Ouray is a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Here are some tips on how to best enjoy your visit.

Altitude Adjustment

You are more than one mile above sea level.  There is less oxygen at this altitude which causes shortness of breath, even with mild exertion.  Altitude sickness can develop at levels of 5,000 feet and above, which can result in headaches, insomnia, weakness, nausea and vomiting.  Go easy on alcoholic beverages, drink more water, eat foods high in carbohydrates, and try to sleep a little longer until accustomed to the altitude.

Sunburn Protection

ice climber
at the ouray ice park

Our altitude brings you closer to the sun. You can easily get a severe sunburn even on cloudy days. Use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, even on your lips. Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses (100% UV) to protect your face and eyes.

Drink More Water

Colorado’s air is dry. Carry a canteen or other water container and drink small amounts of water frequently. If in warm temperatures for extended periods, consume about one quart per hour. Do not wait until you are thirsty. Do not drink from any lakes, streams or other natural water sources without purification first. Even clear water can contain Giardia or other microorganisms that cause illness.

Be Safe In the Mountains

Higher altitudes, quickly changing weather patterns, and unpredictable terrain require special precautions when biking, camping, jeeping, and hiking in the mountains. Establish a route, know your limits, and NEVER TRAVEL ALONE. Carry a first aid kit. Layer your clothing and be prepared for inclement weather as hypothermia (lowered body temperature) can occur even in summertime.

Avoid Wild Animals

mountain lion

Do not feed, touch or play with wild animals. Leave wild animals wild. They might look cute and cuddly, but wild animals can be aggressive. Not only that, but most human food is bad for wildlife. Deer cannot digest processed food. Often, when we think we are being kind, we are actually causing them harm.

Drive Safely

Ouray Colorado Million Dollar Highway

When driving, carry plenty of water. Watch for deer and elk on the road, particularly in the early morning and late evening hours.

Winter Driving Tips

  • Remove snow from the entire vehicle, not just the windows.  Although more work, it ensures that snow won’t blow onto your car windshield while driving.  Ensure lights are visible and that mirrors are clear as well.
  • Slow down to allow extra time to reach your destination.  Stay at least 200 feet behind maintenance vehicles and plows; avoid cutting in front of other vehicles — especially large vehicles that might not be able to slow down without slipping.
  • Don’t use cruise control in snowy and icy conditions.
  • With anti-lock brakes, apply constant, firm pressure to the pedal.  Never pump anti-lock brakes.
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