Mt Ouray rises just to the southeast of Monarch Pass. At 13,961′ it falls just shy of “fourteener” status. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail/Colorado Trail passes just along its western flank. This mountain is named for Chief Ouray, a Native American Chief of the Ute Nation.
Chief Ouray’s second wife was named Chipeta. The summit of the large prominent mountain just to the north of Mt Ouray was only recently named after her.
Chief Ouray’s diverse background and grasp of many languages made him a key communicator in Ute relations. Chief Ouray traveled to Washington D.C. to represent his people and was appointed Chief of the Ute nation by the US Government. He aimed for reconciliation between different groups and always tried to negotiate the best possible outcome conditions for his people.
With the discovery of gold in Colorado and the rapid influx of miners in search of it, unfortunately Indian-white relations deteriorated and the Native Americans were soon forced to move from their native lands. In 1880, Chief Ouray traveled for the last time to Washington where he signed a treaty that moved the band of White River Utes and his own Uncompahgre band from Colorado to the Uintah and Ouray reservations in Utah.
When you see this nearby mountain, enjoy its beauty and remember his legacy.