Believe it or not, the best time to visit Southwest Colorado for a quiet escape filled with snow is in March!
When considering a winter getaway with snow covering the ground in a pristine blanket of fresh powder ripe for snow angels and ski trails, the image of Christmas trees and New Year’s resolutions may come to mind.
Not only is March the snowiest month in Colorado, offering the most prime skiing conditions, it is also one of the most serene times to visit the hot springs! Imagine soaking in the soothing 103 to 108 degree waters as snow falls lightly all around you, draping the trees and walkways in a surreal world of steam and beauty.
Friday, March 2, 2012 - Mountain Film Festival 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center
Offering the opportunity to enjoy films previewed at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival, Mountainfilm on Tour travels to over 70 locations across the globe with a selection of films sure to inspire audiences with documentaries from around the world.
Contact: dZi Foundation
Saturday, March 3, 2012 - Annual Elks Chili Cook-off 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Ouray Elks Lodge
The Ouray Elks once again presents its annual Chili Cook-off! Bring your secret recipe, and enter to win the title of Best Chili, but be sure to bring a big pot, because the public votes at the dinner beginning at 5pm. Of course, it may be more fun to enjoy the sampling of all of the great food, vote for your favorites, and enjoy the Silent Auction and raffle!
$10 adults, $5 for kids 5 - 12 years, and $25 for a family of 4.
Contact: Danny Wesseling
More Info: http://www.ourayelks.org
Saturday, March 3, 2012 - Mountain Film Festival, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center
Day Two of Mountainfilm on Tour, travelling to over 70 locations across the globe with a selection of films sure to inspire audiences with documentaries from around the world.
Backcountry Skiers meet in the morning at the Last Dollar Trailhead for this Nordic race across some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in the San Juan Mountains.
Contact: KARA TATONE
Phone: 970-626 3033
Saturday, March 10, 2012 5th Annual Wine & Whiskers Carnival, 5:30 pm to 12:00 am at the Ouray County 4H Event Center
Dancing, fashion, food and cocktails Mardi Gras style kick off this evening of fun and frivolity sponsored by the Second Chance Humane Society, providing a safe haven for our furry friends in search of forever homes.
Contact: Kelly Goodin
More Info: http://www.adoptmountainpets.org
Friday, March 16, 2012 ROCC Talk: History of the Ute People, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Ridgway Community Center at Town Hall
Join Roland McCook, member of the Uncompahgre Band of the Ute Indian Tribe of Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah in a lecture on the tribal history of the Ute People.
More Info: http://www.roccnet.org/
Saturday, March 17, 2012 St Paddy's Day Celebration all day at O'Brien's Pub & Grill
Where else would one celebrate St Patrick's Day? Excellent Irish food, and drink specials all day, then Happy Hour starts at four. Don't have too much fun too early though, Funkdafari will be there for a night of dancing and fun!
Friday, March 23, 2012 James McMurtry Live 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Wright Opera House
Enjoy an exclusive performance from renowned singer song writer James McMurtry. Tap your feet to his unique blend of Texas Rock and Country.
The Sneffels Half Loop Backcountry Nordic Ski Race on the Northern flanks of the Sneffels Range.
San Juan Hut Systems is proud to present this 34.4 full course, or 23.8 mile short course race through the majestic San Juan Mountains. On March 10, 2012, backcountry skiers of all kinds will meet at the Last Dollar Trailhead above Telluride Regional Airport for a challenging race across the challenging terrain of Colorado.
All AT, Ransonee and classic Nordic skiers are invited to participate in this ultimate challenge which traverses the Alder Creek/Dallas Trail system, running hut to hut and aid station to aid station to benefit the Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the educational experiences of youth in Ouray County.
Both courses will begin at the Last Dollar Trailhead. The Short Course will run approximately 24 miles, ending near Ridgway at the Blue Lakes Trailhead, with a total ascent of 3,990 feet, and a descent of 5,498 feet. The Long Course will run a little over 34 miles ascending 6,630 feet, with a descent of 9,057 feet ending at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, a perfect opportunity to soak your weary bones in the healing mineral hot spring waters in Ouray.
Ouray, Colo. — Spring break doesn’t have to be all about sand in unmentionable places, girls gone wild and sweaty bars. This spring break do something really hot – book the Hot Springs Break Special at Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in Ouray, Colo. (a.k.a. Switzerland of America).
Visitors who stay two nights in March and April get the third night for 50% off, plus two free passes to the Ouray Hot Springs Pool. That’s a great discount off the typical room rate, which starts at $99/night, and a great way to visit the second largest all natural hot springs facility in the state. Choose from any of the Box Canyon’s well-appointed rooms, which include standard rooms, small and large suites, the romantic honeymoon suite, or the spacious two-bedroom apartment suite.
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 backcountry 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.
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 uses this natural resource to heat the motel during the winter months. Thanks to this green initiative, this green hotel has been able to reduce natural gas consumption by 70-percent in the past four years.
About Box Canyon Lodge (www.BoxCanyonOuray.com) The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is located in beautiful Ouray, Colo., nicknamed “Switzerland of America.” Box Canyon Lodge, 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.
This year, join your fellow runners in the Ouray County Race Series!
John Ferguson, track and field coach for Ouray School, and president of the Mount Sneffels Education Foundation, has been working with the community to create a race series beginning in May, which will comprise of six seperate races which will be held in Ouray County from May through October this year. Mr. Ferguson and his fellow Board Members believe that by linking the races, a broader awareness of Southwest Colorado and the varied terrain will reach more fitness enthusiasts to the area, making each race a more competitive experience.
Established in 1992, the Mount Sneffels Education Foundation operates within Ouray County to raise funds in order to provide support to projects in and around the area which fund innovative academic, artistic or cultural educational programs for students in Ridgway and Ouray. One of the most successful events sponsored by the foundation is the Mount Sneffels Half Marathon and Full Marathon every August, which will now be the fourth race in the series. Each race covers a different area in Ouray and Ridgway, offering runners and spectators alike a diverse taste of the San Juan Mountains.
Each race is not only an accomplishment, but an opportunity to see the San Juans in a different light. Additionally, any competitor participating in all six races, or five races and acting as volunteer for one will recieve a special fleeceprovided by An Eclectic Eye gift Shop in Ouray, Colorado.
May 28, 2012 - Compassion 5K, Ouray, Colorado
Beginning in Felin Park in Ouray, Colorado, this is the second annual Compassion Run, operating in conjunction with the Compassion Weekend in June which raises funds for families in need in Ouray County.
The running course will be an out and back loop and mostly follows the flat River Trail on the north side of Ouray along the Uncompaghre River.
This is the first year for this 10k race, which will begin in Trailtown in Ridgway, Colorado, following a course along County Road 10, or Cow Creek Pass, a beautiful stretch of trail.
July 4, 2012 - Ourayce 10K, Ouay, Colorado
Starting at Felin Park in Ouray, Colorado, this 10k run is a fantastic journey through some of the most beautiful terrain around.
August 11, 2012 - Mt. Sneffels Marathon/Half-Marathon Run/Walk, Ouray & Ridgway, Colorado
There will be three races again this year; a half marathon, which will begin at Fellin Park in Ouray, over County Road 17 and on to Ridgway, a full marathon, beginning in Ridgway, over the same course and back to Ridgway, and a one mile Kids Fun Run .
This year our half marathon is one of seven events around Colorado that is part of the USATF Colorado Grand Prix. We are hosting the USATF Colorado State Men's Half Marathon Championship. $2000 in prize money will be awarded ($1,000 for the men's championship). Prize money will be exclusive to USATF Colorado members and US citizens.
September 29, 2012 - Ouray Trail Run, Ouray, Colorado
The Ouray Mountain Trail Run is a 14-mile endurance trail race organized to support local Ouray youth recreational programs/events. This challenging course circumnavigates the beautiful town of Ouray, Colorado nestled in the heart of the San Juan mountains.
The final run in the six month series, this 10k run begins in Ridgway, Colorado, supporting Ridgway High School Students participating in the Colorado Ambassadors of Music Europe Tour 2012.
For more information on trail running and running races in Ouray and surrounding towns see our website which contains additional information on races in the vicinity of Ouray.
At the end of each race, what better way to wind down and relax than a long soothing soak in the healing waters of Ouray Counties all natural mineral hot springs? Join us as your running headquarters!
Relax in our soothing mineral hot springs over Christmas and know that Ouray Colorado dishes up some divine culinary options should you desire some perfect vacation getaway at an affordable price. The following list outlines the dining choices on these two remarkable days:
Christmas Eve Dining Options:
On Christmas Eve in Ouray, there will be plenty of dining options all day long but when the sun sets and the town prepares for Santa's arrival, these restaurants will keep serving holiday cheer.
The Bon Ton Restaurant - Open 5:30pm - close. Reservations recommended. A delicious and intimate dining choice where you can experience upscale casual dining with an Italian flair, serving prime Angus steaks, fresh seafood and pasta, complemented by a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list, and Martini bar. Typically Christmas Eve features a traditional menu in addition to their daily fare.
The Buen Tiempo - Open 5:30pm - close. They serve the best Mexican food and margaritas this side of Santa Fe! Entrees include such items as Carne Adovada, Camarones (spicy grilled shrimp), Carne Asada, Chile Rellenos, Spinach Enchiladas with Blue Corn Tortillas, Vegetarian Quesadilla and Huevos Rancheros.
Bulows Bistro - Open 11am - 9pm. Bulows is in the Beaumont Hotel. They offer a casual menu in a warm and inviting Bistro. The European setting offers a secluded cozy feel and is easily accessed right off of Main Street or through the hotel lobby.
O'Briens Pub - Open 11am - close. Offering homemade Irish-American cuisine and a full bar, including Guinness on tap. The menu includes Irish Eggrolls, Scottish Eggs, Guiness Stew, Fish & Chips and other Irish specialties.
Ouray Brewery - Open 11am - 9pm. This brewery features an interesting menu -- a combination of bar food and gluton and vegetarian options as well as a few specialties of the chef. They carry 3-5 different brews at any one time and serve tasting flights.
Backstreet Bistro - Open 7am - 2pm. Warm, fresh coffee, homemade bagels and pastries, and sandwiches as well as a full breakfast menu with pancakes, bacon, sausages, eggs, omelets, and skillets. A very yummy way to treat yourself after presents!
The Beaumont Hotel - Open with three seatings at , 2:30pm and 5pm. The Beaumont will be serving a scrumptious buffet in the Grand Ballroom. Seating will be limited so reservations are recommended. Menu: Prime Rib, Ham, and Turkey carving stations, with all of the traditional Holiday dishes you may expect. $39.99 adult/ $16.99 child.
The Outlaw Restaurant - Open 5pm - close. Enjoy their Special Holiday Menu on Christmas Day or order from their complete menu of aged steaks, prime rib, crab, lobster, vegetarian options and kids menu.
We would love to make your reservations and ensure a delightful stay in Ouray Colorado. Add Ouray CO to your holiday Wish List!
Ouray Colorado is the perfect place for an amazing winter getaway!
Of the many places to visit in southwest Colorado, Ouray, is at the top of the list. Weighing in at a mere 8 blocks long by 8 blocks wide, it is "tiny but mighty." With natural hot springs onsite, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs offers a great place to enjoy a Colorado vacation or a simple weekend getaway in Ouray. The Box Canyon Lodge is a premier "hot spot" for those who love Colorado natural hot springs. They offer discount hotel rooms, especially during the winter. Here is a listing of current vacation deals available.
Thanksgiving in Ouray
Enjoy two nights lodging in Ouray and Thanksgiving dinner for two at your choice of the award winning Bon Ton restaurant or the Outlaw Steakhouse. Price includes a standard room for two at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in Ouray, and a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings for two adults for only $225.00, not including tax and gratuity. Package availableThanksgiving weekend, November 24, 2011.
"Ouray" for Santa!
Celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs in Ouray, the Switzerland of America. Santa will visit guests of the lodge on Christmas Eve and deliver (small, age- and gender-appropriate) presents to children and spread holiday merriment. Parents who wish can ask Santa to carry in other gifts the parents have left outside. The guests can also take advantage of the activities in Ouray, including sledding, soaking in hot springs and more. Rates start as low as $99 for one-night accommodations, double occupancy.
Ski Purgatory at the Durango Mountain Resort Package
Visit the other side of the mountain and explore the 1,360 acres of terrain, 10 lifts, 88 trails and five terrain parks found at Purgatory at the Durango Mountain Resort. we offer 2 adult lift tickets and lodging in one of our standard guest rooms for $189+tax per night. There are no blackout dates, this package runs through the entire ski season.
The Weekday Escape (Off – Season)
Give yourself a break and unwind from the pressures of work. Bring that book you’ve been wanting to read and relax in our outdoor mineral springs hot tubs terraced on the mountainside. The room rates during the week, Sunday through Thursday, would be reduced from the standard rack rates for one night; more so for two or more nights. This applies to our suites as well as our standard rooms. Call our toll-free number or click on the "Reservation Request" button to check out our Weekday Escape rates and availability. These rates are only available 10 days before arrival and based on availability. Black out dates apply.
The "Support the Ouray Ice Park" Membership Special
Winter visitors to Ouray can enjoy the unique sport of ice climbing (if they are so inclined). An extraordinary group of locals have developed the FIRST ice park in the world, attracting sports enthusiasts from as far away as Europe, England and Japan to enjoy this exciting sport. It’s almost as much fun to watch as it is to climb. BUT, you don’t have to be an ice climber to enjoy this "Support the Ouray Ice Park" membership special during our off-season. The cost of membership is only $40. Membership entitles you to 20% off of our regular rack rate here at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, plus 10% off at many of Ouray’s local restaurants and shops. This membership package not only helps you with lower lodging and dining rates, it also helps the economy of Ouray by assisting with the further development of the Ouray Ice Park. We are proud supporters of this growing sport and welcome all ice climbers to stay with us!
Whether you have been climbing for years, or just added this exhilarating sport to your "Bucket List", this package is a great way to experience the ice with friends! The package includes a half-day ice climbing lesson for two (including ice climbing equipment) and two nights lodging in a standard room for $450+ tax. The offer is good all winter from mid-December until late-March, special events excluded.
Located at 7,700 feet above sea level in southwest Colorado, the National Historic District of Ouray is surrounded on three sides by 13,000-foot peaks, earning it the nickname "The Switzerland of America." Ouray is home to several natural hot springs, including those at the Box Canyon Lodge, which is open year-round. Ouray is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering rock climbing, hiking, four-wheeling and mountain biking in the summer and ice climbing, backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
Thanksgiving in Ouray, the Gem of the Rockies- a perfect holiday escape!
November is here, ushering out the last leaves of fall, and welcoming the winter season with open arms. The holidays are fast approaching, even as the busy summer has ended and school just begun. What better time to take a break, and prepare for the months to come?
Escape the norm, and celebrate Thanksgiving differenty this year! Enjoy a two night stay in the most spectacular setting imaginable, and allow one of our first class restaurants to serve you an incredible traditional Thanksgiving meal!
Waken on Thursday, November 24, 2011 and begin your day with an excellent cup of coffee, soak in the 103 to 108 degree water of one of the mineral hot springs tubs at the Box Canyon Lodge & hot Springs. Enjoy a short hike or early nap before getting ready for an amazing dinner at your choice of restaurant:
Open on Thursday, November 24, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., offering a traditional turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, in addition to a selection from their regular menu. Feast on the culinary delights in a beautiful setting as the staff at the Bon Ton caters to your every need.
Open from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 24, serving a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, ham and primerib with all the traditional trimmings you might expect. Celebrate the holiday in this charming atmosphere surrounded by friends and family and music.
For those ready for a quiet relaxing getaway, there is nothing to compare to Ouray, Colorado. Saunter down Main Street and peruse the shops for unique gifts, Take a scenic drive or soak in the soothing hot springs as you survey the breathtaking beauty around you, creating a holiday experience you will not soon forget.
This package includes two nights lodging at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in a standard guest room, and traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for two adults at your choice of the Bon Ton or the Outlaw restaurant for the low rate of $225.00, not including tax and gratuity.
Book your Thanksgiving Getaway before its too late!
Revered throughout history for their soothing powers, hot springs have been popular and sought out all over the world. Europe and Asia created huge bath houses dedicated to the therapeutic effects of natural spring water, and legend states the Native American people of North and South America have always deemed the land surrounding hot springs as sacred ground and avidly maintained a truce of peace while visiting the many pools across the west. Upon the arrival of settlers in southwest Colorado, perhaps the Ute Indians found some level of camaraderie through the soothing waters known and respected by both peoples.
Southwest Colorado boasts many towns and spas with natural mineral hot springs, but Ouray has the added good fortune to possess hot springs with very low sulfur content; soakers can enjoy the soothing heat of water full of minerals such as magnesium and calcium, without the distinctive odor of sulfur. Common to almost every mineral hot spring is a high content of sodium, which may explain the lightness so many bathers comment on when enjoying this natural wonder.
Bubbling to the surface at temperatures from 140 to 180 degrees, Ouray does have to cool its water to make it safe for bathing. The Box Canyon Lodge provides four redwood tubs tiered on the hillside in our courtyard for guests to enjoy the peace and beauty of the San Juans while soaking in a more private, natural setting. The temperature of our mineral hot spring water is maintained between 101 to 108 degrees varying by a couple of degrees from tub to tub.
The City Pool at the north end of town contains over one million gallons of mineral hot spring water ranging in temperature from a cool 82 degrees to a balmy 104. There is a section set apart for swimming laps and a large water slide. The Swim Shop offers everything from water toys for sale or rent to bathing suits just in case you forgot yours, to snacks. Upstairs, the newly renovated gym provides a fantastic view of the pool below as you work up a healthy sweat prior to a soothing soak.
The Wiesbaden is on the east side of Ouray. This facility has a large soaking pool outdoors; it also is home of the Lorelei, a small yet private outdoor soaking pool that can be rented by the hour, and the unique vapor cave in the basement of the hotel.
Although there are just a few known sources where the mineral water rises to the surface, evidence of the hot springs flowing beneath Ouray is all over, from steaming drainage grates, to portions of road that never seem to be quite as frozen as the rest of the ground in deep winter. Driving past Ridgway, Colorado, north of Ouray, it is not unusual to experience the sensation of driving through a cloud, as the heat from the springs creates a surreal mist across the highway near Orvis Hot Springs, a bathing suit optional facility well worth visiting if only to view the beautiful grounds and natural setting of the several tubs scattered about the property.
Just 5 miles north of Durango on US Highway 550, Trimble Hot Springs boasts warm water too. Like Ouray, the water is essentially odorless; it is high in iron and calcium. Trimble Hot Springs has two geothermal pools that are opened year round and they range in temperature from 101-105 degrees Farenheit. In April - October, they also open an Olympic-size swimming pool. Noting its proximity to Mesa Verde National Park (less than 1 hour away), it seems likely the ancient puebloans may have soaked in these waters too.
Pagosa Springs too has natural hot springs. The water in Pagosa has the traditional odor of sulphur. There are three separate facilities that cater to the public and all are in downtown Pagosa. Healing Waters (formally known as The Spa at Pagosa Springs), the Overlook, and the Springs Resort.
The Box Canyon Lodge strives to be a very green hotel. We look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet: we use geothermal hot springs to heat water for our rooms and guest use, we have insulated our buildings, replaced windows and doors with more energy efficient materials, and changed out our commercial washers and dryers for more energy efficient models. We recycled our older materials as much as possible to minimize impact to our local landfill. We continue to work on our impact. However, there are things that guests can do to help us in our quest to be green. Here are a few suggestions to help you be a greener guest during your next hotel stay:
- Turn off the A/C or heat when not in the room. Although we have sensors that help us monitor these units, it saves even more electricity if people turn them off on their own.
- When the outside temperature is not too warm, open the windows and let the fresh air in to cool the room rather than run the A/C. Choose to operate a ceiling fan or box fan if available.
- Sleep a bit cooler in the winter. Ask for an extra blanket rather than turning up the heat.
- Turn off the electrical appliances and lights when they are not needed. Unplug any battery chargers when they are not in use. Even with nothing attached to them, they draw small amounts of electricity.
- Participate in the linen reuse program; reuse your towels and sheets rather than requesting daily changes.
- Use the recycle containers and work with the property to understand what is recyclable.
- Carry your own coffee cup and ask for that cup to be filled when moving around.
- Drink from the sink. Don't buy single use bottled water. Our Ouray water is the best. It is from the City of Ouray watersupply and comes from the Weehawken Spring.
- Limit the time spent in the shower and don't let the sink water run when brushing your teeth. Water conservation is very important, even when in Ouray. Ouray is part of the vast drainage that forms the mighty Colorado River and that river provides water to very dry and very populous areas in the southwest US. No need wasting water when so many people downstream depend on it.
- Borrow our copy of the movie called "Bag It". This movie was created in Telluride, a town not too far away. It will encourage you to begin utilizing cloth bags wherever possible in your life. At the hotel, we are currently working to reduce our plastic bag use but have not completely mastered that one.
- Leave brochures, rack cards, and visitor guides in the room. We will remove them on checkout and put them in our lobby if they are in good condition so that others can use them. It saves printing and paper!
Many of these practices work at your home as well and can be applied to your conscientious lifestyle. Your wallet will thank you too!
On your next visit to Ouray, stop by the front desk and ask for a free travel mug. We are happy to give it to you for being a green hotel guest!