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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Best Wildflower Viewing Near Ouray Colorado

  
  
  

Wildflower Season In Ouray Colorado - Best Spots for Photographers


Although wildflowers are starting to come out in the Ouray area now, the spectacular scenes with fields of color really don't show their stuff until early July.  As the temperatures warm and the snow melts away, wildflowers begin their ascent up the mountain valley.  Today, dandelions blanket the Magic Carpet between Ouray and Ridgway, a wonderfully beautiful sight, just whetting one's appetite for the season to come.

ouray ridgway flowers

 

Some of the best wildflower viewing areas near Ouray are:

Last Dollar Road

Last Dollar Road peaks first in most any year.  Incredible fields of Sunflowers blanket the area.  It is a bit dryer than most of the other wild flower areas in the area, so the season is earlier.  Check out this area in mid to late June for peak sunflowers.

Last-dollar-road

Yankee Boy Basin

No one comes to Ouray without a trip into Yankee Boy Basin.  Although more traveled than most places, the waterfalls and the incredible basin filled with Columbines (the State Flower) make this a not to miss destination.  Columbines blanket the upper basin in late June and by mid-late July, are complemented with a cadre of other wildflowers including delphiniums and Queen Anne's Lace.  

yankee boy basin columbines

 

Black Bear Pass

Black Bear Pass has beautiful flowers as well and well worth a trip.  The West Side of Black Bear Pass is one way (down only) into Telluride and the drive is trechourous.  Only the most experienced 4x4 drivers should attempt this route in its entirety, but, the East Side has great wild flowers, with plenty of spots with water.  One can even find herds of elephants (Elephant Ear - not shown) in some slightly marshy sections on the east side.  Head up Black Bear starting the third week of July.

black bear pass wildflowers

Imogene Basin

Imogene Basin is the highest basin in the area so it is the last area to start blooming but it can provide glimpses of Columbines well into August and vast fields of delphiniums.  

Imogene basin wildflowers ouray
Near the summit of Imogene Pass, wildflowers thin as the climate changes into an alpine tundra, but, small hardy plants overlook the Million Dollar Highway and Red Mountain and bloom late into August.
alpine tundra overlooking million dollar highway red mtn
Don't have a desire to find the wildflowers on your own?  Then, talk to one of the Jeep Tour Companies in town and hop on for a half day or full day tour.  Mention your desire for a wildflower adventure and they will surely satisfy.  Of course, we are delighted to make your reservations for you.
And, we would love to know when and where you find the best wildflowers in Ouray County!  Leave us a comment with your favorite location.

Hiking in Ouray: Wonderfully Scenic Beauty: Sutton Mine Trail

  
  
  

Ouray Hiking Trails - Great Views of Bear Creek Falls

Ouray Colorado is surrounded by incredibly beautiful mountains and pictures abound.  One of the great hikes accessed from town is the Sutton Mine Trail where some spectacular views beckon professional and amateur photographers alike.  This hike is a fairly short out and back.  From the trailhead, the hike is 2.2 miles to the Neosho Mine and the wonderfully decorated Antique Store.

The first 0.5 miles is akin to walking on a stairmaster with an endless series of switchbacks.  The trail is in very good shape, but, it is steep so slow and steady is the way to go.  With a shorter stride, the Scenic Overlook comes soon enough.

ouray colorado scenic overlook

From this point on, the hike is very enjoyable.  The trail undulates with an upward slope, with short spurts through stretches of pine trees with the occasional aspen.  The views are very nice and you can see the Million Dollar highway below and the Amphitheater above.

The Bear Creek Drainage to the east is an interesting site and with very good eyes one can watch 4x4s meander the spur that takes Jeepers up to Engineer Pass and connects Ouray to the Alpine Loop.  The Bear Creek Overlook comes 1.7 miles from the trailhead.  But, keep walking another 0.3 miles to the best view on the hike.

Cross two streams (the first could easily be dry by late June and the second will last the full year), emerge from the forest at approximately 2.0 miles from the trailhead to a magnificent view of the Bear Creek Falls.

bear creek falls million dollar highway

This stunning vantage point for Bear Creek Falls comes with a wonderful picnic location too.  Nice rocky outcroppings make for a nice bench in which to rest weary feet and the road below makes for some interesting observations.  Bear Creek Falls goes under US Highway 550 and plunges 225 feet.  

And, at this same picnic location, enjoy views to the south of Mt. Abrams.

Mt Abrams ouray 

Another 0.2 miles and the trail ends at the Neosho Mine.  This hike is out and back.

For photographers and those who enjoy more shade, Bear Creek Falls is to the east, so make a late afternoon of it for best light.   

Getting There:  The Trailhead is very near the Ouray Ice Park Office off of Camp Bird Road.  From town, head south on US 550 and turn onto Ouray County Road 361.  Pass the CDOT buildings, pass the Ouray Ice Park Kiosk and park on the right within 0.1 miles.  The trailhead is on the left side, just after the Ouray Perimeter Trail crossing.  If you have reached the Water Towers, you have passed it.  There is a very small parking area here, enough for 3-4 vehicles on the side of the road.

 

Ouray and Ridgway Colorado June 2013

  
  
  

June in Southwest Colorado is the Perfect time to visit!

spring flowers.3Every year we wait with anticipation for the high country to dry out enough for all of the activities of summer. Not that winter was so horrible, but it is time to smell the flowers and explore a new season.

Concerts and festivals abound as we welcome the warm sunny days. It is always an adventure to visit the untouched beauty of the San Juan Mountains as the wildflowers peak and the jeep trails open one by one. Hiking trails beckon with the promise of magnificent scenery - a photographers fantasy land. And with the new Wibits obstacle course, the pool is even more inviting than ever!

Events this June in Ouray County:

Thursday, April 18, 2013 through Friday, July 5, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Otto Mears Exhibit - Ouray County Museum, Ouray, Colorado

ottomearsLearn about one of the most influential entrepreneurs of Colorado. From mining to politics, newspapres to the Million Dollar Highway the life of Otto Mears is a fascinating journey in living the American Dream. This exhibit was so popular that it has been held over for another season. If you haven't been to the Ouray Museum, this is the time to go, and if you have been before, it is time to visit again!

Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

San Juan Green Home and Efficiency Expo - Ouray County 4H Event Center, Ridgway, Colorado

spring flowersTransition OurWay presents its First Annual green Energy Expo, bringing together speakers, panels and vendors to share the latest technology and trends in alternative energy and conservation methods. This year, the focus will be on home efficiency.

Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 8:00 pm to 12:00 am

The Sherbino Presents: Katya Chorover - Sherbino Theatre, Ridgway, Colorado

Big Big Love front cover katya choroverOriginally from Seattle, Katya made Southwest Colorado her home in 2006, and has been sharing her music, fondly referred to as Fonky-Tonk, in all varieties of venues. Her brand new cd "Big Big Love" was released in 2011. It is a reflection on life and its many cycles, appealing to cowboys, farmers, and everyone in between.

Sunday, June 2, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Look Who's Talking - Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

taste of ouraySupport our local Ouray and Ridgway high school students Daniel Degenhardt and Alex Peters on their road to the National Speech and Debate competition in Birmingham, Alabama, and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment in return. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Taste of Ouray - Ouray Community Center, Ouray, Colorado

The Annual Taste of Ouray culinary festival as always, is a great way to sample the local cuisine, brews and wine, as attendees exchange tickets for samples and cast a vote for their favorites. This year, a new competition, featuring a 'mystery ingredient' should make this years event a true adventure for your taste buds!

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Mountain Air Music Series Presented by the Ouray Hot Springs Pool - Fellin Park, Ouray, Colorado

marchfourth 2013 by andy batt 11x6Don't miss the first free concert in the park this June: The March Fourth Marching Banda kaleidoscope of musical and visual energy that inspires dancing in an atmosphere of celebration. The opening set is the ever popular Miss Emily.

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am 

Live Music - Miss Emily - O'Brien's Pub & Grill, Ouray, Colorado

miss emilyThe music doesn't end at 10:00! Walk up to O'Brien's Pub after the concert in the park for more from Miss Emily!

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Ridgway Farmer's Market - Ridgway Hartwell Park, Ridgway, Colorado

The Ridgway Farmer's Market features locally and nd regionally grown organic produce, breads & baked goods, specialty spices and jams, and locally handmade artisan treats like hats, candles, soaps, jewelry, and much more!

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Celebrating Land Picnic at Ridgway Farmer's Market - Hartwell Park, Ridgway, Colorado

ridgway farmers market logoCelebrate Colorado Land Conservation Appreciation Week with Black Canyon Regional Land Trust staff and supporters at a picnic lunch in Hartwell Park on the opening day of the Ridgway Farmer's Market. We will have a table displaying our BCRLT banner - meet us there. Bring a blanket or camping chair if you like. Can't make it on the 7th? Look for us at the Ridgway Market EVERY FRIDAY from 12-3, June through October and stop by to say hello!

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 6:00 pm to close

Dinner & Karaoke at Ouray Elks Lodge, Ouray, Colorado

elks lodge2Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person.

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

RAT FEST: A Fundraiser for Ridgway Area Trails, Movie at the Sherbino Theater, Ridgway, Colorado

Enjoy an evening of great entertainment with friends and like minded individuals as you show your support to maintaining the Ridgway Area Trails.

Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 8:00 am to 9:00 am

Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership Nature Walk - Ouray Visitor's Center, Ouray, Colorado

uwp logoEvery 2nd Saturday of the month, the UWP invites you to hike around with our staff and board members. This is an informal opportunity to get to know the county, and get to know your community.

Saturday, June 8,, 2013 - 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

RAT FEST: Music, Bikes and Beer in Ridgway's Town Park, Ridgway, Colorado

joint pointJoint Point! Live, on the new stage in Ridgway's town park!!!

9am-noon, trail building
12-3pm, trail riding
3-8pm, Festival

Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 8:00 pm to 12:00 am

The Sherbino Presents: Doug Kolz, Ridgway, Colorado

doug kolzAfter the festivities in the park, head on over to the Sherbino and enjoy the Country/Folk talents of this seasoned performer!

Monday, June 10 through Friday, June 14, 2013 - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily

Ridgway Railroad Museum Work Week - Ridgway Railroad Museum, Ridgway, Colorado

railroad museumDo you love trains, and the history of the railroad in Southwest Colorado? Every year, the Ridgway Rairod Museum hosts volunteers interested in helping maintain the museum. Many projects to choose from. Come for one hour , a half day, a full day or all four days. We have projects for every skill level - sorting documents, working on the restoration of Business Car C, painting our rolling stock, lettering cars, cleaning up the yard, etc. Free lunch is served daily to volunteers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Mountain Air Music Series presents: The Otis Taylor Band - Fellin Park, Ouray, Colorado

OtisTaylorPhotobyLenIrishThe second FREE concert in the park this June presents the Otis Taylor Band, one of the most compelling artists to emerge in recent years. With opening act by Screen Door Porch, whose blend of Americana, Roots rock and Country Blues is sure to have you dancing in the park.

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

ROCC Talk: "The Geology of Ouray County" by Larry Meckel - Ridgway Town Hall, Ridgway, Colorado

Larry Meckel will describe "The Geology of Ouray County" at 7 p.m., Thurs., June 13 at the Ridgway Community Center. Refreshments and conversation, 6:45 p.m.

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am

Sceen Door Porch Live at O'Brien's Pub & Grill, Ouray, Colorado

SDPQuartetbyDavidStubbsThe music doesn't end at 10:00! Walk up to O'Brien's Pub after the concert in the park for more from Screen Door Porch!

Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Ridgway Farmer's Market - Ridgway Hartwell Park, Ridgway, Colorado

The Ridgway Farmer's Market features locally and nd regionally grown organic produce, breads & baked goods, specialty spices and jams, and locally handmade artisan treats like hats, candles, soaps, jewelry, and much more!

Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Corkscrew Gulch Turntable Hike - Ouray County Museum, Ouray, Colorado

corkscrew mapCorkscrew Railroad Bed and Turntable Hike (guided, $10 cost) - Sponsored by the Ridgway Railroad Museum and OCHS. Call 970-325-4576 to preregister. Hikers will meet at the Ouray County Museum at 9:00 am. In case of inclement weather call Don Paulson at 325-0931 before 8 am to ascertain the hike status.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 - All day, non timed event

Trail Town Ten-Miler Running Race - Trail Town, Ridgway, Colorado

One of the races in the Ouray County Race Series. The Trail Town 10-miler begins and ends near the Trail Town Distillery in Ridgway. This is a fun course in the keyhole or 'lollipop' style. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Ridgway Ranch Rodeo - Ouray County Fairgrounds, Ridgway, Colorado

barrel racingThis special festival honors our ranching history and cultural heritage. In cooperation with the Ouray County Rodeo Association, O.C. Ranch History Museum, Ridgway Railroad Museum, 4-H, the Creative Art District, the Town of Ridgway and of course the Ridgway Chamber of Commerce we are planning an event that will appeal to everyone in and around our community.

Saturday, June 15
Parade 10 am
Ranch Rodeo - 11am - 4:00 pm 10 teams, 3 events
Jack Pot Barrel Racing - Mini Jr. Gymkhana - Mounted Shooting Exhibition
Meet the Animals

Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 12:00 am

Heritage Days Barn Dance: OPAL MOON - Hartwell Park, Ridgway, Colorado

opalmoonJoin us at Hartwell Park after the Rodeo in a giant tent with carnival lights, and live music performed by Opal Moonhttp://www.opalmoonband.com/

Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 8:00 pm to 12:00 am 

The Sherbino Presents: Sticky Mulligan - Sherbino Theater, Ridgway, Colorado

sticky mulliganDance the night away to the funky, soulful vibe of this four piece band based out of Western Colorado.

Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Ridgway Ranch Rodeo - Ouray County Fairgrounds, Ridgway, Colorado

rodeoThis special festival honors our ranching history and cultural heritage. In cooperation with the Ouray County Rodeo Association, O.C. Ranch History Museum, Ridgway Railroad Museum, 4-H, the Creative Art District, the Town of Ridgway and of course the Ridgway Chamber of Commerce we are planning an event that will appeal to everyone in and around our community.

Sunday, June 16
Pancake Breakfast 7am - 10 am
Morning church services in the park 9 - 10 am
Cowboy Poetry - Music - Story Telling 11am - 5 pm 
Blacksmiths - Ute Indians - Cowboy Gathering
Farmers Market for local produce, cheese, & wines
Children's Carnival Games

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Evennings of History: "What the Vanoli site as a whole can tell us about the 'Old West.'" - Ouray County Community Center, Ouray, Colorado

ghost towns ourayEvenings of History, "What the Ouray Vanoli Site Can Tell Us About the Old West" presented by Mary Van Buren, Professor of Anthropology, Colorado State University , 7:30-9:00 pm @ the Ouray Community Center. Sponsored by Teris Schery.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Mountain Air Music Series Presents: Current Swell - Fellin Park, Ouray, Colorado

Current Swell   Shane Deringer Photography 2This talented quartet hails from British Columbia, Current Swell brings an eclectic Pacific Northwest indie-rock sound to the series. Musical influences from reggae, folk, surf and blues genres can be heard throughout their original music. Opening set by The Fox Fire, a close knit folk rock quartet from Brevard, a little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am

The Fox Fire Live at O'Brien's Pub - Ouray, Colorado

FoxfireBoysStandingAfter the concert in the park begins to wind down, enjoy more music for the Fox Fire, as they jam the night away at O'Briien's Pub & Grill!

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Woman's Club Rummage Sale - Ouray Community Center, Ouray, Colorado

The Annual Woman's Club Rummage Sale is filled with treasures. 

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Ridgway Farmer's Market - Ridgway Hartwell Park, Ridgway, Colorado

farmers marketThe Ridgway Farmer's Market features locally and nd regionally grown organic produce, breads & baked goods, specialty spices and jams, and locally handmade artisan treats like hats, candles, soaps, jewelry, and much more!

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

WCA Cookbook Kick-Off - Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast, Ouray, Colorado

secret gardenFree kick-off party for new WCA Cookbook. Bite-size
recipe samples and beverages will be served. Cook-book will be for sale.

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Dan Navarro - Summer Music Series at the Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

navarroEvery month this summer, The Wright opera House brings us yet another talented artist performing in their Summer Music Series. Dan Navarro, singer, songwriter, with his songs of rich insight and experience, delivered straight up with honesty, grace and heart is truly an artist to be experienced.

Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Woman's Club Rummage Sale - Ouray Community Center, Ouray, Colorado

rummagesaleThe Annual Woman's Club Rummage Sale is filled with treasures.

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Trio Solisti chamber Music Concert - 4H Event Center, Ridgway, Colorado

triosolistiRenown chamber music trio fron New York, Trio Solisti returns to Ouray County for the 11th appearance. Maria Bachman, violin, Jon Klibinoff, piano, and Alexis Pia Gerlach will provide an unforgettable chamber music for your enjoyment.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Mountain Air Music Series Presents: California Honeydrops - Fellin Park, Ouray, Colorado

California Honeydrops 2The California Honeydrops get people up and dancing with stellar performances of traditional material as well as their own innovative music. With opening set by The Dustbowl Revival, a Venice, California based collective, merging old-school bluegrass, gospel, jug band, swamp blues and 1930's swing, the final free concert in Ouray is sure to be a show stopper!

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am

The Dust Bowl Revival at O'Brien's Pub - Ouray, Colorado

After the concert in the park begins to wind down, enjoy more music for the Dust Bowl Revival, as they jam the night away at O'Briien's Pub & Grill!

dustbowl revivalFriday, June 28, 2013 - 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Ridgway Farmer's Market - Ridgway Hartwell Park, Ridgway, Colorado

The Ridgway Farmer's Market features locally and nd regionally grown organic produce, breads & baked goods, specialty spices and jams, and locally handmade artisan treats like hats, candles, soaps, jewelry, and much more!

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Kara Huber - Classical Pianist - Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado

kara huberThe Wright Opera House is pleased to present American pianist Kara Huber, acclaimed for her “mature vision” by the Washington Post during a recent performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Classical Voice of North Carolina wrote that she plays “technically difficult solo passages with uncanny accuracy.” 

RRF 2013 LOGO smallSaturday, June 29, 2013 - 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

6th Annual Ridgway River Festival - Rollans park, Rigdway, Colorado


Join us for a FREE watershed celebration. Activities will include a whitewater rodeo, down-river races, the Junk of the Unc race, and fun at the Kid's Eddy. A regional watershed information tent will provide an essential educational component. Live music, local food vendors, and a beverage tent will round out the day. 

June is filled with live music and fun! From festivals to rummage sales, and dancing in the park at least once a week, what better way to spend a weekend? Of course, there are the usual activities to be enjoyed as well: soak in the hot springs, explore the high country, either by foot or by 4x4! Spend a day playing on the new obstacle course at the city pool, or just relax at the park, picnicking and flying kites!

See You Soon!

Family Adventure Package in Ouray, Colorado

  
  
  

Let the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs be Your Gateway to Adventure in the San Juans!

ouray coloradoWhen picturing a vacation in the little mining town of Ouray, Colorado, what do you imagine? Perhaps bringing your 4x4 and exploring the plethora of jeep trails surrounding town, or spending the day soaking at the pool and shopping on Main Street?

Just a short distance from town is the trailhead to Mt Sneffels, one of several 14ers in Colorado. There are waterfalls practically around every bend on the Million Dollar Highway, one of the most breathtaking scenic byways in the country, and it is practically impossible to have a bad view. Nestled in a tiny box canyon, everywhere you look are magnificent mountain peaks and dramatic landscapes.

canyoning ouray.2Of course, for those more inclined to experience a real adventure, with thrills and chills and adrenaline pumping through their veins, Ouray has a variety of options, as well as a group of people who can create the ultimate adventure in the safest way possible.

sjmg logoThe San Juan Mountain Guides consist of a group of people dedicated to providing the ultimate experience for any skill level. These professionally trained guides are all certified Wilderness First Responders and have formal training in climbing instruction, rigging, guiding, and avalanche hazard assessment.

canyoning ourayCanyoning combines different elements of technical descent, whitewater challenges, and incredible scenery. From Portland Creek Canyon, with its breathtaking scenery and mild drops, to the more dramatic Cascade Canyon, there is an outdoor adventure suited to everyone. 

Imagine a day of rock climbing, rapelling and canyoning with your family! In the spirit of fun and learning  in the outdoors, the San juan Mountain guides will take you and your family on an adventure perfectly suited to you, creating an experience that will last forever in your memory. Mountain sports help kids gain self confidence and allow both parents and children to challenge themselves in a supportive environment. San Juan Mountain Guides has always offered specialized programs for families that stress fun and learning for every skill and adventure level.

large suiteAt the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our staff is dedicated to the kinder aspects of vacation. Clean comfortable rooms, and a staff oriented on creating a "Home away from home" for every visitor that walks through our doors. Ready to assist with everything from dinner reservations to information on the best hiking trails, no request is too big. Combined with our four mineral hot spring tubs, there is no better basecamp for a Ouray Adventure.

bcl tbsLet the Box Canyon Lodge arrange your Family Adventure for you! One stop shopping was never so easy! Just choose the adventure you would like, and the staff at the Lodge will make all of your preparations. All you have to do is show up and let your San Juan Mountain Guide take you on a half day trip you will not soon forget! 

The Box Canyon Lodge is currently offering a Family Adventure Package which includes two nights lodging in one of our lovely guest rooms and a half day adventure with San Juan Mountain guides for $875.00 plus tax for a family of four. A journey for your family which will lead to many more outdoor excursions, creating a bond of learning and fun in a safe and exciting environment. At the end of the day, let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge make you feel at home as you soothe tired muscles in the mineral hot springs, then enjoy a quiet evening of relaxation with a game or movie from our library.

Just enter Promo code FAP2013 to begin your next Ouray memory!

See you soon!

 


Ten Favorite Wineries in Southwest Colorado

  
  
  

Southwest Colorado is filled with hard working entrepreneurs.

wine1People using creativity and imagination to stay in this area they love. A few of those creative groups are wine makers, cheese makers and chocolatiers. 5 years ago I opened a Bed and Breakfast in Ouray and started the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival. In both of these endeavors I got to know a lot of the great people in these fields.

There are so many great wineries it is hard to choose which ones to include in this blog. So I guess I will just tell you my favorites. West Elks Wine Country is the biggest wine country area near Ouray. You can check out a complete list of wineries in the area on their website http://www.westelksava.com/events.html as well as see events and locations for all the wineries.

wine2Stoney Mesa Winery is in Cedaredge in a beautiful setting of rolling hills and streams. They sit atop a mesa where their grapes grow in abundance surrounding their tasting room. They have won many awards for their fantastic wine. Bret is the wine maker and a brilliant one at that. He also has a winery in Grand Junction, Ptarmigan Vineyards.

Mountain View Winery and Garrett Estate Cellars are both in Olathe. Both wineries have some great wines and a huge selection. Olathe is famous for its sweet corn and a great sweet corn festival in Aug. Mountain View Winery also has orchards and great fruit that they use in making some of their sweeter wines.

Leroux Creek Inn and Vineyards  is a complete experience of cooking, wine tasting and Bed and Breakfast. Yvonne and Joanna are wonderful hosts. Leroux Creek is a biodynamic farm making great and unique wines.

wine3Jackrabbit Hill is an organic winery and distillery. They are up on Redlands Mesa and are a really fun experience. They have the most beautiful still. They are one of the first wineries in this area to start using kegs for their wine. Anna is a fabulous hostess.  Also while driving across Redlands Mesa you will find a buffalo and elk farm, High Wire Ranch. The best time to experience this farm is the Mother's Day Wine Trail. They really make some great meat.

Liliputian Winery is another great! They are right on Hwy 92 on the way to Hotchkiss. Lisa and her husband Scott make great wine. They have one really unique ginger wine which is perfect with Lisa's awesome sushi. They also have a local market and health food store on the property. Their parking markers are huge petrified logs! Very cool!

wine4Once you get to Paonia there are too many to do in 1 day so you should just plan a wine vacation. I am happy to be a tour guide for anyone interested in really experiencing the area for the low price of a bottle or 2 of wine.:)

Rhodes Vineyards is a must see. He is on a hill above Paonia and his tasting room is really special, a cool shed with great atmosphere including an old Indian Motorcycle. He also makes great wines, mostly reds and in the old school way without machines and technology. A really great experience. He also doesn't have a website or e-mail address, and doesn't accept credit cards, but he will take your check from anywhere. It is nice to have people who still trust others.

wine5Azura Cellars has a beautiful setting overlooking the valley. They have a great courtyard and tasting room with an art gallery. Their counter is a timeline of their around the world trip in a sail boat. Their wines are delicious, including their Chocolate Merlot Sauce, which is great on anything.

Stone Cottage Cellars is a great spot with their tasting room made from rocks off their property. They have a fantastic Gewurztraminer, one of the more popular grapes that grow in this area. They are a family operation as most of the wineries in the area are which is really cool.

wine7Terror Creek Winery is the highest elevation commercial vineyard in the world. They specialize in drier crisper wines. They have a fantastic view of the valley.

Black Bridge Winery  and Delicious Orchards are great places to go to taste a variety of local wines. Black Bridge Winery is a great place on the river in a little hallow. They also sell olive oils and lots of great locally made sauces, jams and food stuffs. Delicious Orchards makes their own hard cider which is really delicious. They also have a little cafe on the property and camping and picnicking areas. They also sell local produce, honey and cheeses, which leads into my next blog about local cheese makers. So stay tuned. 

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 5 years ago; a fantastic party featuring all products from Colorado, which has quickly become an event not to be missed each winter. Faith recently joined our team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. Come on up and meet her!

Ouray Hotel Welcomes Wright Opera House Concert Goers

  
  
  

Summer Music Series at the Wright Opera House Rocks Southwest Colorado!

Wright Opera HouseThe Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has always been a big supporter of the arts and music in Ouray. As each season turns, the Wright Opera House introduces a new music series, and we are excited to share this information with our guests. What better way to complete the perfect Ouray Getaway than to enjoy a concert in one of the most beautiful historic venues in Colorado. May 31, 2013 marks the beginning of the Summer Music Series at the Wright Opera House. Talented artists from across the country will perform throughout the summer, offering a variety of genres from Folk-Rock to Country.

When planning your next trip to Southwest Colorado, be sure to check the Summer Music Series Schedule at the Wright:

Friday, May 31, 2013 - Over the Rhine

Over The Rhine Kick the season off with a bang, bringing the multi talented husband and wife duo, Over The Rhine. Since their 1991 debut album, Til We Have Faces, Over the Rhine has steadfastly made a name for themselves with a musical sound all their own. The most recent release, The Long Surrender, is a bountiful collaboration with Grammy Award winning producer, and singer/songwriter, Joe Henry. 

Friday, June 21, 2013 - Dan Navarro

Dan NavarroCelebrate the rich insight and depth of singer/songwriter Dan Navarro. Best known as a recording and touring artist as the acoustic duo Lowen & Navarro until Eric Lowens retirement in 2009, Dan has continued his career as a sol artist increasingly in demand on the national concert circuit. With his songs covered by a diverse mix of artists from Pat Benatar to Dionne Warwick his newest album, Shed My Skin, due to be released this year, is indeed highly anticipated.

Saturday, July 13, 2013 - The Trishas

The TrishasJaime Wilson, Liz Foster, Kelley Mickwee and Savannah Welch often refer to themselves as an "accidental Band", but any one who has heard their voices soaring in four part harmony would believe these girls were anything accidental. As the discerning reader has most likely noted, there is no Trisha in the Trishas; the name was chosen on a whim while covering a hit by Trisha Yearwood which had been written by Savannah's father, Kevin Welch. With the release of thier first album High, Wide & Handsome, it seems as if the Trishas have been swept up in the power of their immense talents.

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - Griffin House

Griffin HouseRefered to as one of Nashvilles greatest treasures, Griffin House returns to the Wright Opera House. His intelligent and heart-felt lyrics have taken this would-be golf pro on a path his family had never dreamt of. Teaching himself to play guitar and write his own songs, he was quickly signed with Nettwerk record label and found himself featured on the CBS Morning Show, and headlining across the country.

Saturday, August 10, 2013 - Jack Ingram

Jack IngramFor over a decade, 2008 Academy of Country Music Award winner for "Best New Male Vocolist" Jack Ingram has been entertaining crowds since 1997. The Texas born Country and Western singer and songwriter views the reciept of the "New Artist" award as validation of his integrity as an artist, staying true to his personal vision as a performer. His most recent album Big Dreams and High Hopes has already produced the top twenty single "That's a Man", and several songs recieving quite a bit of attention and play time on Country stations across the nation.

Saturday, September 14, 2013 - Shawn Mullins

Shawn MullinsSince we last heard from Shawn Mullins in 2008's honeydew, the Atlanta-based singer/songwriter and band leader has undergone a series of transformative experiences. From an indoctrination into the collaborative creative process of intensive co-writing to the birth of his first child, his new album Light You Up is the ultimate culmination of the journey toward the American Dream. 

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is genuinely excited to share this amazing line-up for the summer with our guests. In order to make your visit as seamless as possible, let us help you plan your trip. Just enter Promo Code SCS2013, and specify the show you would like to attend. We will take care of all the details for you, even make reservations for dinner before the show if you would like. Stay and play in Ouray! Soak in the hot springs, visit the Box Canyon falls, shop for unique gifts on Main Street, and take in a great show! All of this and more just a few steps from your door.

See you soon!

 

Ouray Colorado boasts a variety of neighbors!

  
  
  

Life in Southwest Colorado is a little different than a lot of the world.

faith.sheepIf you even have a commute it might only be a few minutes, but often includes traffic jams of Big Horn Sheep coming down from higher elevations to lick the salt off the roads. These beautiful animals are avid climbers, if one or two are on Highway 550, look up and you can pick out several more sheep of varying sizes perched on the rocks and outcrops above the road. You can tell the difference between males and females by the size and shape of their horns. Male Big Horn Sheep have larger horns with bigger curls whereas females have smaller horns with not much of a curl.

elk2Another sight you will see on a scenic drive are deer and elk covering the fields. They come down to lower elevations during the colder months for food. Elk are stately creatures that graze in open fields. One of the largest species of deer in the world, elk are easy to distinguish from their relatives, the mule deer. Elk seldom come to town any more, and are seen most frequently in the spring as they head for higher altitudes on their annual migration.

faith.deerDeer on the other had are more bold; coming into yards to eat all sorts of yummy greens you might be trying to grow. They love apples that have fallen in the yard in the fall as well. there are several deer who have taken up residence year round here in town. It is not unusual to see a few hanging out at Fellin Park in the evenings, or waiting patiently at a crosswalk on Main Street as they head down toward the Box Canyon Lodge, where they enjoy bedding down in the warm area near the hot springs.

faith.burrowOne of my favorite friendly critters just north of town are the half siblings Belle and Silverjack a sweet pair of donkeys. They love to say hi to anyone who stops to see them. Donkeys have a long history in Ouray County. Having been the primary pack animal used by miners, the area referred to as "Jackass Flats" received its name because this was the retirement home for donkeys who had gone blind from their work in the mines. Of course, Belle and Silverjack have no such history, just a lot of love.

faith.yaksAnother unique thing you will see near town is a herd of Yaks. They are beautiful enormous creatures with tons of shaggy hair. They can weigh anywhere from over 600 pounds to over 1,800 pounds. They are used for meat, milk and for their wool. They mostly live in the Himalayas, but we happen to have a herd of them right here in Ouray. While traveling in Nepal I got to eat lots of yak products such as yak burgers, tak cheese, and we were served muesli with yak milk. I personally think the dairy products taste a lot like goat. Yak is actually the proper name for the male and a female is called a dri, but commonly they have become know as yaks.

faith.marmotMy other favorite locals are the Marmots, also known as Whistle Pigs because of the sharp whistling noise they make. They are a golden brown with the cutest face. They live in holes in the ground or in the rocks. You find them higher up in the mountains. But beware, they like to chew wires on your car. Here is one I made friends with while hiking to Ice Lake.

There are many other beautiful and amazing creatures you may catch a glimpse of while visiting Ouray. From exotic domestic pets, to the occasional lost moose, you never know who you might meet in Ouray!


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 5 years ago; a fantastic party featuring all products from Colorado, which has quickly become an event not to be missed each winter. Faith recently joined our team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. Come on up and meet her!

See You Soon!

 

Events in Ouray and Ridgway this May 2013

  
  
  

Spring is in the air in Southwest Colorado! Flowers are blooming, trails are opening, and waterfalls are...falling.

bambiatthetubsAs we say goodbye to the last snows, Ouray County is waking from its long winter sleep. The Spring snows of April have successfully turned everything green, and flowers are finally starting to bloom. Four-wheel drive roads, and popular hiking trails are drying out, making the high country accessible again. 

Happenings in Ouray and Ridgway Colorado this month are as follows:

Thursday, April 18, 2013 through Friday, July 5, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Otto Mears Exhibit - Ouray County Museum, Ouray, Colorado

million dollar highway.2Learn about one of the most influential entrepreneurs of Colorado. From mining to politics, newspapres to the Million Dollar Highway the life of Otto Mears is a fascinating journey in living the American Dream. This exhibit was so popular that it has been held over for another season. If you haven't been to the Ouray Museum, this is the time to go, and if you have been before, it is time to visit again!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wednesday Night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

WEDS JAM NIGHTS 233x300Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

Friday, May 3, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Barbara - Movie Presentation at the Wright Opera House - Ouray, Colorado

Watch this Cold War thriller unfold as you follow the story of a Berlin doctor sent to an East German hospital. She must distinguish between friend or foe as her lover in the West plots her escape. Winner of the Best Director prize at this years Berlin Film Festival.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 8:00 pm to 12:00 am
The Sherbino Presents: Bad Hand Bluff - Ridgway, Colorado

bad.hand.bluffShow your support for the Ridgway Chautauqua Society, and have a great night as well. Bad Hand Bluff is a Folk rock band making a name for themselves in Southwest Colorado. Come on out and enjoy great live music, dancing and new friends!

Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Ouray Library Pub Nught Fundraiser at O'Brien's

Celebrate your local library while enjoying an evening out with a great group of people. Adults and families are welcome to join the fun at O'Brien's Pub. Door prizes will be given out all evening, and all donations will benefit the Ouray Library.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wednesday Night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

12 string guitarBring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

Friday, May 10, 2013 - 6:00 pm to End
Dinner and Karaoke at the Ouray Elks Lodge - Ouray, Colorado

Everyone is invited to enjoy a mouth watering meal, then wash it down with some Karaoke! Who doesn't love Karaoke!?! Price is $7.00 per person for dinner.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Ski with the UWP - Ironton Park

snowshoeing3An informal ski/snowshoe event at Ironton Park. Every second Saturday until the snow is gone, join the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership for an exciting adventure with like minded people. Meet at the Visitors Center at 10:00 am or up at Ironton by 10:20 am. No charge, just bring your gear and have some fun!

Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Weehawken Dance Presents "Peter Pan"

Enjoy this age-old tale that never grows up performed by the Weehawken Dance group. This is a show not to be missed! More details to come.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Weehawken Dance Presents "Peter Pan"

peter pan el musicalEnjoy this age-old tale that never grows up performed by the Weehawken Dance group. This is a show not to be missed! More details to come.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wednesday Night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Brushes, Beverages, and Beyond! - Ouray Brewery, Ouray, Colorado

brushesbeveragesandbeyondArtistic expression has never been so fun! Join your fellow art enthusiasts at the Ouray brewery to create your own masterpiece based on the work of Antoni Gaudi. The price of the class includes materials and a pint at the Brewery. After the class, share your experience over appetizers or dinner at a discounted price!

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
ROCC Parking Lot Sale - Parking lot behind Ridgway Towwn Library, Ridgway, Colorado

You never know what treasures you may find at this huge sale to benefit the Ridgway Ouray Community Council, dedicated to building a community with a broad range of social, economic, cultural and educational diversity.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Annual Love Your Valley Fest - Ridgway, Colorado

love your valley 2013This popular annual festival held at Hartwell Park in Ridgway, features a plethora of regional microbrews, live music, dog contests and so much more! Come out and support the summer concerts in the park!

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Weehawken Dance Presents: The Beatles Tribute - Details to be Announced

Whether you have just discovered them, or the Beatles are old friends, there is no way not to want to get up and dance with the Weehawken Dance Group at this fun tribute to a musical icon.

Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Weehawken Dance Presents: The Beatles Tribute - Details to be Announced

beatlesWhether you have just discovered them, or the Beatles are old friends, there is no way not to want to get up and dance with the Weehawken Dance Group at this fun tribute to a musical icon.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wednesday Night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

WEDS JAM NIGHTS 233x300Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Movie Presentation at the Wright Opera House; "No" - Ouray, Colorado

This Oscar Nominated film based on a true story follows Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency in 1988 due to international pressure.

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 8:00 pm to 12:00 am
The Sherbino Presents: Andrew Wynne - Ridgway, Colorado

ANDREW.WYNNEHead to the Sherbino Theater for an evening with Andrew Wynn. Boasting over thirty years of artistic growth, his mix of folk, country and rock and roll is sure to have you wanting more.

Monday, May 27, 2013 - All Day or non-timed event
Compassion 5K Run/Walk Races - Fellin Park, Ouray, Colorado

Second in the Ouray County Race Series, this marathon begins and ends at Fellin Park by the Ouray Hot Springs Pool.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wednesday Night Jams at the Sherbino Theater! - Ridgway, Colorado

Bring your instrument and share talent with everyone at the Sherbino, or just head on down for an evening of live entertainment!

overtherhineFriday, May 31, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Over the Rhine - Summer Music Series at the Wright Opera House

The Long Surrender, the latest studio album from the southern Ohio based husband and wife team of multinstrumental/vocalist Linford Detweiler and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Karen Bergquist, otherwise known as Over the Rhine, is something wonderous - an intimate epic.

box canyon lodge eveningAside from the many fun activities, there is so much more to experience in Ouray County. From hiking the popular Perimeter Trail to driving the Million Dollar Highway, to spending a day in town, soaking in the hot springs, picnicking in the park, and wandering the shops on Main Street. There is something for everyone just steps from your front door!

See you soon!

 

 

 

Ouray County Evenings in History Lecture Series for Summer 2013

  
  
  

historic-building-in-san-juan-mountainsOuray County is home to a wild and rich history of the American West.  In the late 1800s in Southwest Colorado, there were miners and ranchers and hotel operators as well as merchants, travelers, and immigrants moving through the area in search of the American Dream.  Although remnants remain, many on display at the Ouray History Museum, each summer, the Ouray County Historical Society pieces together an interesting array of lectures to bring the Old West back to life through the use of pictures and story tellers.

The 2013 Evenings in History Series Schedule is as follows:

June 18:  "What the Ouray Vanoli Site Can Tell Us About the Old West" 7:30pm

This evening in history is presented by Mary Van Buren, Professor of Anthropology, Colorado State University.

Location:  Ouray Community Center, 320 6th Street, Ouray, CO  81427

June 25:  “What’s in Your Attic Or Basement? The Story of The 1897 Corbett Fitzsimmons Fight Poster and Early Motion Pictures.”  7:30 pm

Tom Hillhouse,Vice President, Ouray County Historical Society, presents.

Location:  Ouray Community Center, 320 6th Street, Ouray, CO  81427

July 2: "Recreation and Celebration in Ouray County Through the Lens of Historic Photos."  7:30 pm

"Gail Saunders, Photo Archivist and Maria Jones, Director, Ouray County Historical Society, present.

Location:  Ouray Community Center, 320 6th Street, Ouray, CO  81427

July 9: "And Many More Moccasins: The Ute, Navajo and Blackfoot Nations and World War I" - 7:30 pm 

presented by Timothy Winegard, Colorado Mesa University.

Location:  Ouray Community Center, 320 6th Street, Ouray, CO  81427

July 16: "History of the Red Mountain Project" - 7:30 pm

Learn about the fascinating history of the Red Mountain project which preserved over 1300 acres of mining history on Red Mountain Pass through purchases from willing sellers. Presented by Bob Risch, Co-Director of the Red Mountain Project and the Mayor of Ouray.

Location:  Ouray Community Center, 320 6th Street, Ouray, CO  81427

July 23: "What is in a Name?" - 7:30 pm

Don Paulson, Curator, Ouray County Museum describes how the Peaks, Valleys, Mesas and Rivers in the San Juan Mountains got their names.

Location:  Ouray Community Center, 320 6th Street, Ouray, CO  81427

July 31: "Ridgway and its Railroads" - 7:30 pm

Karl Schaeffer, President of the Ridgway Railroad Museum, explains that Ridgway was once host to two narrow gauge railroads: The D&RGW Ouray Branch and the famed Rio Grande Southern Railroad. Learn about the history of these two fascinating railroads.

Location: Ridgway Town Hall, 201 N. Railroad Street, Ridgway, CO  81427


Spring Hike in Ouray Colorado - Twin Peaks Trail -- April 2013

  
  
  

twin peaks trail ouray coloradoOuray Colorado, nestled in the valley of towering 13,000 foot peaks, boasts wonderful hiking during the summer.  But, even now as springtime takes hold, some fun hikes are already available, albeit somewhat short.

The Twin Peaks Trail has a strong southern exposure and we never hit any snow or even a random snow patch along the route.  We went to the junction of the Oak Creek Trail before turning around.   

You can start the hike at the hotel parking lot by heading west, crossing the bridge to Oak Street, walk past 4-5 houses and turn left on Queen Street.  After passing 2-3 houses, turn left and cross over the creek on Pine Crest.  Keep walking up that street which quickly turns into a 4WD road.  You will see the Trail Marker where the road dead ends.   If you have a 4WD vehicle, there is parking for 2-3 cars at this point.

Views are very nice of Canyon Creek (which takes you up to Yankee Boy Basin) and overlooking Ouray and the Amphitheater.  Enjoy Ouray this Spring and get your hiking shoes on!  

Have you been on any trails this spring?  What were the conditions?  We would love to get your input.

 

 

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