Switzerland of America
Ouray, CO is only a 30 minute drive from where we are staying and I regret not discovering it sooner. Known as the "Switzerland of America", but having never been to Switzerland, I can't say if that is an accurate title but it seems to be. Oh, the original "True Grit" movie was filmed in this area.
We are here to check out the scenery of course but also to hike the 6 mile, Perimeter Trail which circles the town. Check out the size of that window in this new build, bordering the start of the trail.
We ascend a series of steep stairs and the valley and town open to us.
We walk in the shade for the majority of the first 20% of the hike with large pine trees towering over us and then.....
....emerge into the sun. We trade shade for sun frequently throughout the hike. The route is dotted with many features such as....
....Cascade Falls. In several places along the trail, there are bailout options to the town that also serve as entry points for people climbing from the town to take in specific features like the falls.
We emerge from the woods and enjoy awesome view to the west that include a portion of the "Million Dollar Highway" that winds its way to Silverton.
Amy poses as we meet a family from Denmark. Then, the trail descends and soon.....
....we are walking through a grove of aspens.
We reach a bridge and enjoy a look into a gorge with a strong flow of water. It had rained 6" the prior two days so a lot of runoff.
A pipe that transports water between towns borders the trail for a short distance.
We are walking alongside the Uncompahgre River when we spot several people (look closely) tethered to steel cables, working their way up, down and sideways a route.
A Via Ferrata is a climbing path and becoming popular in the US. It looks like a lot of fun and I wish we had the time and equipment to experience it.
We arrive at another bridge with water gushing in the below gorge then enter a tunnel that used to house an old water pipe.
Emerging from the tunnel, we descend a long flight of stairs. This trail has it all.
We ascend for about 0.02 miles and reach an overlook.
Now we are nearing the end of our hike and get a good look at Ouray (pronounced U-ray).
Completing our hike, we check out the town, first enjoying lunch and a cold beer and then doing some shopping.
Driving home, we pass a large American flag with a great background. Our stay in Montrose is winding down and within a couple of days, will head to Sundance, WY where we'll explore the Black Hills, Devil's Tower and do the touristy thing of Mount Rushmore. The distances we hiked and biked were far less than what I had hoped, for a variety of reasons so hoping to correct that at the next stop.
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