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An Elopement + Wedding Photographer based in Colorado.

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10 Reasons to Elope in Ouray, Colorado

 

Are you planning your epic adventure elopement? Do you want amazing mountain views?

Then Ouray, Colorado might just be the location for your special day!

 

Okay, here we go, in no particular order:

1. Jeep Capital of the World

Driving down the main street of Ouray you are sure to see at least a dozen Jeeps (more during the summer months)! With more than 75 miles of rugged, dirt roads and trails, Ouray offers excellent off-road experiences, my favorite off-road trails are Black Bear Pass and the Alpine Loop! If you are like me and enjoy steep mountain passes with unbelievable views and drops offs, then Ouray is the perfect place for you! Trust me, you will want to keep coming back if you are an off-roader!  Rent a Jeep in town, sign up for a Jeep tour or drive yourself in your SUV to explore easy trails like Brooklyn Road or more challenging ones like the difficult Imogene Pass.

2. The Switzerland of America

Surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks in the San Juan mountain range, Ouray, Colorado, is affectionately known as the “Switzerland of America.” Ouray is a gorgeous and one-of-a-kind Colorado mountain town nestled in the southwestern part of Colorado.

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3. INCREDIBLE HIKES

Situated beneath vast peaks and dense evergreen forests, Ouray is located near some of the most exciting and scenic hikes in Colorado. Ouray is perfect for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts at any skill level. Ouray trails are as varied as they are vast. They often lead to the tops of peaks, where an entire panorama of mountains sits at your feet. In total Ouray, has 76 hiking trails for you to enjoy! ​​​​​​​​

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4. FEWER CROWDS

Areas around Denver and Colorado Springs are very popular and therefore crowded. A lot of couples choose to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park or close to Denver for convenience and beauty. Ouray is more difficult to get to which means fewer crowds! But, you are not sacrificing beauty, talk about a win-win!

​​​​​​​​5. RECREATION

Ouray is also The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado with more than 60 activities that can occur right out your door! Ouray is the perfect basecamp for your explorations, offering a treasure trove of unique experiences all year long.

6. RIVERS & WATERFALLS

You’ll find waterfalls on 8th avenue (Cascade Falls), Box Canyon, and along various hikes around Ouray.​​​​​​​​ The Uncompahgre River Walk Loop, also known as the North Ouray Corridor, is a pleasant two-mile loop along the Uncompahgre River north of the Ouray Hot Springs Pool. The walking path is mostly level following the gradient of the river.

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7. HOT SPRINGS

Ouray is home to the historic Ouray Hot Springs. These geothermal pools have been utilized for hundreds of years, including by the Ute Native American tribe. These springs are nestled into the Uncompaghre River Valley surrounded by 13,000-foot snow-capped peaks. Rain, snow, or shine, the Ouray Hot Springs are open year-round for public use. You can even stay in several hotels that have their very own hot springs.

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8. YEAR-ROUND ACTIVITIES

As summer is the most popular time to visit, Ouray is a favorite destination for wintertime activity and pleasure as well. The Ouray Ice Park is an ice climbing venue within the city limits, just a short walk from Main Street, that attracts beginners and experts alike to its 200+ ice and mixed climbs. In addition to ice climbing and soaking, there are many other winter activities to enjoy in or around Ouray, such as backcountry skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing. Ouray even has an Ice Skating Rink, located in Ouray’s Rotary Park, approximately 1 mile north of the famous Ouray Hot Springs Pool.

9. Down-to-Earth Vibes

Many Colorado mountain towns are starting to look like suburbs of Boulder — excessive signage, over-planned public spaces, and a plethora of McMansions. Ouray’s large amount of funky and creaky historic structures along with (mostly) unpaved roadways, ensures that the town maintains a down-to-earth vibe for a unique and diverse population of interesting people.
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10. HISTORIC

Ouray is a National Historic District and includes beautifully preserved buildings that are home to locally owned retail shops and restaurants. While tourism is a strong contributor to the local economy, Ouray has escaped the excesses of over-development. Make no mistake, this is not Telluride. Real people live here, and real people visit here, to hunt, hike, and jeep the high country above town.

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@aubreybethphotography

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Colorado wedding and elopement photographer