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The town of Ouray (pronounced you-ray) nestles in a narrow, steep-walled valley in the shadows cast by rugged peaks of the San Juan Mountains. It was named for the great Southern Ute chief Ouray, labeled a visionary by the U.S. Army and branded a traitor by his people because he attempted to assimilate the Utes into white society. The former mining town is the proud owner of a National Historic District, with lavish old hotels, commercial buildings, and residences. The town's ultimate glory lies in its surroundings, and it has become an increasingly popular destination for climbers (both the mountain and ice varieties), mountain-bike fanatics, and hikers.
More than 25 classic edifices are included in the walking-tour brochure issued by the Ouray County Historical Society. Among the points of interest are the grandiose Wright's Opera House, the Western Hotel, and the St. Elmo Hotel.
Ouray at a Glance
Elsewhere in Telluride and Southwest Colorado
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