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 (4.83)
Program No. 9883RJ
8 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Hike the magnificent San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado while learning about the local geology, alpine ecology and mining history. From your base in the historic mining town of Ouray – the "Switzerland of America" – explore forests, meadows of wildflowers, alpine tundra, extinct volcanoes and mineralized areas on daily hikes. Naturalists and geologists will enrich your understanding of the region’s natural history, from Silverton to Telluride, Colorado.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Challenging
Hiking 4-10 miles a day. Hiking elevations of 8,000-13,000 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.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Peter McCarville
Peter McCarville is a consulting geologist, geological instructor and educator who has lived in Colorado on the western slope since 1995. He also works as an instructor and program designer for Mountains and Plains Institute (MPILLS), leading hiking and skiing excursions, while making cameo appearances as a geology expert on other programs. He has a wonderful ability to convey complex natural history in layman's terms.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Dan Peha
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Peter McCarville
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Suggested Reading List
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