Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing Opportunities for winter sports activities abound in and around Ouray. Within walking distance of town, numerous trails provide cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing access, or just hiking, to take in the special charm of our beautiful valley blanketed in snow. A short drive in either direction will open up more challenging winter backcountry terrain along with miles of groomed Nordic track.


Although some south-facing slopes and trails may melt off early, snow conditions for skiing and snowshoeing are generally reliable from early December until well into April. Be aware that the snow in the San Juans is extremely powdery, which makes for heavenly turns downhill but hellish trail breaking and postholing on the way up. Clear, deep blue sky days prevail, but beware that the weather can change rapidly. Dress appropriately in layers of synthetic material (cotton holds moisture and can cause serious hypothermia problems) and don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen.

Ouray County Nordic Council

The Ouray County Nordic Council is a division of the Ouray Trails Group, a local community-based, non-profit organization composed of skiing and hiking enthusiasts. The organization is dedicated to encouraging safe, enjoyable hiking and other low-impact outdoor recreational activities in the San Juan Mountains and helping to protect the beauty and other resource values of this area. Please visit the Ouray County Nordic Council for more information.

Avalanche Hazards

The San Juan Mountains are noted for their often unstable snow conditions which, when combined with their steep slopes, makes for extremely hazardous avalanche areas. Avalanches may occur on any slope steeper than about 25o if loaded with snow, so no terrain can be considered completely risk free. Even small hillocks or roadside grades can pose as much of a hazard to the hiker or skier as the larger, more easily recognized avalanche chutes. Therefore, if venturing off the relatively safe groomed trails, you should learn to recognize and avoid potential avalanche slopes and terrain traps, carry and know how to use avalanche beacons, probes and a shovel, and of course, never ski or snowshoe alone. Before setting off on any outing, check out the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) in Durango for current mountain weather, snow and avalanche conditions in this area.

If you don't have the proper equipment, both cross-country skis and snowshoes can be purchased or rented in Ouray at Ouray Mountain Sports on Main Street. If you wish to call ahead of time, you can contact them at 970.325.4284.

Remember that venturing into the winter backcountry is inherently hazardous and you are traveling at your own risk, even on groomed trails. Prepare yourself accordingly and don't exceed the capability of the least experienced in your party.

Purchase a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card, available from local merchants for $3 per year, which helps reimburse the local Search And Rescue for rescue costs. Respect private property and historic structures. And, above all, enjoy yourself and our beautiful San Juan Mountains.

Cross-country Ski areas Ouray

Beginner - conditions vary
Ouray Uncompahgre River Park Trail- North Ouray
Ridgway State Park

Beginner to intermediate-Marked & groomed trails
Ironton Park- Hwy 550 South of Ouray

Beginner to intermediate-Unmarked trails
Miller Mesa -Cnty Rd.5, Ridgway

Intermediate to expert-Unmarked trails
Ouray Amphitheatre- Hwy 550 South of Ouray

Guide Service

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Luxury scenic tours!
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ATV Rentals & Guide Services: Come explore the breathtaking town of Ouray, Colorado. The town is nestled at the foot of the beautiful San Juan mountain range with countless miles of Jeep and OHV trails. The San Juan mountain range is home to a rich mining history where visitors can explore old mining sights and ghost towns. Nature lovers will rejoice with the abundance of wildlife, several towering waterfalls, and you can smell the sweet aroma of the wildflowers that grace the hills.
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The only guide service in the region with an entire staff of American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) certified instructors and guides. Rock climbing, ice climbing, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, avalanche courses. We cater to kids and families visiting Ouray, and kids 10 and under climb free!
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Full Service Fly & Tackle Shop, Guided Fly-Fishing & Whitewater Rafting Trips, River Tube Rentals, Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Rentals & Instruction, Inflatable Kayak Trips, & Hunting & Fishing Licensees, Private/Public waters close to Ouray. Half-day, full-day, multi-day, instructional clinics, families welcome.
Uncompahgre, San Miguel, and Gunnison Rivers! Offering 5 different rafting/kayak trips as well as Stand Up Paddle boarding on still and river waters. Also an approved outfitter for motor boat rentals at Ridgway State Park!
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Full Service Fly & Tackle Shop, Guided Fly-Fishing, Fishing Licensees, Private/Public waters close to Ouray. half-day, full-day, multi-day, instructional clinics, families welcome.
Gunnison, San Miguel, Uncompahgre & Cimarron Rivers! Six quality trout Rivers within 1 hour of our shop!
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THE LOCAL EXPERTS. Ouray's ONLY Local Guide Service; Ice Climbing, Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Ski and Avalanche Training. All experience levels. UIAGM/IFMGA & AMGA Certified Guides. Ice climbing gear and AT's ski rentals available.
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toad (tohd) n. An endearing term used by guides to describe an excessively large fish or animal.

Looking for a Western Colorado fly fishing, rafting, or kayaking adventure? Our professional guides bring you the very best outdoor experience imaginable! Book your trip today.
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Ski Rentals

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Ice and rock climbing, cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment sales and rentals. Quality outdoor clothing and equipment. Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot, Keen, Mountain Hardwear, Arctery'x, Prana, Cambelbak, Teva, Black Diamond, Salomon, Vasque. Rentals and service, too!
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THE LOCAL EXPERTS. Ouray's ONLY Local Guide Service; Ice Climbing, Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Ski and Avalanche Training. All experience levels. UIAGM/IFMGA & AMGA Certified Guides. Ice climbing gear and AT's ski rentals available.
All Seasons

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