Ouray (pronounced You-ray) is a small historic mining town, nestled in a wooded valley surrounded by mountains. This little town, also known as the Switzerland of America, is one of the most scenic spots in the country. Getting there can be a bit of a challenge as one of the routes is the infamous 550. This route is full of steep grades, high elevations, and switchbacks, many without guardrails!! (What are they thinking!) Ouray is a desired vacation spot, especially for people in RV’s and motorhomes, so it gets a bit “hairy” when meeting another big rig going the other direction. So, we opted, especially because of a winter storm, to come via Utah 64 as far as Rifle, CO, then I-70 to Grand Junction, and finally Colorado 50 to Ouray. This route was a bit longer, with elevations and curves all it’s own. But here we are, safe and sound and very grateful!
A unique attraction here is the hot springs. Howie, Larry, and I opted to take advantage and soak in this super warm water for several hours. The sun was out so the air wasn’t too cold that day but even so, it was a bit nippy went we got out of the pools.
Those two good looking guys in the second pic are actually Howie and Larry! It’s a beautiful setting to soak and relax!
If you want to take a day trip to Silverton or Durango, you have no option other than to take the 550 – of course, it’s not QUITE as frightening when your not in a motorhome or pulling a 35′ 5th wheel. Even so, we had a lot of talking to do to get Marj to consent as she really does NOT like heights. She did great though as the stunning scenery served as a natural distraction!
I know that was a lot of pictures but as I said, there is beauty all around and it’s just so hard to capture it all…..you really must go to understand fully what I mean.
We also found a small little road that at the top, gave a birdseye view of Ouray. There was a sweet little bench where you could sit and relax to take in the town.
This is downtown Ouray. The buildings were all very old and you could easily imagine it as a mining town in the 1880’s.
One day, we drove the 550 to Silverton, another mining town and popular tourist town as well. We did a little shopping while the guys sat and sipped their coffee. Here are some pictures of buildings and the town.
And here’s a picture of our favorite house in Ouray. Note the 3 mining cars used as planters in the landscaping, an ode to the town’s mining history…..clever!
Beside just being a town in a beautiful setting, it’s a great place to visit because of it’s location to so many other tourist towns and attractions. Other than Silverton and Durango, it’s just an hours drive to Telluride, a famous ski area. Here are a few more pictures from our stay in Ouray.