes)
Montrose: 34 miles (40 minutes)
Silverton: 23 miles (40 minutes)
Cortez: 125 miles (3 hours via Telluride)
Grand Junction: 96 miles (2 hours)
Mesa Verde: 110 miles (3 hours)
Moab: 133 miles (3 hours)
Colorado Springs: 267 miles (5 hours)
Denver: 300 miles (5 hours)
Albuquerque: 300 miles (6 hours)

Ouray can be reached by automobile or by flying into one of several nearby locations. Air service is available into Montrose, Telluride, Grand Junction, or Durango.. Taxi & limo transportation services are available to and from Ouray and Montrose with car rentals available at all surrounding airports. There is bus service through Ouray