After a few amazing days in Lake City we made our way around the mountains to Ouray Colorado. Ouray is a quaint mountain town that is a hub for San Juan mountain adventures. Offering plenty of food and lodging options, Jeep and ATV rental, off-road trail access, hot springs, spas, and stunning mountain views. Ouray has everything you need. Ouray sits along the famous “million dollar highway” U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ridgway.
The mountains surrounding Ouray are absolutely stunning. Everywhere you look while you are in town is a picturesque view. Cascade Falls is signature feature of town. A very short walk and you can be standing right next to the falls.
Box Canyon Falls is another short walk to spectacular views. Box Canyon comes with a cover charge though. $10 per group gets you in. Parking is limited so you might have to park on the road and walk a short distance. Box Canyon is a unique feature and worth the time and entry fee.
Ouray being located along the million dollar has many opportunities for trail access. Since this was our first off roading trip we did not tackle the more difficult trails in the area. There is access to Yankee Boy basin, Imogene Pass, Black Bear Pass, and many others. One morning we headed down 550 and took Hurricane Pass to get an amazing view of Lake Como. The unique color of the water is spectacular and pictures can not do it justice. I would recommend stopping at the lake for lunch. Hurricane Pass is a moderate trail, and a fun one to drive. There was not a lot of traffic the day we drove compared to the Alpine Loop, but the views were just as stunning.
There a few different way to get to Telluride from Ouray. You can take Black Bear pass, Ophir Pass, Last Dollar Road, or the paved way highway 62 out of Ridgway. We chose to try out Last Dollar RD for a more relaxing drive (I had done a lot of driving at this point). There are warning signs that the road becomes extremely muddy when it rains so pay attention the weather report and watch the sky. About a mile down the road we came across a large herd of Elk. We love watching the wildlife in Colorado. Last Dollar rd is a fun drive and at one point towards the top we were looking down the planes arriving at Telluride airport, a unique view for sure. If you are base camping in Ouray carve out half a day to check out Telluride. It is an upscale mountain town that still has small town charm. Grab a cup of coffee, stroll down Main Street, pop in and out of the shops, and enjoy the view of Bridal Vail Falls.
Overall our time in Ouray was amazing! I hope I never forget sitting on the patio of Red Mountain Brewery in the rain watching the multiple waterfalls form on the surrounding mountains, sharing a drink with my amazing. Or meeting great people and chatting at the rooftop bar at the Ouray Brewery. The trails we traveled, and the sometimes foul language coming from the passenger seat when the trail got narrow, haha. We loved our time in Ouray and the San Juans mountains, and we will be returning this summer. To all the travelers and adventures out there get to the San Juans. There isn’t a better place to base camp than Ouray. Explore the trails, see the wildlife, smell the wildflowers, and have a cold beer and meet some new people in a rooftop bar surrounded by beautiful mountains. Cheers.
If you missed the trail videos on the last post here they are again… http://ENGINEER PASS ALPINE LOOP COLORADO https://youtu.be/lGXnu8EBM3E http://cinnamon pass Alpine Loop Colorado jeep gladiator rubicon https://youtu.be/0lGQL59hbv8