Moving to Ouray

Welcome to Your New Home in Ouray

If what you're seeking is a small town sense of community, a fabulous place to raise a family, a transition of the mind and heart and spectacular mountain living, then Ouray may be the ideal choice for your new home.

Ouray is located at an elevation of 7,760 feet nestled in the San Juan mountain range of southwest Colorado on State Hwy 550. Located between Grand Junction (98 miles to the north) and Durango (70 miles to the south), surrounded by National Forest, BLM and other public lands, this area has been a mountaineering mecca for generations of residents and visitors alike.

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Ouray is a self-sufficient community with both city and county government located within the City limits, a free public library, historical museum, public parks, the hot springs pool and fitness center, financial institutions, a number of churches, grocery, liquor, and supply stores, service stations, a theatre, book stores and gift shops, and a plethora of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and restaurants. On average, 30% of Ouray's population walks to work. If you live outside of the city itself, the average travel time is less than fifteen minutes.

Communication sources include the Ouray County Plaindealer and KURA Radio, Qwest telephone service, Ouraynet & Qwest Communications High Speed Internet Service, U.S. Post Office, UPS, Federal Express, and excellent satellite television signals.

Ouray County has 540.47 square miles of land area with 6.9 persons per square mile. In 2004, the estimated population for the City of Ouray was approximately 854. The County has a much greater population of 4,260 (2005), as it includes both towns of Ouray and Ridgway and valley residents in between


Ouray averages 22.7 inches of annual precipitation a year. Typically this includes 138 inches of snowfall. With an average of 285 days of sunshine, most days are sunny and bright. Summer highs are rarely above 85 and lows are in the 50's. Winter highs are in the 40's with lows in the high-teens. The air is dry with low humidity.

Health Care

When it's minutes that count, you can trust our dedicated medical service professionals. Ouray County has its own skilled physicians and staff, highly trained volunteer emergency medical technicians, volunteer fire department and mountain rescue team. Ouray Family Medicine is located right on Main Street in Ouray, and the Ridgway Mountain Medical Center and Ridgway Pharmacy are located in Ouray County, 9 miles to the north. Mountain HMO Health Plan is the primary provider for Western Colorado. For more advanced health care, Montrose Memorial Hospital and MMH Cancer Center are located 37 miles north of Ouray. St. Mary's, Community, and Veterans' hospitals are all located 100 miles north in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Ouray County Public Health Services

The Ouray County Public Health Services office offers immunizations, well-child checks, education, WIC, School nurse, handicapped children’s program, emergency preparedness coordinator. Call 970.325.4670 for more information.


The region’s largest employers fall into the government, education, and tourism sectors with additional opportunities in the real estate and construction industries. Since the recent availability of wireless, high-speed internet, many telecommuting individuals have moved to Ouray to live and work, far away from high-rises and urban noise.

Unemployment Rate

Ouray County (2003) 3.9%
Annual Average Wage  
Ouray County (2001) $23,461
Ouray County (2002) $25,703
Ouray County (2003) $29,744

Population Statistics In 2004

Under the age of 15 20%
Under the age of 18 21%
65 years or older 12.9%
Percent below poverty (2003) 7.6%
Unemployment Rate (2002) 4.1%


Housing units (2004) 2,511
Homeownership rate (2000) 73.4%
Median household income (2003) $45,435.00

Real Estate

The average number of homes available for sale in 2003 was 10 to 20 with an average sale price of $343,320 and a median price of $249,950. Average long-term rental rates vary from $600 for a one bedroom to $900 for three bedrooms. Commercial, retail and office retail space rentals: Retail- $0.95 to $1.25 per sq. ft/month; Office- $0.75 to $1.25 per sq. ft/month.


Ouray offers an outstanding Pre-school and K-12 education. High academic performance ratings reflect the emphasis that the district places on educational standards. In addition, you can trust that the administration and staff are dedicated to providing a safe learning environment for their students. In 2004-2005, there were 278 students enrolled. Student per teacher ratios vary (elementary-high school) from seven to 13.9. High school class sizes range from 13 to 26. Graduation rates are 95% to 100%. Accountability rates are high. For more information regarding the Ouray School System, please visit

Ouray Schools K-8

400 Seventh Avenue, Ouray, CO 81427
Principal: Scott Pankow
Length of school year 163 days
Enrollment 95 students
Students per total staff -- 10.7
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 1 -- 9.9
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 2 -- 7.8
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 3 -- 10.7
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 4 -- 14.8
Overall academic performance -- High
Avg. Teacher Salary $37,584

Ouray Senior High School

400 Seventh Avenue, Ouray, CO 81427
Superintendent: Sandra Kern
Principal: Nick Schafer
Length of school year 167 days
Enrollment 61 students
Students per total staff -- 6.9
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 9 -- 9.7
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 10 -- 7.7
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 11 -- 4.8
Student/teacher ratio-Grade 12 -- 7.3
Overall academic performance -- High
Class sizes range from 13 to 26
Avg. Teacher Salary $38,566

Regional Advanced Education Opportunities:

Mesa State College - 2 hour drive
Mesa State College Extension Program-45 minute drive (North)
Fort Lewis College - 2 hours drive (South)
Western State College-2 hours drive (NE)
Delta-Montrose Vocational - 1.5 hour drive (North)

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