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Family - Via Ferrata Ouray, Colorado 9/23-25/22

THE coolest and cheapest Via Ferrata in the US!

Sample Itinerary:

Friday -

2pm - 9pm (6 hr drive)

Dinner on the way - (Green River -Tamarisk; Fruita - many)

Saturday -

9am-1pm - Via Ferrata

1-2pm - Lunch

2-5pm - Drive to Silverton on the Million Dollar Hwy

5-6pm - Dinner

6-8pm - Ouray Hotsprings

Sunday -

8-9am - Box Canyon Falls or part of the Perimeter Trail

10-4pm - Drive Home

Via Ferrata Umcompahgre River Gorge - (12yr old+)- 2-4 hours

Gear- lanyard (must rent - best $25 San Juan Mountain Guides opens 8am), helmet ($10) and harness ($15) (can rent from San Juan Mt Guides for total of $45 with lanyard), leather gloves, thin knee pads (optional), hiking boots or running shoes (beginner route), rock climbing shoes/approach shoes (intermediate route).

Location - 1 min south of town, upper parking lot, hike over bridge, 100 ft left Perimeter trail, follow yellow yield signs for via ferrrata and Perimeter Trail, left trail kiosk, walk down to trailhead over pipe and second kiosk where you will meet a via ferrata ranger who will check your gear. There is a Practice Area about 100 feet down trail (closer to car) from first kiosk on the Perimeter trail where you can practice clipping in.

Beginner route - on rt of ranger kiosk, 15 min hike from car to first clip in, 2 cable bridges, walls to climb with rebar rungs, some flat walking and stairs. (2 1/2-4 hr)

Intermediate route - on left, high cable bridges, straight up free hanging cable ladder, slight overhanding sections, smooth rock - ROCK CLIMBING or APPROACH SHOES highly recommended. (3-4 hr)

- You should only do the Via Ferrata if you are 12yr old +, *>88lb <265lb, loooove ropes courses and/or rock climbing, rappelling and are comfortable with heights. Can fully commit to being on the course for 3 hrs. There are 2 places to bail, but they are up to the edge of the gorge and you will need to hike back. No going back the way you came. Be able to comfortably climb a tall ladder, do a chin up, and be solely responsible to clip and unclip yourself in to safety wires along the route.

*If you are less or more than the weight limit, you need to hire a private guide through San Juan Mountain Guide. Hiring a guide (for those <88 lb and >62 inches tall, >265 lb or those who don’t have rock climbing experience)

$159 adult (groups of 5)

$179+ youth

Hotsprings - $21 adult all day come and go, closes 8-9pm, many pools including kid ones and adult ones, put gear in lockers or on lawn. Website

Best Optional Trips:

Hikes- Cascade Falls - 0.2 mi round trip hike to waterfall

Box Canyon - 0.3 mi hike to waterfall in gorge ($5-take card)

Drives- 30-45 min one way drive to Silverton (Million Dollar Hwy)

Ghost Towns - Camp Bird Mine is best south of town

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Telluride, CO - Free Gondola rides

Other Optional Trips (*favorites): Ouray

  • *Hike – Perimeter Trail (6 mi)

  • Hike – Baby Bathtubs (0.7 mi, small pools for little ones)

  • Hike – Lower Cascade Falls (0.2 mi)

  • *Hike – Upper and Lower Box Canyon Falls (0.6 mi for both $5)

  • Hike – Chief Ouray Mine (4.3 mi)*4 wheeling – Yankee Boy Basin (18 mi, 1st half easy/2nd half hard) or

  • *4 Wheeling – Engineer Pass Rd (20 mi, mines, alpine loop, Capitol City ghost town) or

  • *4 Wheeling – Imogene Pass (17.5 mi, 2nd highest drivable pass in Colorado)

  • Ghost Town – Camp Bird

  • Ghost Town – Steffels

  • Rock Climbing – Pool Wall, Waterfall Wall, Overlook Cliff

  • Mt Biking – Ridgeway Area Trails

  • Horseback Riding – Action Adventure Trail Rides

  • Eating – Colorado Boy Southwest Pub (pizza)

  • *Eating – Mouses Chocolates and Coffee

  • Eating – Historic Western Hotel and Saloon (original saloon!)

  • Eating – Brickhouse 737 (local food)

  • Glassblowing - Ouray Glassworks and Pottery


  • *Photography – walk mainstreet (old mining town)

  • *Cemetery (tombstones say how the individual died - north west corner)

  • Tour – 100 Gold Mine Tour

  • Rock Climbing – Stripe Wall (easy sport) or Masters Wall (advanced sport)

  • Rafting – Animas River

  • Eating – Coffee Bear (coffee shop, snacks)

  • Eating – Handlebars Food and Saloon (serve rocky mountain oysters )

  • Eating – Thee Pitts Again (BBQ)

  • Eating – Eureka Station (Cornish pastries)

*Million Dollar Highway (drive between Silverton and Ouray)

  • *4 Wheeling – Animas Fork Ghost Town (12.3 mi)

  • *Ghost Town – Ironton (several buildings)

  • Ghost Town – Joker Tunnel and Boarding House

  • Ghost Town – Idarado w Crystal Lake

  • Ghost Town – Red Mountain Town

  • Ghost Town - Guston

  • *Photography – Red Mountain Pass

  • *Photography – Uncompahgre Gorge

  • *Photography – Lookout Pass (view of Ouray)

  • Camping (see link below)

San Juan Skyway (drive – do as a loop with the Million Dollar Hwy 25 miles – will take 5 ½ hr and is 242 miles)

  • Photography – peaks, fall leaves

  • Telluride – cool mountain town/skiing


  • Eating – Tacos Del Gnar (Bulgogi Steak or Belly Up Tacos)



Ouray - more pricey

Ridgeway (16 min south and cheaper)

Silverton (45 min south and cheaper)

Via Ferrata - Renting from San Juan Mountain Guides

Via Ferrata - Getting to the Trailhead

Via Ferrata - Beginner Route

Via Ferrata - Intermediate Route

Hot Springs

Million Dollar Highway


Box Canon Waterfalls

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

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