Ouray: Hiking the 'Switzerland of America'

From Ouray in Colorado’s incredible San Juan Mountains, hike challenging mountain trails and discover fascinating wildlife and geology from local experts.
Rating (4.8)
Program No. 9883RJ
8 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Are you ready for a challenge? From your home base in Ouray, Colo. – the “Switzerland of America” – rock scramble, climb and hike your way through the high elevation and rugged beauty of Southwestern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains with a small group of fellow adventurers. Along the way, deepen your understanding of the region’s natural history as you learn about local geology, alpine ecology and mining history. On this one-of-a-kind adventure, discover the unique nature that thrives in Colorado’s picturesque mountain towns, exploring forests, wildflower meadows, alpine tundra wildlife and extinct volcanoes with local naturalists.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Challenging
Strenuous hiking up to 10 miles daily in high elevations from 8,000-12,500 feet. Agility, balance and stamina are needed for physically demanding hikes on rugged, uneven, steep, rocky terrain, and on loose rocks (talus). High steps and steep drop offs are common. Daily elevation gain/loss on the trails are from 800-2,600 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Hike high alpine meadows, and enjoy southern Colorado's best wildflowers and volcanic scenery.
  • Discover the history of Ouray, Telluride, Red Mountain and Silverton, Colorado on hiking excursions and museum visits.
  • Descend the famous gondola from Mountain Village to Telluride, and enjoy a hike in the mountains nearby.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Suggested Reading List
View 5 books

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