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Ouray County

  • Ouray County

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    Ouray County in southwestern Colorado is named for Chief Ouray, one of the most prominent leader of the Tabeguache Utes in the nineteenth century.
    Ouray County
  • Ouray County on Google Map

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    Ouray County lies in southwest Colorado and encompasses a diverse landscape, including the headwaters of the Uncompahgre River in the high country of the San Juan Mountains, the broad mesas of the Uncompahgre Plateau region, and the valley of the Uncompahgre River. The county covers 542 square miles and has a population of around 4,530. Two municipalities lie within the county, the City of Ouray and the Town of Ridgway. While active mining operations and agriculture remain a vital and active part of life in Ouray County, tourism now forms the basis of its economy.
    Ouray County on Google Map
  • Yankee Boy Basin

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    Yankee Boy Basin is an alpine basin in Ouray County, Colorado and is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest. From middle of July to early August, the basin offers spectacular wildflower display. From the town of Ouray, take Country Road (CR) 361 (high clearance vehicles recommended), to the basin. At the basin the road turns into a hiking trail which leads to Mt Sneffels, 14,150 feet, the fourth tallest peak in the San Juan Mountains.
    Yankee Boy Basin
  • Yankee Boy Basin

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    Yankee Boy Basin is one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in San Juan Mountains, known for its wildflowers in late July and early August. To get there, take Hwy. 550 south; at the sign for Box Canyon Park take left onto Camp Bird Road/361; and at the Camp Bird site take Yankee Boy Basin Road/26. If you don't drive a 4x4 vehicle, park at the fork of Governor Basin Road and Yankee Boy Basin Road, walk uphill for 1 mile to reach the destination. Remember to stay on beaten passes and do not step into flower fields. The road to Yankee Boy Basin has been improved in the past few years but it is still off most drivers' comfort zone. It is highly recommended to take a jeep tour, which is available in town of Ouray, CO.  
    Yankee Boy Basin
  • Camp Bird Mine

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    The Camp Bird Mine was discovered by Thomas F. Walsh in 1896. It was one of the most famous and productive gold mines in the world.
    Camp Bird Mine
  • Camp Bird Mine’s superintendent’s and manager’s residents
  • Imogene Pass

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    Imogene Pass (el. 3997 m./13,114 ft.) is the 2nd highest pass in Colorado, which connects Ouray with Telluride. The road is accessible by 4x4 vehicles but is highly recommended to take a jeep tour either from Ouray or Silverton because the road is strenuous and dangerous.
    Imogene Pass
  • Four-wheeling on Imogene Pass

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    Imogene Pass is classified as Class 4, very difficult, four-wheel drive trails. The scenery to the pass is absolutely amazing but It is highly recommended to take a jeep tour either from Ouray or Telluride, Colorado.
    Four-wheeling on Imogene Pass
  • Beaumont Hotel's Lobby

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    This 12-room boutique hotel was built in 1886 at the height of the “Gold Boom”. The Beaumont Hotel has welcomed such famous guests as U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, King Leopold of Belgium, Chipeta, widow of the Ute Chief Ouray, French actress Sarah Bernhardt, American actress Angie Dickenson, media megastar, Oprah Winfrey and singer/songwriter Jewel. Recent restorations modernized the entire structure to meet the needs and cares of today's traveler while preserving the property's historical grandeur.
    Beaumont Hotel's Lobby
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Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs, “History,” n.d.

Waldo Butler, Mountain Mysteries: The Ouray Odyssey (Cortez, CO: Ouray Chamber of Commerce, 1981).

Phil Carson, Across the Northern Frontier: Spanish Explorations in Colorado (Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, 1998).

 City of Ouray, Colorado, “Ouray’s History Timeline,” n.d.

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, “Idarado Mine Natural Resource Damage Site,” n.d.  

Ouray County, “Ouray County Economic Development Discussion Points,” March 2014.

Don Paulson, “Ouray County History: Treasury Tunnel on Red Mountain Pass,” Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs blog, April 26, 2011.

Ridgway Creative District, “How We Got Here,” 2014.

Virginia McConnell Simmons, The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2000).P. David Smith, Ouray: Chief of the Utes (Ridgway, CO: Wayfinder Press, 1990).

P. David Smith, A Quick History of Ouray (Ouray, CO: Western Reflections, 1996).

Stephanie Wolf, “Ouray County Declares Economic Emergency,” FOX 31, Denver, May 14, 2014.