How can you describe a place like Ouray, Colorado? All the travel brochures are 100% correct when they call it the Switzerland of America! At times I turned to my husband and said “This can’t be Colorado, it reminds me of Europe!”
Ouray quickly became one of our new favorite North American adventure spots. Just like Telluride, Ouray has all the summertime adventure sports and a bonus, HOT SPRINGS! The hot springs proved beneficial to us as our bodies were aching from our previous day on the mountain biking trails.
We spent two days and nights in Ouray in a campground called Amphitheater Campground right outside of Ouray, in fact, it overlooks the village. It’s a beautiful campsite with great privacy, very quiet at night and the bathrooms were nice and clean. #9 was our spot for two nights and was our favorite spot of the entire trip.
Funny coincidence, I ran into my 2nd cousins in Ouray, they’re avid back-country Jeep climbers and they inspired us so much that we took the great advice and got our own. Our second day in Ouray we rented a 4 door Jeep Wrangler from Ouray Mountain Adventures at Twin Peaks Lodge on the edge of town. We picked our trails and decided to start our climb up Engineer Pass, had some lunch at the top, took in the views and and made our bumpy way back down to go up another trail called Corkscrew Pass up the side of Red Mountain. This trek was especially scary as it was super slippery up the switchbacks. We were happy to be past that section of the mountain.
We wanted to do some hiking in this beautiful spot so we found the lower cascade falls trail and ended up at the foot of an amazingly beautiful waterfall. As my husband and I do, we climbed up behind the falls to check out the view. It was amazing to feel the mist from the falls on our faces and gaze down at the river below.
We also found a trail called Baby Bath Tubes, funny name and a fun trail. We opted out of following the actual trail and climbed our way up the falls through the canyon. This was one of my favorite hikes as we saw how the water carved through the rock to form beautiful slick slides and tubes. We climbed over fallen trees up waterfalls and through canyons until we couldn’t climb any farther. This was a great adventure with a nice refreshing stream to dip our feet into and the intoxicating sound of the falls as we climbed up.
Our last half day in Ouray was rented ATV 4-wheelers and went up Imogene Pass and Yankee Boy Basin. These were some of the BEST views of the entire trip. This was personally my favorite experience on our trip. The ATV’s and the views can’t be beat. Only thing I wish we would have done is renting for an entire day instead of a half day, there was too much to see for only a half day rental. This was a BLAST!
I recommend making a summer trip to Ouray, Colorado! Next time we go I hope it’s in the winter time so we can explore the skiing!