3 Places To Stay in Ouray

Take your pick from these fabulous lodging options

From the top of the mountain to Main Street, Ouray offers lodging options for every type of traveler. Whether you’re looking for the adventure of a lifetime in the San Juan Mountains or just a relaxing vacation at the hot springs pool, Ouray has you covered.

Photo by Aubrey Fletcher
China Clipper Inn

Photo by Aubrey Fletcher

Why is there a place in Ouray called the China Clipper Inn? Because the original owner is a former Navy man who loved clipper ships and he purpose-built this 13-room bed and breakfast with that in mind. And the theme works. In a town where the Victorian era comes alive in the architecture, the theme of old boats fits in swimmingly. 

Photo by Aubrey Fletcher

Decorated in rich tones with a wink to the old and a nod to the new, especially in the beautifully appointed sitting room, the China Clipper welcomes guests from around the world.

The inn has had three owners, and the newest, Melissa and Charles Fletcher, hail from Missouri where they owned and operated a dairy farm. “It’s a different kind of work,” says Melissa, who has enjoyed meeting many return guests this summer. 

Photo by Aubrey Fletcher

Breakfast at the China Clipper is included in your stay, as are the freshly-made pastries and cookies in the dining room in the afternoons. Hearty breakfast includes coffee and tea, juices, fresh fruit and items like pancakes and quiche with a side of meat. No guest at the China Clipper sets off on their Ouray day hungry.

Photo by Aubrey Fletcher

The China Clipper welcomes children 12 years of age and older and does not accept pets. 

Red Mountain Alpine Lodge

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schalefer

A stay at Red Mountain Alpine Lodge results in all sorts of bragging rights. After all, how many people can say that they’ve stayed at an off-grid lodge at 11,000-feet above sea level? 

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schalefer

This lodge is unique for many reasons and the first and foremost is its location. About 20 minutes from Ouray, it is a half-mile shy of Red Mountain Pass on the Million Dollar Highway in the San Juan Mountains. You’ll need to snowshoe or shin into the lodge during the winter, meaning that your adventure starts before you get there. 

Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Alpine Lodge

In its first year of operation, the lodge has already become popular with outdoor enthusiasts who love backcountry. Guided trips and tours can easily be arranged because the lodge owners also own San Juan Mountain Guides, the company that took me ice climbing several years ago. For safety, employing a guide is encouraged on all backcountry trips. 

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schalefer

This is not a primitive experience. All your needs are met during a stay at the Red Mountain Alpine Lodge. For example, the floors are heated—a real treat after a day of skiing backcountry. The decor is magazine-ready without being pretentious.  

The timber lodge features three private rooms and a large loft for a combined sleeping capacity of 18 to 20 people. Your stay is catered and breakfast and dinner are included as well as appetizers served daily at 4 p.m. It is a popular venue for weddings, retreats and group gatherings. 

In the winter, Red Mountain Alpine Lodge does not allow children under the age of 7. During summers and during the fall and spring, children are allowed but must be booked with their parents in a private room. Dogs are allowed under special circumstances and this situation must be discussed with management. 

Hotel Ouray

I can’t remember sleeping in a more comfortable bed than the one in #9 at the Hotel Ouray. They must order their pillows from heaven because it is like sleeping on a celestial cloud. But enough about the beds. 

Hotel Ouray is perfectly situated on the corner of 6th and Main Street across from Mouse’s Chocolates and Ouray Brewing. It is being lovingly and painstakingly renovated by the owners, and today, it is a stunning place to stay in Ouray. They have rooms of all sizes making it a good hotel to visit with the family, and their economy rooms are perfect for an ice climbing excursion. 

The Hospitality Room, where a continental breakfast is available daily, has an amazing selection of teas. Lately, I’ve become a tea connoisseur, and the options here are vast. This room is stocked with everything you’ll need before hitting the trails around Ouray including cereals, toast, fresh fruit, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs. Having breakfast here saves time and money. 

Children over 12 are welcomed but pets are not allowed.

Categories: The Heidi Guide