Located in Ouray Colorado, the Ouray Via Ferrata opened to the public in mid 2020 and is only the second free via ferrata in the united states. And the only one currently built to EU safety standards. The other free ferrata is located in just an hour drive away in Telluride Colorado, and offers a much different experience compared to Ouray. The via ferrata in Ouray Colorado offers visitors a much longer clipped in experience. With vertical climbs, descents, wire bridges, and the closing stairway to heaven. Overall I would say the Ouray course is a much more fun experience overall and one you would want to do more often.
The Complete Ouray Via Ferrata Guide
How Much Does it Cost?
The Ouray Via Ferrata is free as long as you have the right gear. More on this below.
Do You Need a Guide?
No, you do not need a guide to enter the ferrata. But you will need to check in at the shack at the start of the course for a quick briefing and gear check.
How Much Are Guides if I Want One?
Guides will typically charge between $100-$150 per person. This will include gear, tutorials, photos and some times, snacks.
What Gear do I need?
For this ferrata you will be required to have a “true” via ferrata lanyard setup, harness, and helmet. My gear setup with links is below. DIY setups, even those made with dynamic rope will not be permitted. And for good reason. I’ll be doing post on this later but in short, test have shown that the forces generated on a vertical fall on a ferrata will create enough force to easily snap the rope with as little as 100lbs on it.
Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet
Black Diamond Momentum Harness
PETZL – Scorpio Vertigo, Via Ferrata Lanyard with Vertigo Wire-Lock Carabiners
or if you don’t want to piece it together you can get the PETZL Via Ferrata Vertigo Kit -2
When is the Ferrata Open?
Daily 8am-4pm. But make sure to check the weather forecast which could close the course.
How to get to the Ouray Via Ferrata?
Point A on the map below is where you will park and then walk to point B to start the course. All along the hairpin turn at point A is gravel parking. The Orange line shows the actual vie ferrata route with entrance and exit points.
You will see these signs guiding you along the route.
Are there exit points and/or passing lanes?
Yes there are both exit points and passing lanes along the course. There are are also several good places to stop and rest along the course.
Are there Bathrooms?
No, there are no any “bathrooms” on the course or in the parking lot.
How Long Will it Take?
I’d say it will probably take 1.5-3 hours depending on your speed and how crowded it is.
Ouray Via Ferrata Photos