Wonderful Winter in Ouray
With a blanket of snow and the twinkle of colorful lights, Ouray just exudes holiday spirit. We’re bundling up for another fantastic winter season and invite you to celebrate a peaceful and relaxing holiday season with us in the Switzerland of America.
WinterFest – Ouray’s cheery answer to holiday stress!
Let Ouray be your relaxing, friendly and spirit-filled getaway from the stress of the holiday season. We are here for you with friendly shops along our historic, walkable Main Street, unique treasures for your loved ones, great treats, soothing sulfur free hot springs, soft beds, and unique winter culture and adventure for the whole family! Join us for Yule Day on December 7, a celebration of the holiday season with specials at 32 downtown merchants, the Community Christmas Tree Lighting, Christmas Parade and Santa & Mrs. Claus at the Elks. For full details on all our holiday events, click here.
Soak in the wintry views
The Ute Indians who once inhabited southwestern Colorado came to the beautiful Ouray area to enjoy its natural hot springs. Today, visitors and locals of all ages continue to enjoy the unique mountain setting and soothing waters found here.
In the winter months, after an exhilarating climb at the Ouray Ice Park, cross-country ski or snowshoe treks, skiing adventures in the high-country, or a pleasant day of shopping Ouray’s unique businesses, soaking in our local hot springs is a perfect way to end the day. Fluffy snowflakes fall through the steamy air to land on delighted swimmers, creating a magical and romantic setting. To learn more about Hot Springs in Ouray and surrounding areas, click here.
Touch the Mountains
Ouray’s mountains are right at your front door, so if you crave adventures that take you away from the pavement, here are some unique ways to fill your days in the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado. All of these adventures are family-friendly, so don’t forget to bring the kids along! Regardless of what your adventures might be, at the end of each day Ouray’s charming and historic downtown will be waiting for you with delicious food, delightful shopping and a relaxing soak in our sulfur-free hot springs. Stay a few days and explore everything the San Juan Mountains have in store for you.
Here are a few of our favorite local ways to celebrate winter.
Experience History in the Snow: If you're looking a great winter hike try out the groomed showshoe and cross-country ski trails at the historic Ironton Townsitejust 7 miles south of Ouray. Once the snow really sticks, the Uncompahgre River Trail just north of downtown Ouray is also groomed for skiing and snowshoeing. Don't forget to take lots of pictures and learn how we Leave No Trace in Colorado so that we can preserve the beautiful landscape and historical buildings for generations to come.
Try Ice Climbing: Ouray is world-renowned for its local Ice Park, which is home to more than 100 ice and mixed climbs, most within a 15-30 minute walk from downtown Ouray. There are many opportunities to pick up the sport, you can hire an experienced local guide or attend one of the many seasonal clinics that have something for every group from beginner to expert, kid to adult, able-bodied to amputee. Be sure to check in with them or warm up for the Park with a bouldering break at Basecamp Ouray in town. In January, the Ouray Ice Park celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Ouray Ice Fest and every first Saturday in January, February and March, local guides offer free climbing clinics for the kids.
Celebrate the Snow in Town: Ouray's Victorian downtown is filled with original historic buildings, great shops, hotels and recreation opportunities right in town! Check out our sweet local rope tow at Lee's Ski Hill on 3rd Avenue, take the kids sledding on Vinegar Hill or enjoy a wintry day on skates at the Rotary Park Ice Rink, which offers everything from skating to broomball throughout the winter. The Ouray Parks & Recreation Committee organizes fun winter events in town throughout the season, so keep up with them here on Facebook.
At the end of each day, come home to Ouray for delicious food, craft beer, spirits, coffee and chocolates, delightful shopping and, of course, a relaxing soak. Stay a few days and explore everything our San Juan Mountains have in store for you!
Bonus: Live like a local
Ouray County may just hold the title for most craft brewers per capita in Colorado, and it’s a distinction we’ll gladly claim. With 3 breweries, 2 distilleries, 3 coffee roasters and 2 chocolatiers to our 4,500 locals, we definitely like our craft beverages and sweets! Tempt your beer taste buds and sweet tooth more after the link!
Ouray has been a special destination of world travelers for more than 100 years. This small intimate community is nestled in some of the most rugged and towering peaks of the Rockies. Set at the narrow head of a valley at 7,792 feet and surrounded on three sides with 13,000 foot snowcapped peaks - Ouray is home to hundreds of miles of historic hiking trails and Jeep roads, sulfur-free hot springs with stunning views and the world-famous Ouray Ice Park.
Remarkably, two-thirds of Ouray's original Victorian structures, are still occupied, and have been lovingly restored in order to preserve their turn-of-the-century charm.