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Adventure Awaits: Fun Things to Do in Ouray, Colorado

Mar 19, 2024 | Uncategorized

Are you planning a trip to Ouray but need clarification on what awaits you? Fear not! Ouray is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Colorado, offering attractions that cater to every traveler’s interests. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Ouray can be the perfect vacation. We will explore Ouray attractions to ensure you have the most memorable trip possible.

Year-round Ouray Activities

Ouray attractions offer something for everyone all year round. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures or cozy indoor activities, this charming town covers you. As the seasons change, so do the activities. However, regardless of the time of year, something exciting always happens in Ouray. Here are some Ouray attractions that are open all year round.

Hot Springs in Ouray

The hot springs are one of the most famous attractions in Ouray. Soaking in hot springs’ warm, mineral-rich water after hiking or skiing can be blissful. These are the go-to spots for locals and tourists, offering a soothing retreat year-round.

Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs have enjoyed geothermal pools for over a century. Their pool’s natural minerals can do wonders for your well-being, like lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety. Plus, they’re gentle on the skin, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Even if you’re just passing through, grab a day pass from their front desk and relax!

Box Canyon Falls Park

If you’re looking for things to do in Ouray, CO, don’t miss out on visiting Box Canyon Falls Park! It’s one of the must-see attractions in Ouray all year round.

Box Canyon Falls has a narrow canyon with towering walls and an 85-foot waterfall. It’s a true gem in Ouray for its stunning natural beauty.

Whether you’re a casual stroller or an avid hiker, there’s something for everyone here. For a longer adventure, stroll along the Falls Trail or the High Bridge Trail.

And for those curious about the area’s natural history and wildlife, the visitor center is a must-stop destination. Getting there is a breeze; it’s just a short drive or a scenic stroll from town, accessible and inviting for all who visit Ouray.

Ouray Alchemist Museum

The Ouray Alchemist Museum is a unique and fascinating attraction for those looking for things to do in Ouray. Situated downtown, it offers a captivating journey through the history of pharmacy in the Wild West. With artifacts dating back centuries, including some from as early as 350 B.C., there’s something to pique the interest of every visitor.

Plus, the museum’s guided tours, tailored to your preferences, ensure a personalized experience. Take the chance to explore the gift shop with antiques, jewelry, and other one-of-a-kind treasures. With its rich history, the Ouray Alchemist Museum is a must-visit for anyone exploring Ouray attractions.

Ouray County Museum

If you’re exploring things to do in Ouray, the Ouray County Museum should be on your list. Housed in the historic St. Joseph’s Miners’ Hospital, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Ouray’s rich history.

Originally a hospital operated by the Sisters of Mercy, it is now home to 38 exhibits spread across three floors. There’s plenty to discover, from mining artifacts to local culture and heritage displays. Like the Alchemist Museum, the County Museum is a captivating journey through time that will give you a deeper appreciation for Ouray’s past.

Wright Opera House

When it comes to things to do in Ouray, Colorado, the Wright Opera House is a standout attraction. This building, which dates back to the nineteenth century, is nestled in downtown Ouray.

The Write Opera House offers a diverse range of events year-round, from live music to theater productions and movie screenings. Visitors can also enjoy talks and lectures by local experts, adding an educational touch to the experience.

Whether attending a performance or exploring Wright Opera House’s location, you can immerse yourself in Ouray’s cultural scene.

Summer Activities in Ouray

While this charming town boasts attractions year-round, summer brings many options. With longer days and pleasant weather, it’s the perfect time to explore all this stunning destination offers. Here are some of the best things to do in Ouray during the summer.

Rent a Jeep or UTV

Are you looking for summertime Ouray activities? If you’re seeking a thrill, offroading is one of the best things to do in Ouray. Offroading in Ouray offers an exhilarating experience amidst stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a newbie, the rugged terrain and breathtaking scenery will leave you in awe.

Ouray Mountain Adventures is your go-to destination for off-road excitement. With a range of vehicle options, including Jeeps, UTVs, and eBikes, you can explore the San Juan Mountains like never before. From conquering high mountain passes to cruising through historic mining roads, there’s something for every adventurer.

Drive Along the Scenic Million Dollar Highway

If you’re seeking Ouray attractions, consider taking a scenic drive along the Million Dollar Highway. Starting from Ouray, this route winds through the San Juan Mountains, giving you breathtaking views.

During summer, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of towering peaks and gorgeous landscapes. And take advantage of Bear Creek Falls just outside of town, offering a stunning view of rushing water under the highway. Pack your camera and embark on an unforgettable summer experience driving along the Million Dollar Highway.

Hike Yankee Boy Basin

For outdoor Ouray attractions, consider hiking Yankee Boy Basin during the summer. Yankee Boy Basin has some of San Juan’s most magnificent peaks, including Mount Sneffels, one of Colorado’s famous 14ers.

What makes this attraction special is the opportunity to see Colorado’s summer wildflowers, such as the state flower and the Columbine—many visit to enjoy the wildflowers and panoramic views of Yankee Boy Basin.

Tackle Ouray Perimeter Trail

In addition to exciting outdoor Ouray attractions, tackling the Perimeter Trail can be a great experience. This unique six-mile trail traces the outline of the city, offering easy access from various points. Along the way, you’ll encounter four stunning waterfalls and countless breathtaking views.

With an elevation gain of 1,600 feet, reaching a peak of 8,500 feet, the vistas of the San Juans are truly magical. What’s great about this trail is that it always stays within the city limits, providing numerous rest points for beginners.

Ouray Via Ferrata

Climbing the Via Ferrata cliff is another exhilarating activity in Ouray. This route winds along the cliffs of the Uncompahgre Gorge and features rock ledges, two bridges, and traditional European rungs, adding to the excitement.

The Via Ferrata spans approximately 0.8 miles through the Gorge, offering stunning views and exciting challenges. While the route is relatively short, taking about four hours to complete, it offers an unforgettable experience and a feeling of accomplishment.

Winter Activities in Ouray

What should we do in Ouray, CO, in the winter? While the colder months may seem quieter, plenty of Ouray attractions and activities remain. Explore the Ouray Ice Park, or embark on a thrilling skiing expedition. With its serene beauty and unique winter experiences, Ouray is the perfect destination for a memorable winter getaway.

Ouray Ice Park

One of the best winter attractions in Ouray is the Ouray Ice Park. It is within walking distance of downtown and has man-made ice-climbing park features. It’s free to use and open to the public, offering a very cool climbing experience set in the Uncompahgre Gorge.

Every January, climbers from around the globe gather for the Ouray Ice Festival, a three-day event featuring clinics, competitions, and parties. Whether you’re a spectator or participant, it’s a thrilling winter excursion for adventurous travelers.

Skiing and Sledding Adventures in Ouray

You can enjoy skiing and sledding at Lee’s Ski Hill and Vinegar Hill. Lee’s Ski Hill is a cozy spot in town featuring a small ski area with a rope tow and a 75-foot vertical slope. It operates from mid-December until late February or mid-March, depending on snow conditions.

Meanwhile, Vinegar Hill offers a unique sledding experience on a closed-off street block between 5th and 6th Avenues. Open for sledding from mid-December to early March, it’s a delightful spot for both kids and the elderly. Additionally, cross-country skiing enthusiasts can explore the trails near Ouray, offering breathtaking views and a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

Need a Place to Stay in Ouray? Rent With Alpenglow!

Regardless of what season you plan your trip to Ouray, there will always be various attractions for you to enjoy. When planning accommodations for your visit, look no further than Alpenglow Vacation Rentals in Ouray. Our vacation rentals provide you with all the comforts of home, such as spacious living areas, fully equipped kitchens, and cozy bedrooms. Plus, you’ll enjoy the added privacy and flexibility compared to a traditional hotel. Book now with Alpenglow Vacation Rentals and make your stay in Ouray truly unforgettable!

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