A picture of 3 people wearing helmets under a waterfall while canyoning in colorado

The 5 Best Half-day Tours in Ouray

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Ouray, Colorado is a small town nestled in the San Juan Mountains, known for its stunning scenery and endless outdoor adventures, from canyoning to jeeping and via ferrata. Be it if you’re on a road trip from Denver to Ouray or maybe looking for a half-day adventure tour that will get your heart racing, there are plenty of things to do near Ouray. Here are five of our top picks, all within a 20-mile radius of our beautiful town:

Things to do near Ouray, CO

1. Canyoning in Portland Creek

Canyoning, also known as canyoneering, is a thrilling adventure sport that involves rappelling down steep canyon walls and navigating through narrow slot canyons. Portland Creek is located 5 minutes from Ouray Town Center and is the perfect introduction to the activity. Portland Creek offers the perfect terrain for canyoning enthusiasts. With the help of an experienced guide, you’ll explore the canyon’s narrows and waterfalls up to 60ft! This half-day tour is suitable for families with young kids from 12-years-old and above.

Canyoning throug the narrows of Portland Creek, Ouray

2. The Gold Mountain Via Ferrata

The Gold Mountain Via Ferrata is a private climbing experience offered through our partners at Basecamp Ouray.  This Via Ferrata has it all, from historic mine portals, a 100 year old blacksmith shop, to a 300 foot wire cable bridge. Not to mention the incredible views you will get over the entire valley looking out towards Ouray.  This is an amazing half day tour for anybody trying to challenge themselves both mentally and physically.

the 300 foot bridge on the gold mountain via ferrata

3. Jeep Tour to Yankee Boy Basin

If you’re looking for a more relaxed adventure, a Jeep tour to Yankee Boy Basin is the perfect choice. This high-alpine valley is only accessible by 4-wheel drive, and the scenery is absolutely stunning. You’ll drive through fields of wildflowers, past waterfalls, and up to the base of several towering peaks. Along the way, your guide will share stories about the area’s mining history and the local wildlife. This half-day tour is perfect for families or anyone who wants to take in the beauty of the San Juan Mountains without breaking a sweat. Our partners Alpine Jeep Tours provide an awesome experience for you.

Jeeping with Alpine Jeep Tours in Ouray

3. Via Ferrata in the Uncompahgre Gorge

For those who want to experience the thrill of climbing a vertical rock face, the Ouray Via Ferrata in the Uncompahgre Gorge is the place to be. This narrow canyon is one of the best things to do near Ouray, and features towering rock walls and a beautiful river this provides amazingly beautiful terrain for Via Ferrata climbing. This Via Ferrata can be done With the help of a certified guide, or on your own with some previous knowledge.  You can rent gear at the Ouray Adventure Center or book a guide with our partners at Basecamp Ouray, with them you’ll learn the basics of climbing and safety techniques before scaling the canyon’s steep walls. This half-day tour is perfect for anyone who wants to challenge themselves both physically and mentally.

5. Hiking to Blue Lakes

If you’re up for a challenging hike with breathtaking rewards, a trek to Blue Lakes is the perfect choice. Located just outside of Ridgway, this trail winds its way through high-alpine meadows and past crystal-clear lakes. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the San Juan Mountains and maybe even spot some wildlife. This half-day tour is perfect for anyone who wants to get out into nature and experience the beauty of Colorado’s wilderness.

View of the Blue Lakes in Ridgeway. Image by Mickey Shannon.


In conclusion, Ouray, Colorado, is a paradise for adventure seekers, and there are plenty of half-day tours that will get your heart racing. From canyoning in Portland Creek to hiking to Blue Lakes, there’s something for everyone in this stunning part of the country. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure, Ouray is sure not to disappoint!

Now taking bookings for the 2023 season.

Ouray is our home and Canyoning is our way of life. Come experience canyoning with us in Colorado.

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