We could have driven from the Grand Canyon to Ouray in one day, but I planned an overnight stop in Durango so we could make the spectacular drive into Ouray by daylight. US Route 550, known as the Million Dollar Highway in this area, snakes its way up through the San Jaun Mountains, providing countless “million dollar views” along the way. The drive is spectacular if you don’t mind the hairpin turns with no guardrails!

Aptly nicknamed “Switzerland of America”, Ouray’s small, charming grid of streets sits at 7,800 feet, surrounded on three sides by steep mountain slopes. It may be the most beautiful setting for a town I’ve ever seen.

We got settled into our hotel and headed up to Box Cañon Falls Park to check out the waterfalls and views of Ouray. It was SO COOL. Two short trails take you to a high bridge looking down on the falls, and down to the base of the falls, respectively.


We took a walk around town with the goal of finding a place to sit and read outside. We needed look no further than a nice little coffeehouse on Main Street with chairs and umbrellas out on the front porch. Soaking in the crisp breeze, the friendly bustle of tourists, and the mountains rising just beyond town, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect place to spend an hour or two with a good book. I was immensely satisfied.

We walked across the street to a family restaurant where we dined nearby a table of four older couples on vacation together. They were a lively bunch despite their age, and we discreetly enjoyed eavesdropping on their conversation. You could tell they had been friends for a while as they laughed and made good-natured jokes about each other. They were probably all over 70, but having the time of their lives. We decided we wanted to be like them when we get old.

The temporary closing of the hot springs pool changed our evening plans a little, but we still enjoyed soaking in the hotel jacuzzi and retiring to our room to read and watch the Olympics (and blog of course!)

More of our Ouray adventures to come tomorrow. Good night!