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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Five Must Haves to Drive The Million Dollar Highway Any Time of Year


Driving the Scenic Highways of Southwest Colorado is not as scary as you think.

red mountain.2The 76 miles of US Highway 550 between Durango and Ouray, Colorado, often referred to as the Million Dollar Highway, is a combination of three (3) mountain passes accross some of the most breathtaking scenery the country has to offer. One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our guests is whether the road will be open when they are planning to visit.

Our answer, regardless of the time of year is almost always YES. Because it is a State highway, and the only means of accessing the town of Silverton, nestled between Molas and Red Mountain Passes, the highway is maintained as a priority by CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation). 

million dollar hwy winterOf course, given where we live, and the fact that the summit of Red Mountain Pass is at over 11,000 feet, there are obviously times the road may have to be closed due to Mother Nature, who often likes to throw little "road blocks" at us. Of course, she doesn't take into consideration the tenacity of our amazing road crews. Typically, if the road has to be closed, it is only for a couple of hours while snow is cleared, or maintenance is performed. Whenever possible, maintenance is done during the wee hours of night so as to disrupt the least amount of travelers. 

Frankly, who would want to drive this road at night anyway? With its dramatic drops and breathtaking views, this is a drive to be experienced in the full light of day! Regardless of the season, driving in Colorado is an adventure and a feast for the senses. All you need are a few things to make the drive safe and fun no matter what Mother Nature throws at you:

1. Camera

driving in swcoloradoBelieve me when I say, your camera will be your best friend on Highway 550! Whether you live here, or this is your first visit, there are so many sights to see and capture. Around each bend, your breath will catch at an entirely new view. Every season is rife with opportunities to exercise your photographic abilities, and you don't have to be a professional because it is close to impossible to take a bad picture here! Driving along the Million Dollar Highway, panoramic views are all there are. From following the curves of the road behind you, to wildlife who seem to be waiting for you to get their best angle, your camera is your best friend as you traverse every curve.

2. Good Tires

million dollar highway.2It doesn't matter where you are traveling, good tires should always be foremost in your mind. First of all, a good all season tire gives traction and control to the driver that may contribute significantly to the amount of enjoyment you get from the drive. Winter travelers might consider more specialized tires, designed for snow travel, but this is often an unnesesary expence if you are visiting for just a couple of days, then heading back to Phoenix. Surprisingly, snow chains are moderately affordable, and will provide any additional traction and security for traversing the high mountain passes in wintry weather. Another thing to remember is that good tires actually help increase gas mileage and decrease wear and tear on your engine.

3. Front Wheel Drive

million dollar harley.3Believe it or not, everyone in Colorado does not own a four wheel drive vehicle. Front wheel drive cars are usually more than adequate for travel any time of year along scenic highways. Granted, four wheel drive or even all wheel drive vehicles are great to have, and will add to your confidence in extreme weather conditions, but honestly, adverse weather in Colorado doesn't actually last all that long. There is a saying in Southwest Colorado, "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes, or drive ten miles." It couldn't be more true! Highway 550 is also an extremely popular scenic byway for motorcycle enthusiasts in the summer months. With its twisting, well graded meandering, it is an ideal adventure for any driver!

4. Windshield Washer Fluid

rainbow (1)Sounds silly, but trust me. There is nothing worse than running out of windshield washer fluid as you are following along a string of cars on a rainy day. Almost instantly, the back splash from the car in front of you has mixed with highway dust, and created close to no visibility. Make is a point to top off before getting on the road, and always have an extra gallon in the trunk.


5. Common Sense

million dollar highway crystal lakeThis is not meant to be insulting, nor to discount that sometimes accidents just happen. But, you wouldn't put your head in a tigers mouth(unless you are Siegfried or Roy), so consequently, when the sign says 15 miles an hour with a drawing of what looks like a pretzel, go ahead and slow down. I once asked a police officer, and he told me the largest number of accidents that occur on the Million Dollar Highway involved locals who have taken the road for granted, and forgotten how deceivingly beautiful it is. The fact is, just around any blind corner, there is always the possibility of some surprise waiting for you. Now, when approached at the specified speed limit, you will have more time to react to the Bambi convention at the summit by slowing down without a screeching of locked brakes and smoking tires.

bcl tbsThe Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, nestled in the southwest corner of Ouray, is the perfect resting place after a day of exploring the outstanding beauty of the San Juan Mountains! let us be your home away from home, as you soak away the open road in our all natural mineral hot spring tubs, then stuggle up in your room to enjoy a movie or two chosen from out video library. Let our helpful front desk staff assist you in planning the perfect escape in this remarkable mountain town! 


Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray County Welcomes Jeff Solon Jazz Trio!


Wright Opera House and Sherbino Theater Present Jazz Concert in Southwest Colorado!

ouray coloradoOuray County boasts a variety of exciting and fun events throughout the year, and this year is starting off with a bang!

The Wright Opera House, located in Ouray, has teamed up with the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado, to bring the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio to Ouray County this April 13, 2014 at 7:30pm in Ridgway!

The Wright Opera House has worked to bring music to Ouray County for the past few years, parenting the Wrighteous Jazz Series, which brings musicians from all over to the historic venue in Southwest Colorado. 

sherbino 2The Sherbino Theater has also made it their goal to share a love of the arts in an historic setting that virtually sings by itself.

As these two venues work ever harder to not only present performances that are memorable, they also work to continuously improve the buildings themselves, restoring them to the splendor they once were in the days of the railroad and mining prosperity in the west.

For the past couple of months, with work on the Wright Opera House in full swing, the two venues have joined forces to keep the music alive!

Based out of Durango, Colorado, a scenic drive over the Million Dollar Highway, Jeff Solon travels the west, sharing his talent and love of jazz wherever he lands!

He has performed on mountaintops and in concert halls - mesmerizing music lovers whether they are new to the genre, or jazz is their first love.

Regardless of personal preferences, talented artists such Jeff Solon and his associates seem to infect others with their own passion for the song, and the experience creates a memory not soon forgotten.

solon webJeff performs both as a solo artist and in groups based on the interests of the venue. 

The performance at the Sherbino in April will feature Jeff Solon himself, complimented by renowned bass guitarist Elizabeth Riordan and classical pianist Jack Maynes.

Elizabeth Riordan has performed around the world. After a near fatal car accident, her passion for Jazz and the bass was increased tenfold, as demonstrated with her determination to not only overcome but to outdo herself as an artist. Since moving to Southwest Colorado, elizabeth has worked primarily with Jeff to create a sound and mood that emphasize their profound love of jazz.

wrightlogo2;Since he was a child, Jack Maynes has had a powerful love of music and the classical piano. After having completed his degree in 2011, Jack has travelled the Southwest, sharing his love of music in a variety of genres, always bringing his own special combination of sensitivity and passion to the music.

The first show in the upcoming series, the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio is the perfect appetizer to a summer of spectacular shows.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan the perfect getaway and concert experience. Always avid supporters of the arts, we are genuinely excited to share this next season of musical expression with our guests.

See You Soon!


Ouray, southwest colorado





Ouray: Waterfall Viewing in Colorado Peaks in May and Early June


Southwest Colorado Waterfalls

Waterfall viewing in the late Spring and early Summer is delightful.  The thunderous roar of the water as it falls back to the ground amazes even the coolest teenager.  Ouray is home to three great year round falls that should not be missed, but, the springtime runoff proves exceptionally awe inspiring.

Of course, just two blocks from our hotel is our namesake, the Box Canyon Falls.  It drains melting snows from great wildflower basins like Yankee Boy Basin or Imogene Basin into Canyon Creek and then merges into the Uncompaghre River right in Ouray.  Just before it enters town, it drops a couple of hundred feet in a tall and narrow gorge.  This area is also home to numerous birds, including the Black Swift, which makes its home on the steep canyon walls.  It is a wonderful place to stop for a picnic.

box canyon falls walkway


Cascade Falls, on the other side of Ouray, is a very dramatic and scenic feature of town.  These falls are wide open and fall from the cliffs on the east side of town.  This waterfall is visible from nearly every spot in town.  It is a steep walk upward from the parking area to the  bottom of the falls but there is a great hiking trail that heads up the hillside known as Lower Cascade Falls Trail that winds around the hillside.


Bear Creek Falls is just outside of town, 2-3 miles south of Ouray on the Million Dollar Highway.  A brand new viewing stand has been finished and provides a wonderful location to stand above the falls and watch the water drop a couple hundred feet below.  Look for beautiful rainbows in the mist.

bear creek falls

Seasonal waterfalls abound in the area too.   Just look around the cliff walls as you drive into Ouray and you will see numerous falls along Red Mountain Pass and even along the red cliffs on the way to Ridgway.

In July, venture into any high mountain basin in search of your favorite Jeep Trail or patch of wildflowers and you will find wonderful falls all summer long that cascade over granite through wonderful forests.

imogene basin waterfalls

waterfalls near ouray colo in july


You can also find delicate trickles of water that appear after an afternoon thunderstorm.

seasonal waterfall in southwest colorado


And, don't forget your camera.  Photography buffs and pros alike love Southwest Colorado for its incredible scenic beauty.  You just can't take an ugly photograph in Southwest Colorado!



Ouray, southwest colorado

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!


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!


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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.

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.  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. 


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