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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Destination Weddings Ouray Colorado Style

  
  
  

Destination Weddings: Ouray Colorado Style

 

ourayweddingSpring is in the air, and the time to plan the perfect venue for your upcoming nuptuals is upon you! Destination weddings are a fun and exciting way to gather friends and relatives from all over in a beautiful environment.

Ouray Colorado plays host to wedding ceremonies all year long.  In any season, Ouray serves as a wonderful venue for your destination wedding; a wedding in Ouray is as luxurious and extravegent or as nicely affordable as you want!  As destination weddings become increasingly popular, couples are opting for a location away from home and inviting their friends and family to join them.  And, since you are already in your dream location for your wedding, many couples save money by also having their honeymoon at the same time.  After your vows have been exchanged, your honeymoon can begin!   Think of it as your Weddingmoon! 

Staircase at Beaumont HotelLong before you pick out your dress and chose your Maid of Honor, you dream of where you and your love will take your vows.  Perhaps you picture yourself in a quaint Victorian Era chapel or a historical, turn of the century building with the sun casting its rays through stained glass windows.  Maybe, you have always seen yourself being escorted down a grand staircase lit with candles or decorated with elegant flowers?  Or, have you ever thought about proclaiming your love high atop a mountain surrounded by wildflowers with a waterfall cascading nearby? or saying your vows in a beautiful English garden?  If any of these picture perfect wedding scenarios appeal to you and your beloved, then we invite you to come to Southwest Colorado, and in particular to Ouray, for your destination wedding and honeymoon! 

st johns churchThere is a very good reason why so many couples decide to come to Ouray Colorado to get married.  Mother Nature, regardless of the time of year, has pulled out all of the stops with breathtaking scenery.  From the bounty of wildflowers in the summer to the untouched snow on high peaks in the winter it’s no wonder Ouray is called “The Gem of the Rockies”.

Ouray provides plenty of fun and assorted things to do for all of your guests and your family and friends will enjoy each and every minute of their Ouray Colorado vacation.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help to put you on the path to the perfect event for you. Whether you are planning a quiet affair with just a select few friends and loved ones, or a gala event, our knowledgeable agents are waiting to connect you to the people who can make your dreams come true! 

About the Author:  Nikki Komar works at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.  She works with many of our groups including family reunions and destination wedding couples.  She lives with her husband and four children in Ouray. 

 

Begin Your Romantic Getaway Right Now!

First Annual ForkFest in Ouray Highlights Local Farm Fresh Cuisine

  
  
  

A New and Improved Culinary Arts Festival in The San Juan Mountains!

weehawkenlogoWeehawken Creative Arts has taken Ouray County by storm. A Non-Profit, 501-c-3 organization, Weehawken continuously outdoes itself in its mission to "provide quality arts and cultural education and experiences to the visitors and residents of Ouray County year-round."

From a variety of classes offering education in everything from pottery to dance, Weehawken provides a much needed niche for the artistically inclined. 

forkfestfArt is not only the traditional drawing and poetry one might expect, but encompasses a plethora of activities, centered around many peoples favorite are: FOOD! Culinary art is often overlooked, however from cooking classes to studies in agriculture, Weehawken embraces this belly pleasing form of expression.

For years, Ouray hosted a Culinary Art Festival, which, unfortunately had become dated and unpopular. This year, with the support of several restaurants and local farms, Weehawken has taken up the banner, and is reintroducing the Ouray Culinary Festival as a new and improved ForkFest.

forkfestlogoOn April 25 and 26, 2014, join Ouray County as we celebrate the art of a great meal. 

Focusing on the rich agricultural history of the county, Ouray forkfest will begin on Friday night with local specialties and special cultural events at Maggie's Kitchen and Ourayale House Brewery, Gold Belt Bar and Grill, Cavallo's Restaurant, Mouses's Chocolates & Coffee, the Ouray Brewery, The Bon Ton, and the Silver Nigget cafe to name a few from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm with the first annual Restaurant Crawl. Save room as you explore the decadent delights each of these esablishments has prepared for you!

cavallos foodSaturday morning, head to the Ouray Community Center for a champagne brunch from 9:00 am til 11:00 am. Indulge in decadent breakfast items prepared by local chefs just for you. From 10:00 am til 5:00 pm, learn some new ideas at the Ouray School Gym, where there will be demonstrations from local chefs on how to prepare delicious meals at home, as well as presentations given by a number of local food producers such as Ridgway Community Garden, the Valley Food Partnership, Tomten Farm, Straw Hat Farm Market & Kitchen Store, and  Hartman Gardens of Colorado.

forkfestwineandcheeseSaturday evening, from 5pm til 7pm, enjoy a wine and cheese tasting, featuring some of the best local daires and wineries in Southwest Colorado. Colorado is becoming one of the most recognized states for its amazing wineries, offering a variety of perfectly aged reds and whites with a distinctive flavor.

Culinary festivals are always a great way to spend the weekend, and for $45.00 for the entire weekend, you will definitely get your moneys worth! Of course, if you dont have two days, no worries. Everything is ala carte as well, so that you can pick and choose your favorite activities.

Start planning today for the last weekend in April! Tickets will be going on sale the first week of April at a number of outlets. Tune in regularly to the ForkFest facebook page for updates on sponsors, tickets and participating restaurants. The number keeps growing, which promises this will be a Festival to remember!

forkfestfud

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help arrange the perfect getaway in Ouray! Give us a call, and reserve your room today. We will help arrange your tickets and have your itinerary waiting when you arrive. Enjoy a scenic drive through Southwest Colorado, then relax in our all natural mineral hot spring tubs before enjoying a decadent weekend of great food and company!

See You Soon!

Ouray, southwest colorado

Earth Day is Every day at this Ouray Hotel!

  
  
  

It's easy to be Green at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs!

box canyon lodge hotWith our all natural mineral hot spring tubs tiered on the hillside in the courtyard, The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is like an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For the past several years, The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has worked diligently to make the lodge what it is today, earning a four key rating from Green Key, a well know eco-rating program. With a passion for reducing a carbon foot print, we have made improvement upon improvement to the property, many of which we wouldn't even notice if we didn't know about them!

Two years ago, new windows were installed in every room to conserve both heat in the winter, and to keep the rooms cooler in the summer months. New doors were also installed for the same reasons.

Our new key card system implements recyclable key cards. These are not the magnetic key cards that de code if they get too close to your cel phone, but a sturdier type of key that can be reprogrammed again and again, while still providing a new level of security to our guests.

GreenBusinessSealofApprovalPMS370 updatedFINAL2010As often as possible, we stay away from strong cleaners that are known to be hurtful to the environment, while still maintaning an exemplary reputation for our clean rooms.

As strong supporters of community and supporting local businesses, as many products as possible are purchased locally. Even down to the new soap dispensers in the rooms, Colorado products are prevalent.

exteriorServing muffins baked by a local caterer, and roasting our own coffee, which is served both in the lobby and in the rooms, we focus on the marvelous talents of the area to compliment the hotel.

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is proud to use geothermal heat exchangers.

tubsThe source of our hot springs is located above the tubs in a securely fenced off area as it comes out of the ground at about 140*. We pump the water straight from the earth and use that hot water to heat our tap water. We also use the heat from the mineral hot springs to warm all of the rooms on the property!

Often, even if the heat is turned off in your room, warmth will emanate from the panels; a side effect of the geothermal hot water heating system. It's actually not unusual to have to open a window when the geothermal is in full gear!

efh listing logoRecycling bins are in every room, and our housekeeping staff, as vigilant about being green as they are about a meticulously clean room, has been know to pull recyclable items from the trash and place in the appropriate containers.

greenkeylogo 000From energy efficient washers, to geothermal heat; recycling bins and local vendors, the Box Canyon Lodge continuously works to protect our environment. 

There are a variety of things our guests can do as well to help us on this mission, and we are always happy to hear your feedback and suggestions on ways we can further the cause.

earthday (1)April 22, Earth Day, we want to reward those guests who have gone the extra "mile". Every Earth Day, we offer a 50% discount on your stay if you come see us in your hybrid car. Just let the front desk agent know when you check in, and she will apply the discount for you!

box canyon lodge hot (1)Every day it is important to remember to take care of our planet, which is why we also offer a 15% discount for guests with a hybrid vehicle any other day of the year!

Come share our passion! Enjoy the natural serenity of our mineral hot spring tubs. Surround yourself in the majestic beauty of the San Juan Mountains as you relax away the day to day!

See You Soon!

Celebrate Earth Day With Us! Enjoy 50% off your Stay April 22, 2014!

Wine & Whiskers in Ouray County - Fashionable Fun for a Good Cause!

  
  
  

Puppies and Kittens in Southwest Colorado find Refuge With Second Chance!

second chanceSince 1994, the Second Chance Humane Society has worked in Ouray, Montrose and San Miguel Counties to provide a safe refuge for lost and displaced pets.

With strong community support, they have grown from a small group of volunteers offering foster services, to a new facility able to provide shelter to a large number of pets as they wait to find their forever homes.

second chance2In October, 2011, the Second Chance opened a new Animal Resource Center at Angel Ridge Ranch, a 52 acre property located just outside of Ridgway. Here, they are able to provide care to more animals, as well as a broader scope of educational opportunities to the communities they serve. Currently, they are in the process of building a new dog facility that will accommodate almost twice as many rescues!

second chance6It is with the goal of finishing the new dog facility on time that Second Chance is presenting its 7th Annual Wine & Whiskers Carnival.

Community donations and interest are the bread and butter (or Kibbles & Bits) of the organization. Without the generosity of the areas it serves, Second Chance would not be able to consistently maintain its exceptional record of rescuing and caring for dogs and cats. In 2013, they were able to place 244 dogs and cats into new forever homes, while successfully reuniting 82 pets with their lost owners!

This year is the second in which the Wine & Whiskers will be held on two separate days in March.

Thursday March 20th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM is the Opening Night Mixer geared toward those who are most interested in seeing the fashion & dance show.  The performance combines fashion (straight from the Second Chance Thrift Shop), dance, and music for a high energy performance best described as “Attitude at Altitude”.  Although there will be a small silent auction prior to the show on Thursday the focus will be on the roof-raising show.

second chance1Saturday March 22nd (5:30 – 11:30 PM) will remain the Gala Event: the fun packed bursting at the seams evening includes the delectable catered fare, well stocked silent auction, lively live auction, the famous fashion & dance show, concluding with a dance party!

Offering decadent food with a Louisiana Flare prepared by Chef Sid of Cavallo's Restaurant, music and mountains of fun, this is an event to mark on your calendars!

Tickets will be limited for both evenings to assure that all have a seat this year - so get your tickets today!  They are $15 in advance for Thursday night ($20 at the door) and $40 in advance ($45/door) for Saturday night.  They are on sale now on our secure website or shortly at the Second Chance Thrift Shop in Ridgway.

second chance3Get an early start on Thursday, and enjoy an evening at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center; enjoy a fashion show unlike any other, as local models sport ensembles straight from the Second Chance Thrift Shop! 

On Friday, take the day to enjoy the splendor of the San Juans. Scenic Drives, frozen waterfalls and a plethora of outdoor activities abound between enjoying fabulous food and shopping on Ourays Main Street. 

Saturday have your dancing shoes on, and be prepared to bid on some awesome items! Available auction items for bidding typically include golf, balloon, horse, sleigh, and bike adventure packages, a variety of wonderful art pieces, restaurant and get away packages, and hundreds more quality items and gift certificates from regional generous merchants, restaurants, artists, and service providers.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help arrange your visit. Spend a relaxing three day weekend! Start your break with a soothing soak in one of our natural mineral hot spring tubs. Bask in the beauty of the southwest as the steam surrounds you in a picturesque setting. 

 

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Ouray and Ridgway Happenings this March and April 2014

  
  
  

Spring Ushers in Great Fun In Ouray And Ridgway!

outsideMarch and April are considered a time of renewal in Southwest Colorado. Often, instead of gentle showers, we have springtime snowfall, making this an awesome time for last minute winter activities.

Of course, Spring in Ouray County is kind of like any other season; you just don't know what you may find! One day, there is a cloudy sky filled with giant flakes of snow silently falling to the ground in a Christmas card scene, the next, the sun breaks through and blue skies accent the majesty of snow covered peaks, while we enjoy a day of sledding and soaking in short sleeves and tennis shoes!

Events in Ouray and Ridgway this March and April 2014:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - Adult Swing/Lindy Hop Intro at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, CO. from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

tubsPerfect for those close to Ouray and Ridgway! This is a great way to spend time with your partner while learning some great new dance moves, and meeting some fun new people! Plan on visiting us at the Box Canyon Lodge Tuesdays and share your fancy new dance steps with everyone!

Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Open Bard Poetry Series at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Co. from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Open Bard is a monthly poetry reading/performance series at the historic Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. This month's event will feature Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root from Durango, editors of Cutthroat. The doors open at 6:30 for sign-ups to read and refreshments. Starting at 7:00 pm, Pamela & William will take the stage. Following their reading and a short intermission will be an open reading during which audience members can read or perform their poetry.

Sunday, March 16, 2014 - Ridgway Moonwalk starting at the Sherbino theater in Ridgway, Co from 5:00 pm to 8unday, M:00 pm

box canyon lodge hot (1)This month's Ridgway MoonWalk features a combination music and art show at the Sherbino Theater. Join the Ridgway Creative District and Weehawken Creative Arts in a warm appreciation of talented local creatives.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - Ririe- Woodbury Dance Ensemble at the Montrose Pavilion from 7:00 pm to end

Evening of contemporary dance presented by Ouray County Performing Arts Guild and Montrose Arts Council.

Tickets -- $15 Adults, $5 Students

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - Wine & Whiskers Weekend at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center in Ridgway from 5:30 pm to 12:00 am

Thursday March 20th from 6-8 PM is the Opening Night Mixer geared toward those who are most interested in seeing the fashion & dance show. The performance combines fashion (straight from the Second Chance Thrift Shop), dance, and music for a high energy performance best described as ?Attitude at Altitude?. Although there will be a small silent auction prior to the show on Thursday the focus will be on the roof-raising show.

Friday, March 21, 2014 - Dance Sanctuary at Weehawken Creative Arts in Ridgway from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

tubs2Come and explore conscious dance based on the principles of Soul Motion - a moving meditation dance practice. A $5 donation would be appreciated to help cover costs.

Saturday, March 21, 2014 - Wine & Whiskers Weekend at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center from 5:30 to Midnight

Saturday March 22nd (5:30 pm - midnight) will remain the Gala Event: the fun packed bursting at the seams evening includes delectable catered fare, well stocked silent auction, lively live auction, the famous fashion & dance show, concluding with a dance party! 

April Happenings:

Thursday, April 3, 2014 - Open Bard Series at the Sherbino theater in Ridgway, Co from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

winter2Open Bard is a monthly poetry reading/performance series at the historic Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. This month's event will feature Luis Lopez, of Colorado Mesa University. The doors open at 6:30 for sign-ups to read and refreshments. Starting at 7:00 pm, Luis will take the stage. Following Luis's reading and a short intermission will be an open reading during which audience members can read or perform their poetry. Open Bard is sponsored by the Ridgway Chautauqua Society and the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild. 

Monday, April 7 through Sunday, April 13, 2014 - Ouray Hot Springs Pool Closed for Maintenance

What? The hot Springs Pool is closed? Never fear! The all natural mineral hot spring tubs at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are full and waiting!

Every few months, the city pool has to close for maintenance and cleaning, which is necessary to keep this marvelous part of Ouray operational and healthy, but this is no reason to stay away! There are a number of great thisngs to do and see, and if soaking is a must, then just come stay with us!

Sunday, April 13, 2014 - Jeff Solon Jazz Trio at the Sherbino Theater from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm 

exterior tubsThe Sherbino Theater and The Wright Opera House are pleased to co-sponsor an intimate jazz concert featuring the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio. Performing jazz standards and new original compositions, the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio brings new dynamics and interplay between the trio, allowing for spontaneity, intimacy, and depth that is so important in jazz.

Tickets are $15 at the door, $10 in advance and available online.

Thursday, April 17 through Saturday, April 19, 2014 - "How the Local Mountains Got their Names" exhibit at the Ouray Museum from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

hotspringtubs14Have you ever wondered how the peaks around Ouray got their Names? Our special exhibit answers these questions and more. See photos of the local peaks with detailed descriptions of where the names came from.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 in Ridgway - Ridgway MoonWalk from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Join the Ridgway Creative District and Weehawken Creative Arts in a fun exploration of creativity in the South Ridgway neighborhood. Tour studios of creatives and get to know your neighbors. Find Ridgway's hidden secrets.

Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26, 2014 - "How the Local Mountains Got their Names" exhibit at the Ouray Museum from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Have you ever wondered how the peaks around Ouray got their Names? Our special exhibit answers these questions and more. See photos of the local peaks with detailed descriptions of where the names came from.

Friday, April 25, 2014 - Forkfest in Ouray from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

bighorn2"Restaurant Crawl" Local Ouray restaurants will open up for a taste of wine, beer or specialty drink and samples of appetizers. Tickets required

Saturday, April 26, 2014 Ouray Forkfest all day at the Ouray Communnity Center

Champagne Breakfast in the morning - tickets needed; 
free chef demonstrations with samples and food producers presentations in the afternoon


Ever changing, but always beautiful, the San Juan Mountains are an ideal spot for the Spring traveller. Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan your next escape to Southwest Colorado!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 




Ouray Lodge Offers Hot New Spring Break Special!

  
  
  

Take A Break In The San Juan Mountains This Spring!

soaking in hot springsIt is never too early to start planning the next adventure for you and your family and friends. Often, Spring Breakers imagine beaches and parties and throngs of people bustling all around, but it doesn't have to be that way. Why not plan a getaway that has something for everyone in a place where time seems to stop?

Ouray, Colorado - central to a variety of activities, is the ideal home base for your Southwest Colorado Adventure! 

* Start your vacation by checking in with us at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, a hot springs motel boasting four all natural hot springs tubs, offers a peaceful location, clean, comfortable and nicely decorated rooms, meticulously-maintained grounds and warm, personal service. The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has been recognized by a variety of publications, receiving the “Award of Excellence” by the Colorado Connoisseur and Travel Holiday magazine and listed as one of Sunset magazine’s “Best of the West.” Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs has also earned the four-key rating from Green Key, a well-known eco-rating program. 

Mt. Abrams* Main Street in Ouray is a treat. In some cases literally. Wander from shops offering every thing from one of a kind jewelry and hand blown glass to gourmet cooking supplies, clothing, and don’t miss the toy store! Mouse’s Chocolates offers decadent truffles and specialty drinks year round, and several restaurants are open for spectacular dining options.

* There are a number of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Ouray – and nearly all of them are just steps from Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs. For instance, hire a guide and spend the day learning how to scale hanging walls of glistening ice at the world-famous Ouray Ice Park. You can even “earn your turn” and venture into the back country for some boarding or skiing in some of the most challenging terrain in Colorado. San Juan Mountain Guides offers classes and instruction for all abilities in both disciplines. Group discounts are also available.

ouray ski hillOf course, you don’t have to venture far into the back country or hire a guide to enjoy some snowy fun. Just up the street from the Box Canyon Lodge is the Ouray free ski hill. Take the kids for an afternoon of fun, or get your ski legs back before hitting the big slopes. Vinegar Hill is always a great way to enjoy a couple of hours outdoors as well. Bales of straw form a barrier around this famous sled hill just a block from the school, providing a safe place to shoot across the snow. Just North of town at Rotary Park is the Ouray ice skating rink! Enjoy an afternoon or evening enjoying the beauty of the Uncompahgres as the family perfects their skating techniques. Didn't bring skis or a sled? Well not to worry! Ouray Mountain Sports, just a few blocks away, has both available for day rentals. The Ouray City Pool offers ice skates for rent as well, and after a few hours on the ice, how convenient to drop off your skates, then soak in the second largest all natural mineral hot springs pool in the state?

ouray vinegar hill* Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs’ four natural hot springs hot tubs are the perfect way to top off a fun-filled day in Ouray. The tubs offer spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. The hot tub temperatures range between 103 
and 108 degrees, offering one of the best ways to revitalize after a full day of ice climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. (The tubs are also a great respite after a challenging day of reading, napping, and relaxing!) The hot springs water in Ouray doesn't contain any sulfur, so it is free of the unpleasant odor sometimes associated with hot springs. The hot springs water, which is rich in sodium, manganese, iron, and sulfates, is not only good for the body, it is also good for the environment.

box canyon lodge winter in ouray2Let the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs be your vacation headquarters. Located in the Southwest  corner of town, it feels as if you are miles away from everything, yet just a short distance to all of the restaurants and shops on Main Street, and convenient to a number of hiking trails as well as the Ouray Ice Park. Perfect as a ground zero if you are planning a ski weekend - just an hour drive to Telluride or Silverton and just a few minutes more to Purgatory, Ouray truly is a Winter Wonderland!

This March and April, The Box Canyon Lodge is offering a spectacular savings to Spring Breakers. Stay two nights with us, and receive a third night at 50% OFF! So gather your friends and family and head on up to Ouray this Spring Break!

See you soon!

 

ouray, ice climbing, colorado vacation, hot springs, ouray colorado

 

 

 

San Juan Mountains provide Inspiration to all kinds of Artists!

  
  
  

Maybe it is the scenery, but it seems the artistic are 'drawn' to the Uncompahgres.

aspenlightglassOuray County has painters, welders, woodworkers, quilters, photographers, and glass workers, just to name a few.

Aspen Light Glass in Ridgway does amazing work with fused glass art and jewelry. Diane does wall hangings, bowls, dishes etc. She specializes in frit painting, fused glass and pique assiette mosaics. The studio is open by appointment only in Ridgway this winter.

anncheeksAnn Cheeks moved  to Ouray only a year ago, but loves the area. Her first time in Ouray she actually stayed at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs! She said she saw 2 deer that came really close while sitting in the hot tubs and a double rainbow. She has been inspired by our surroundings to paint mountains and waterfalls. She teaches for Weehawken Creative Arts in Ridgway and Ouray as well as Ah Ha School for the Arts in Telluride. She mostly does oils, but likes to play with all different mediums.

johnbillingsJohn Billings is known as the Grammy Man in Ridgway. Who knew that in a little unknown town in the south west corner of Colorado the Grammys are made. John is a craftsman who cares about his work, he creates the style and builds the mold. John also makes the Annie Award and the John Wooden Award. It takes about 15 hours to make 1 Grammy Award.

natashaNatasha Payette is an icon in Ouray County. She started and has taken the Weehawken Dance program to amazing heights! Natasha produces all the performances the dance program performs. She does all the choreography music, costumes set design everything from start to finish is under her talented control. For such a small community we have the most amazing dance programs! The group performs 2 big shows each year, one in May and one in December. They have done everything from the traditional Nutcracker to Natasha’s own version of Wizard of Oz, a tribute to The Beatles, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Peter Pan. There is also a smaller group of committed dancers in the Weehawken Company that put on 2 smaller shows each year. For the Company performances each member has to choreograph one of their own dances. This last year instead of the Nutcracker they did Polar Express. http://www.weehawkenarts.org/

buckskinbooksellersOuray has a quilters guild that produces some amazing quilts each year. Every September the Ouray County Museum does a quilt show to show off old quilts. There is a raffle of one of the Guild’s quilts. The drawing takes place at the Quilter’s Tea which ends the month long show.

moonwalk2Of course the area attracts photographers. We have many photographers living in the area as well as visiting photographers who come to capture our spectacular surroundings. You can see many of the local talent at the annual Ouray County Arts Association’s Artist Alpine Holiday the first week in August. This year the event celebrates it’s 54th year. They also have a winter show over the President’s weekend every year. This year the winter show also happens to be on Valentine’s Day as well. The show is held at the Ouray Community Center Feb 14-17. http://www.ourayarts.org/  The Artist Alpine Holiday is also held at the Community Center with classes throughout the week as well as plein air paint out.

moonwalkAlso each month in Ridgway over the full moon there is an art walk that features different artists each month. You can check out their website or facebook page to find out what is happening each month.

wildflowerboutiqueThe Wildflower Boutique in Ouray boasts over 110 Colorado artists. From wall art to hand crafted pillows, candles and jewelry, the talent of local artists is highlighted in every corner. Since expanding their store in 2010 to include the Colorado Room, Dee and Robert have created a space filled with amazing works of all kinds.

As you can see, Ouray County is a treasure trove for the arts, and we have only just begun!

Come explore the galleries and shops, or bring your paints or camera. Capture the majestic beauty of the San Juans any time of year!

See You Soon!

About the Author: Faith Parry was born on a hippie commune in Southwest Colorado. After graduating with a degree in music, Faith has traveled extensively around the world, always finding her way home. She loves hiking, taking nature photos, baking, and throwing great parties. Faith founded the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival in Ouray; a fantastic party featuring all products from Colorado, which has quickly become an event not to be missed each winter. 

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 


Budget Friendly Family Fun Abounds in Southwest Colorado!

  
  
  

october entry2A Winter Wonderland of Adventure awaits in beautiful Ouray, Colorado!

 

 

Hot Springs:

hot tub in winter 3Centuries before the white man arrived, the Tabeguache Ute, a nomadic band, traveled to this idyllic setting in the summer months to hunt the abundant forest game and to soak in what they called “sacred miracle waters”. Even then, they knew the springs that simmer beneath much of Ouray were therapeutic. In fact, the town’s original name was “Uncompahgre”, the Ute word for “hot water springs”. Today, the natural hot springs in Ouray still draw visitors for their reputed healing abilities.  Here at the Box Canyon Lodge, our natural hot springs come out of the ground at 140°.  We then feed it into our redwood hot tubs at a more comfortable temperature, between 103°-109°, depending on the time of year.

Sledding:

ouray sleddingThe local children’s sledding hill, known as Vinegar Hill, has been Ouray’s sledding hill for over 100 years. It is located on the east side of town between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. The top and bottom of Fifth Street, between these two avenues, is blocked off with hay bales to driving traffic.  In addition to this in-town sledding hill, a short drive from Ouray in either direction offers unlimited sledding in some of the most spectacular mountains you’ll ever see.  If you didn’t bring a sled you can purchase an inexpensive plastic one from several of Ouray’s shops. For the more serious thrill seeker, check out Ouray Mountain Sports for handmade wooden sleds from Silverton. A large piece of cardboard works well too!

Ice Climbing:  

iceclimber5.0Ouray is ranked as one of the most popular locations for ice climbing in the world. Not only do the surrounding mountains provide numerous spectacular ice-climbing routes, Ouray has the only ice park where a mile of farmed ice is available to climbers right in the city limits, easily accessible and free to all who enjoy this exciting sport.  With the accessibility of the Ouray Ice Park, more Ouray visitors are walking to the park and watching the climbers from the bridges and also from the stands built for this purpose along the top of the Uncompahgre Gorge. Climbers are usually in the park throughout the day but typically start early. CAUTION: Be sure to dress warmly and stay away from both the climbing area and edge of the gorge.  There are a number of world-class outfitters who live in the Ouray area. If you are interested in learning how to ice climb, San Juan Mountain Guides offers guided instruction for individuals or groups.  If this sport is new to you consider staying in Ouray for several days and including ice climbing lessons with your other outdoor activities.  For more information on the Ouray Ice Park consider buying “The Ouray Ice Park Guide” by local mountaineers Vince Anderson and Cindy Williams.  It is available at local stores in Ouray or at amazon.com.

Ice Skating:  

ice skatingThe Ouray ice skating rink is located at Rotary Park, approximately one mile north of the Hot Springs Pool, and offers some amazing mountain views during the day, as well as the opportunity for some serious star gazing at night!  The rink is typically open from late December throughout the winter as long as winter temperatures remain cold enough to maintain ice. So bring your skates and enjoy the fun atmosphere of an outdoor ice rink. Or, pick up a game of “broom ball” with some of the locals. The rink is maintained by the City of Ouray and a cadre of volunteers. There is a small warming hut located at the rink. Lights at the rink allow for skating in the cold and silent hours of a winter evening with stars shining above.

Cross Country Skiing and Snow Shoeing: 

cross country winter funOpportunities for winter sports activities abound in and around Ouray. Within walking distance of town, numerous trails provide cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing access, or just hiking, to take in the special charm of our beautiful valley blanketed in snow. A short drive in either direction will open up more challenging winter backcountry terrain along with miles of groomed Nordic track, or, slip on a pair of snowshoes and explore miles of untouched powder in the backcountry of the San Juan Mountains. When winter comes to stay, many of our summer hiking trails are transformed into magnificent trails through spruce forests. You can really work up an appetite on some of the longer trails so pack a picnic and a thermos of hot cocoa to rejuvenate. Snowshoe and Cross Country Ski rentals are available in Ouray at Ouray Mountain Sports on Main Street.

Experience the splendor of the Uncompahgre Mountains in the winter with us. We guarantee you will never want to leave this Christmas Card perfect town!

Ouray, southwest colorado


Ouray and Ridgway Events this February, 2014

  
  
  

Ouray County: Relaxation, Romance and Adventure at your Fingertips This February!

winter14As winter sets in with its usual ups and downs, February is a time for restful enjoyment. Ouray and the surrounding are are the ideal spot for a romantic weekend away, or an exciting adventure in a winter wonderland.

The Ouray Ice Park is in ideal condition for those back for more, or first time climbers looking for a check on the bucket list.

Snow shoeing and cross country ski trails line what in the summer months are amazing hiking trails, now covered in a blanket of snow.

A long soothing soak in the healing waters of all natural mineral hot spring tubs is  a lovely way to begin or end your day in the San Juan Mountains!

 

Activities in Ouray and Ridgway:

Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 6pm to 10pm at the Wright Opera House - dZi Foundation Hosts MountainFilm Tour in Ouray

icepark30The Best of MountainFilm of Telluride at the Wright Opera House. Different films each night. Hosted by the dZi Foundation. Doors open at 6PM films from 7PM to 10PM, a collection of long and short, different films each night. $10.00 at the door, each night, no reserved or advance ticket sales.

Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 1pm to 3pm at the Wright Opera House - Oscar Nominated Shorts

And the winners are … Once again, we're proud to present this nationally-touring program highlighting all of the Live Action Short Films, Animated Short Films and Documentary Short Films that received Academy Award nominations this past year. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014 program offers viewers the rare opportunity to experience the year’s best short films from across the globe, collected together in this special cinematic showcase courtesy of Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Sherbino Theater - Adult Swing/Lindy Hop

tubs.3Have you ever wanted to learn the art of the Lindy Hop? There is no better time to learn, and what a great way to spend the next four Tuesdays!?! With the essentials easy to pick up in just four short weeks, you will be dancing to any genre of music, and having a blast while doing so! Continue with Lindy Hop Beginning B the following month. Don't miss the best swing classes in the tri-county area! Taught by Chris & Wendy Shima, Lindy teachers for over 15 years!

Friday, February 7, 2014 - 6pm to 10pm at teh Sherbino Theater - dZi Foundation Hosts MountainFilm on Tour in Ridgway

The Best of MountainFilm of Telluride at the Sherbino Theater. Hosted by the dZi Foundation. Doors open at 6PM films from 7PM to 10PM, a collection of long and short films. $10.00 at the door, no reserved or advance ticket sales.

Saturday, February 8, 2014 - 6pm to 8:30pm at the Ouray Community Center - ROCC Spaghetti Dinner

outsideAnnual Ridgway-Ouray Community Council (ROCC) Spaghetti Dinner. 6 p.m., Ouray Community Center. Speaker: Joe Ramey, General Forecaster and climate specialist with the National Weather Service, Grand Junction office. His topic is "Climate to Weather in Western Colorado."
Cost: $10.00, children under 12 free.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Sherbino Theater - Adult Swing/Lindy Hop

elk2Have you ever wanted to learn the art of the Lindy Hop? There is no better time to learn, and what a great way to spend the next four Tuesdays!?! With the essentials easy to pick up in just four short weeks, you will be dancing to any genre of music, and having a blast while doing so! Continue with Lindy Hop Beginning B the following month. Don't miss the best swing classes in the tri-county area! Taught by Chris & Wendy Shima, Lindy teachers for over 15 years!

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 5pm to 8pm in Ridgway - Ridgway MoonWalk

Join the Ridgway Creative District and Weehawken Creative Arts for a pre-Valentine's Day studio/gallery art walk in downtown Ridgway. Find that special something for that special someone, or just enjoy the creative offerings for yourself.

Friday, February 14, 2014 all day at the Ouray Community Center - OCAA Winter Arts & Crafts Show

ouray winterAnnual Arts & Crafts Show featuring local and regional artists and craft persons. A portion of the sales benefits the OCAA Scholarship fund.

Friday, February 14, 2014 7:30pm to 9:30pm at the 4H Event Center - Valentine's Day Concert with Rodeo and Juliet

Always a favorite -- Chris and Jan Harris presenting songs and stories of life and love as Rodeo and Juliet.

Saturday, February 15, 2014 all day at the Ouray Community Center - OCAA Winter Arts & Crafts Show

snowshoeing2Annual Arts & Crafts Show featuring local and regional artists and craft persons. A portion of the sales benefits the OCAA Scholarship fund.

Sunday, February 16, 2014 all day at the Ouray Community Center - OCAA Winter Arts & Crafts Show

Annual Arts & Crafts Show featuring local and regional artists and craft persons. A portion of the sales benefits the OCAA Scholarship fund.

Monday, February 17, 2014 all day at the Ouray Community Center - OCAA Winter Arts & Crafts Show

Kids Wall2Annual Arts & Crafts Show featuring local and regional artists and craft persons. A portion of the sales benefits the OCAA Scholarship fund.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Sherbino Theater - Adult Swing/Lindy Hop

Have you ever wanted to learn the art of the Lindy Hop? There is no better time to learn, and what a great way to spend the next four Tuesdays!?! With the essentials easy to pick up in just four short weeks, you will be dancing to any genre of music, and having a blast while doing so! Continue with Lindy Hop Beginning B the following month. Don't miss the best swing classes in the tri-county area! Taught by Chris & Wendy Shima, Lindy teachers for over 15 years!

Thursday, February 20, 2014 at the Sherbino Theater 6pm to 8pm - Mixed Media Art Bar with Kellie Day

faith.sheepHow about a Canvas and a Cocktail?  Come join the fun as we mix art and pleasure at the Sherbino Theater.  This class will teach basic collage and mixed media techniques on canvas, while exploring theories on composition.  Create a fun, quirky still life from found-objects provided by your instructor, then learn to apply them to your canvas as a focal point of your painting. Pastel, acrylic, letter stamps and decorative papers will all be used to create a colorful, vibrant canvas that you can take home. While you enjoy the class, we will include one beverage to enjoy. More beverages available for purchase.  What a fun way to enjoy the arts!

Sunday, February 23, 2014 at the Sherbino Theater 6pm to 8pm - Mixed Media Art Bar with Kellie Day

box canyon lodge winter in ourayHow about a Canvas and a Cocktail?  Come join the fun as we mix art and pleasure at the Sherbino Theater.  This class will teach basic collage and mixed media techniques on canvas, while exploring theories on composition.  Create a fun, quirky still life from found-objects provided by your instructor, then learn to apply them to your canvas as a focal point of your painting. Pastel, acrylic, letter stamps and decorative papers will all be used to create a colorful, vibrant canvas that you can take home. While you enjoy the class, we will include one beverage to enjoy. More beverages available for purchase.  What a fun way to enjoy the arts!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Sherbino Theater - Adult Swing/Lindy Hop

bambyattubsHave you ever wanted to learn the art of the Lindy Hop? There is no better time to learn, and what a great way to spend the next four Tuesdays!?! With the essentials easy to pick up in just four short weeks, you will be dancing to any genre of music, and having a blast while doing so! Continue with Lindy Hop Beginning B the following month. Don't miss the best swing classes in the tri-county area! Taught by Chris & Wendy Shima, Lindy teachers for over 15 years!

 

Of course there are always interesting and exciting adventures to be had in the San Juans. From ice climbing to soaking in the mineral hot springs, the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is waiting to help create an escape from the norm. Give us a call, and let us make some memories for you!

 

See You Soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 







 

 

 

 

History of Ouray - Ouray County Icehouses

  
  
  

 In the late 19th and early 20th century, before the invention of the mechanical refrigerator, food was kept cool with blocks of ice, which was delivered in the summer months by wagon to the housewives of Ouray County. The Ouray Museum has a 12” x 12” x 2” cast iron horse tie used by a Ouray ice deliveryman. He would throw the horse tie on the ground and tie his horse to it while delivering ice. Often the home icebox would have a door on the outside of the house for the iceman to place a block of ice without entering the home. Ouray children would be sure and be home when the ice was delivered so that they might get a small piece of ice from the deliveryman.

In order to supply ice in the warm months, large icehouses were constructed and straw or sawdust was used to insulate the blocks so that they would be available all summer long. Sawdust was also placed between the blocks so they would not stick together.

 Piedmont Ice (1)Ice was harvested in January and February from Lake Lenore and from a pond near Piedmont, which was flooded with clear water from Coal Creek. The Lake Lenore ice was hauled to Ouray by wagons. A January 23, 1896 article in the Ouray Herald states “all of the teams were pressed into service hauling ice from Lake Lenore.  The ice is of fine quality this year.”

 

The attached photo shows ice cutting on the Haskin Ranch at Piedmont. When the ice was about 30 inches thick it was strong enough to bear the weight of the horses and people and thick enough for ice blocks. Each block weighed 300 to 400 pounds.  The ice from Piedmont was loaded onto a Denver and Rio Grande train for the trip to the icehouses in Ouray.

A number of Ouray businesses, often beer or coal distributors, sold 50 to 100 pound blocks of ice all summer long. C. W. Andrew had the exclusive contract for Lake Lenore ice. During the 1890s and early years of the 20th century W. R. Kramer was the manager of the Ouray Ice and Coal Company. S. E. DuPuy was the distributor of Zangs’s Beer and he also sold ice out of his icehouse near the railroad tracks along the Uncompahgre River. The river was the undoing of Mr. DuPuy’s business when on June 15, 1906 the river rose so high that it took out his ice house and sent it several blocks down river. N. P. Sorensen had an icehouse just southwest the Ouray Depot and just northwest of the depot was the Zadra and Zanella San Juan Bottling Works, which also sold ice. Charlie Zadra was the last businessman in Ouray to sell ice blocks.

Ridgway also had an ice business. The Ridgway Creamery, managed by George W. Braman from its opening in 1905 until 1912, began to sell ice during the summer of 1909. The Ouray Herald issue of November 27, 1908 states, “A new icehouse is being erected at the Ridgway Creamery.  The creamery company proposes to store ice for its own use and will be able to supply the ice trade in Ridgway during the summer months next season.” The January 9, 1909 issue of the Ouray Herald indicated that the icehouse was completed and being stocked with blocks of ice. On January 14, 1910 the Ouray Herald reported that over 90 tons of ice was put up at the Ridgway Creamery and on January 27, 1911 the Ouray Herald reported that the Ridgway Creamery was obtaining its ice from Piedmont.

About the Author:  Don Paulson is the curator at the Ouray County Historical Society and Ouray County Museum.  He is also a retired Professor of Chemistry where he specialized in organic chemistry.  Don is an active member of the Ridgway Railroad Museum, and an avid hiker, 4WD (jeep) enthusiast, and photographer in addition to his duties as curator for the museum.

 

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