Ouray Overlook, sometimes called the Switzerland of America Lookout Point, is a spectacular viewpoint above the historic mining town of Ouray in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. The overlook, on U.S. 550’s third switchback south of town, is surrounded by soaring mountains. Ouray, named for a Ute chief, is a great place to roam around with brick buildings from the 1890s, restored Victorian houses, restaurants, and shops. The town, nestled in a valley below the overlook, is also a recreational paradise, with three waterfalls, numerous geothermal hot springs, cliffs for rock climbing, the famed Ouray Ice Park for ice climbing, excellent hiking trails, and miles of spectacular four-wheel-drive roads. The overlook, lying on the highway curve, has plenty of parking and a couple informative signs above Ouray history.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green