Ouray – Switzerland of America

Looking North Down Main Street

Looking South Down Main Street

Looking East on Main Street

Ouray from Box Canyon Falls

Cascade Falls

View from our Campsite

View from our Campsite

Originally established by miners chasing silver and gold in the surrounding mountains, the town at one time boasted more horses and mules than people. Prospectors arrived in the area in 1875. At the height of the mining, Ouray had more than 30 active mines.

Ouray bills itself as the “Switzerland of America” because of its setting at the narrow head of a valley, enclosed on three and a half sides by steep mountains. The entirety of Main St. is registered as a National Historic District with most of the buildings dating back to the late nineteenth century. At the last census the city had a population of 813.

We drove down main street, made a right and drove another three blocks. From there we walked several 100 yards to a waterfall. There is also a city park that has a box canyon with another waterfall. The mountains are not out in the distance, they are right there and surround the town. They also have some hot springs that feed a city swimming pool and park.

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