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Quray, Colorado


How convenient!

Quray, Colorado

October 11, 2020


Some towns I shouldn’t visit on the Sunday of a three-day weekend. Quuray is one of those. It exists for tourists - it appears upscale tourists. Lots of beautiful old buildings. Everything now is a hotel, a restaurant or a gift shop.

Ouray (/ˈjʊəreɪ/) is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Ouray County, Colorado, United States.The city population was 1,000 as of the 2010 census. The Ouray Post Office has the ZIP code 81427. Ouray's climate, natural alpine environment, and scenery has earned it the nickname, "Switzerland of America"


Originally established by miners chasing silver and gold in the surrounding mountains, the town at one time boasted more horses and mules than people. Prospectors arrived in the area in 1875. In 1877, William Weston and George Barber found the Gertrude and Una gold veins in Imogene Basin, six miles south southwest of Ouray. Thomas Walsh acquired the two veins and all the open ground nearby. In 1897, Walsh opened the Camp Bird Mine, adding a twenty-stamp mill in 1898, and a forty-stamp mill in 1899. The mine produced almost 200,000 ounces of gold by 1902, when Walsh sold out to Camp Bird, Ltd. By 1916, Camp Bird, Ltd., had produced over one million ounces of gold.


At the height of the mining, Ouray had more than 30 active mines. The town—after changing its name and that of the county it was in several times—was incorporated on October 2, 1876, named after Chief Ouray of the Utes, a Native American tribe. By 1877 Ouray had grown to over 1,000 in population and was named county seat of the newly formed Ouray County on March 8, 1877.


The Denver & Rio Grande Railway arrived in Ouray on December 21, 1887. It would stay until the automobile and trucks caused a decline in traffic. The last regularly scheduled passenger train was September 14, 1930. The line between Ouray and Ridgway was abandoned on March 21, 1953.


In 1986, Bill Fries, a.k.a. C. W. McCall, was elected mayor, ultimately serving for six years.


The entirety of Main Street is registered as a National Historic District with most of the buildings dating back to the late nineteenth century. The Beaumont Hotel and the Ouray City Hall and Walsh Library are listed on the National Register of Historic Places individually, while the Ouray County Courthouse, St. Elmo Hotel, St. Joseph's Miners' Hospital (currently housing the Ouray County Historical Society and Museum), Western Hotel, and Wright's Opera House are included in the historic district.


Ouray is located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. It is about 40 miles south of Montrose. It is only 10 miles northeast of Telluride, but due to the severity of the landscape, the drive is about 50 miles. Ouray is connected to Silverton and then Durango to the south by Red Mountain Pass which crests at just over 11,000 feet. The drive along the Uncompahgre River and over the pass is nicknamed the Million Dollar Highway, although the exact origin of the name is disputed. Yankee Boy Basin is located a few miles from the town.



Ouray experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are warm in the day and mild to cool at night with brief thunderstorms often occurring in the afternoons in July and August sometimes resulting in intense, though short lived, rainfall. Autumn is cool and mostly clear with occasional rain. Winters are long and cold—though seldom extremely so—with considerable snowfall. Spring is generally cool with early spring often bringing the largest snowfalls; late spring into early summer (mid-May through late June) is mild to warm and is usually the driest time of year. The Köppen climate classification for Ouray is Dfb.


In the fall of 1968, the film True Grit was filmed in Ouray County, including some scenes in the city of Ouray and the nearby town of Ridgway, Colorado. The interior of the Ouray County Court House was also featured in the film.


In Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, the protagonist's secret hideaway was located in an unnamed valley in the Rocky Mountains called Mulligan's Valley or "Galt's Gulch." Rand later said that Galt's Gulch was inspired by Ouray, where Rand found inspiration to complete the novel.


In the television series MacGyver, Ouray is the home of MacGyver's grandfather, Harry. The town and surrounds are used as the backdrop for the first-season episode, "Target MacGyver".


Telluride native David Lavender related his experiences working at the Camp Bird Mine in the 1930s in his memoir One Man's West.


Coors and Chevrolet have both filmed commercials in the area, particularly Twin Falls in Yankee Boy Basin.


Major League baseball pitcher Smoky Joe Wood was born in Kansas City but grew up in Ouray.


The opening scene to the movie Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone runs straight through downtown.


The Netflix original series The Ranch is set in the fictional town of Garrison, Colorado, but the opening shot of the town during the credit sequence is of Ouray, and the San Juan Valley just north of Ouray.


Ouray is a significant location In Chuck Wendig's novel Wanderers



Trying a different approach to my photos. How does this gallery function work for you??



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