73 miles N. of Durango, 96 miles S. of Grand Junction
Named for the greatest chief of the southern Ute tribe, whose homeland was in this area, Ouray, at an elevation of 7,760 feet, got its start in 1876 as a gold- and silver-mining camp. Within 10 years it had 1,200 residents, a school, a hospital, dozens of saloons and brothels, and even a few churches. Today Ouray retains much of its 19th-century charm, with many of its original buildings still standing. It offers visitors a restful getaway while serving as home base for exploring the beautiful San Juan Mountains, with peaks rising to over 14,000 feet.