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Off-roaders delight in the more than 500 miles of four-wheel-drive roads around Ouray. Popular routes include the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway to the Silverton and Lake City areas, and Imogene Pass to Telluride.
Switzerland of America Jeep Rental & Tours. If you have the skill and confidence but not the four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can rent one from Switzerland of America. The company also operates guided tours in open-air six-passenger trucks. Full-day tours cost $60 to $130. 226 7th Ave., Ouray, CO, 81427. 970/325–4484 or 866/990–5337. www.soajeep.com.
Yankee Boy Basin. About the first 7 miles of the road to Yankee Boy Basin are accessible by regular cars, but it takes a four-wheel drive to reach the heart of this awesome alpine landscape. After leaving Ouray, the route climbs west into a vast basin ringed with soaring summits and carpeted with lavish displays of wildflowers. At 17 miles round-trip, this is one of the region's premier day-trip destinations. County Rd. 361, Ouray, CO.
Ouray Ice Park. Ouray is known in ice-climbing circles for its abundance of frozen waterfalls. The Ouray Ice Festival, held each January, helped to cement the town's reputation as America's ice-climbing mecca. The Ouray Ice Park is the world's first facility dedicated to the sport. In the Uncompahgre Gorge, just south of town, the Ice Park has 11 climbing areas with more than 200 routes. 280 County Rd. 361, Ouray, CO, 81427. 970/325–4288. www.ourayicepark.com.
Ouray Mountain Sports. This outfittter sells and rents all sorts of outdoor-sports equipment, including ice-climbing gear. The staff will also sharpen your ice screws, generally within a day or two, using the only Grivel sharpening machine in North America. 732 Main St., Ouray, CO, 81427. 970/325–4284. www.ouraysports.com.
Ironton Park. Managed by the Ouray Trail Group, Ironton Park is a marked trail system for Nordic skiers and snowshoers. About 8 miles south of town, it has several interconnecting loops that let you spend a day on the trails. Local merchants stock trail maps. 8 miles south of Ouray, Hwy. 550, Ouray, CO, 81247. www.ouraytrails.org.