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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Holiday Traditions Live on In Southwest Colorado

  
  
  

Ouray Hotel Honors the Tradition of Mistletoe at Christmas and where it came from.

 

Mistletoe2We have all heard of or experienced the sweetly entertaining tradition of kissing under the Mistletoe at Christmas time, but does anyone really know the origin of this charming tradition?

If we travel back in time to ancient Scandinavia we may discover how it all came to be. Mistletoe was long believed to be a symbol of peace and joy. There was an ancient custom that if; while out in the woods you happened to find yourself standing under a mistletoe plant, upon encountering an enemy, you both must lay down your weapons and observe a truce until the next day. This custom eventually led to hanging a ball of mistletoe from the ceiling and exchanging kisses under it as a sign of friendship and goodwill.

tom daleyThe ancient Druids took mistletoe very seriously; they had a very elaborate ritual for gathering the mistletoe that sometimes could include human sacrifice. When harvesting the mistletoe the branches had to be caught before they touched the ground otherwise the plant would have lost its healing powers. The plant was then distributed amongst the people to be hung over doorways as protection against thunder, lightning and other evils. They would also place a sprig in a babies cradle to protect the child from Goblins. The Druids considered it to have magical properties so it was worn as a good luck charm and also placed over doorways to ward off evil spirits. And so any who entered through the doorway received a kiss as a seal of friendship.

mistletoeOne of the oldest myths about mistletoe was in regards to Baldur a Norse God. The story goes that Baldur, the god of sunshine and light, was the son of Odin and Frigga, goddess of love.

mistletoe Baldur had a premonition of his own death; this greatly alarmed his mother for if he should die then all life on earth would end. In an attempt to prevent Baldur’s death, Frigga asked every element of nature to promise not to harm him. In her haste she forgot the lowly mistletoe, the evil God Loki knew of her mistake and so he made an arrow tip of mistletoe and gave it to the blind God of Winter, Hodar, who then accidentally shot and killed Baldur.  Instantly the sun ceased to shine the sky paled and all things on Earth and in the Heavens wept for the fallen Sun God. For three days each element and all of the Gods and Goddess tried to revive him, and he was finally restored to life.

mistletoekissIt is said that the tears of joy that Frigga shed then turned into the pearly white berries on the mistletoe plant, and in her joy she kissed everyone who passed under the tree on which it grew. It was then decreed that the mistletoe would never again cause harm and that anyone who walked under it should receive a kiss, a token of love.

The earliest document case of kissing under the mistletoe was back in the 16th century in England, it was a very popular custom at that time. The original custom in England was that the gentleman would pick a berry from the sprig of mistletoe before he could kiss the lady standing under it. Once all the berries had gone there could be no more kissing. In the 18th Century the exchanging of kisses between and man and woman was adopted as a promise to marry. At Christmas time a lady standing under a ball of mistletoe could not refuse to be kissed. It was believed that if the girl remained unkissed she could not expect to marry in the following year.

Christmas Tree (1)In the modern day although greenery is still widely used as a Christmas decoration, the practice of hanging mistletoe is rarely done. Even though almost everyone has heard of the custom of kissing under the mistletoe, it is a sweet and simple ancient tradition that many have forsaken. So this holiday season we here at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs would wish upon everyone all the peace, joy and friendship that mistletoe was long believed to help bring.

About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle.

 

Contact us to arrangeyour Winter Getaway in Ouray!

 

Local Hotel invites you to share in an age old tradition in Ouray!

  
  
  

Santa Delivers in Southwest Colorado!

Santa In SleighThe Ouray Elks Lodge works all year, holding special events, BBQ's and meetings in order to raise money for the community. The funds these hardy volunteers raise are used to help pay medical expenses for some, scholarships to deserving students, and FUN! Perhaps one of the most touching events is when Santa comes to town. Elk members hold a special potluck dinner a week or so before Christmas, to help out Santa and his elves by stuffing dozens upon dozens of stockings. On Christmas Eve, several members of the club offer their services even further to St. Nick by becoming honorary elves for the evening, driving him to and fro, across Ouray County in whatever weather, to help him deliver gifts and good cheer.

winterfestcalendarParents who live in the Community, and families who are visiting, are invited to call these honorary elves with the names and locations of their kids, so Santa can be sure to give them extra special attention.

 

With the help of a dedicated staff of volunteers, Santa is able to make his rounds all through Ouray County, visiting children far and wide. Every Christmas Eve, the Ouray Elks Lodge brings smiles and gifts to the children of Ouray County, delivering a stocking filled with treats, and a special gift just for them.

santaIt is always such a pleasure to see the faces of children light up when they discover Santa at their door, especially when they are far from home!  During your visit over Christmas to the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs we invite you to take part in this Ouray Christmas tradition.  Please give us a call at 800-327-5080, or send us an email, letting us know the names, ages, and gender of the children staying with you over Christmas Eve.  We will contact the Ouray Elks Lodge with your information and arrange for Santa to drop by your room and hand out gifts and treats for the children.  You can even arrange to leave gifts here in the lobby that you would like Santa to deliver for you.

There are few better ways to celebrate the holiday than to spend Christmas Eve in Ouray! Enjoy a devine meal in one of our amazing restaurants on Main Street, then return for a soothing soak in our all natural mineral hot spring tubs before settling down with the little ones to enjoy a movie from our extensive video library while you wait for Santa to arrive with a jolly laugh and a memory your child will cherish forever.

 

Give the Gift of the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs!

History of Ouray - The Mesker Brothers

  
  
  

Ouray, Colorado boasts beautiful architecture, and one of the largest collections of Mesker facades maintained to perfection!

mesker1The Mesker Brothers Iron Works and George L. Mesker & Co. were competing manufacturers and designers of ornamental sheet-metal facades and cast iron storefront components from the 1880s through the mid-twentieth century. The Mesker Brothers Iron Works was owned and operated by brothers Bernard and Frank Mesker and was based out of St. Louis, MO. The George L. Mesker Company was operated by the eldest brother, George L. Mesker, and was based in Evansville, IN. The three brothers learned their iron-working skills from their father.

Both companies produced tin ceilings, iron railings, stairs, roof cresting, ventilation grates, iron awnings, skylights, and freight elevators. “Meskers” were marketed through mail order catalogs that displayed their designs. According to a 1915 catalog, there were Mesker storefronts in every state, and even in the territory of Alaska.

mesker2For profit-minded businessmen in the late 1800’s the goal was to stand out from the crowd. For those who couldn’t afford fancy masonry or cast iron embellishments, there was an alternative: pick up a catalogue and order a decorative, galvanized sheet metal facade from the Mesker Brothers Iron Works or George L. Mesker & Co. Purchasers could pick and choose from a range of cast iron and pressed metal mass-produced components or spring for a lavish top-to-bottom facade. Their order would come in by train and in just a few days, a plain brick or wood box of a building could be transformed into a beautifully elegant edifice, at roughly one-fifth the cost of a masonry facade.

mesker3In Colorado there are roughly 112 remaining documented “Meskers”, with 14 surviving examples (more than any other town in the state) Ouray is a favorite destination for Mesker enthusiasts. At the same time that the Mesker facades were becoming popular Ouray was in the midst of its mining heyday. This coincided with the Second Industrial Revolution and its abundance of large-scale iron and steel production and the widespread use of manufacturing machinery, thus marking the face of Ouray with a large variety of Mesker facades.

wrightoperahouseThe Wright Opera House, boasts Ouray’s first and most ornate, Mesker facade, dripping with cornices, columns, ornamental sheet metal panels and other decorative elements that encrust the entire front of the building from top to bottom. The building and its facade made a big impression on the community – so much so that over the course of the next 20 years 14 more buildings were built with Mesker facades. Of the 15 buildings originally built with these facades only one has been torn down, this was the Hiebler Building located at 624 Main St.

 

OURAY’S SURVIVING MESKERS

Original: 1888 Wright’s Hall Today: Wright Opera House   Address: 462 Main St.

Original: 1888-90 Scott-Humphries Building  Today: Buen Tiempo     Address: 513 Main St.

Original: 1888-90 Carney Hardware Today: Swiss Store   Address: 514 Main St.

Original: 1898 Prevost Saloon Today: Citizens State Bank  Address: 600 Main St.
Original: 1898 Columbus Building Today: Silver Nugget Restaurant  Address: 740 Main St.

Original: 1890 Jeffers Building    Columbine Rock Shop    635 Main St.

Original: 1895 Powell Grocery Today: Rockin’ P Ranch   Address: 512 Main St.

Original: 1900 Hammond & Waring Grocers    Duckett’s Market    621 Main St.
Original: 1900 Derry Building Today: Gator Emporium    608 Main St.

Original: 1901 Townsend/Witherspoon Building Today: Mouse’s Chocolates   Address: 520 Main St.

Original: 1902 Orendorf Building    RB Horsetraders    629 Main St.
Original: 1906 Sanitary Market Today: O’Brien’s Pub   Address: 726 Main St.
Original: 1906 Faussone & Pricco/ Cascade Grocery Today: Salon Envy  Address: 736 Main St.
Original: 1908-10 Canavan Taylor/ Bonatti Building Today: Outlaw Restaurant  Address: 610 Main St.

ouray main streetOf the 15 “Meskers” built in Ouray all but one were created by the Mesker Brothers Iron Works. The one by George L. Mesker & CO the Powell Grocery built in 1895, today the Rockin’ P Ranch (a clothing and gift shop) resides there. You can distinguish the two companies by looking for the embossed cast iron column nameplates bearing the company name and foundry location. George L. Mesker displayed a “morning glory” motif, while Mesker Brothers Iron Works, influenced by the French heritage of St. Louis, displayed a “fleur-de-lis.”

One of the most interesting Meskers in Ouray is the Jeffers building which appears to have used a combination of several different kits to create the façade. The Columbine Mineral Shop is currently located in the Jeffers building and offers a dazzling array of rocks, minerals, and jewelry to choose from. The 600 block of Main Street in downtown Ouray has several Mesker Brothers fronts in a row. The Jeffers Building of 1890 (far left of the photo) and the cornice and pediments of Duckett’s Market are some of the best surviving elements anywhere.

The Scott-Humphries Building built in 1889, boasts another of Ouray’s best Mesker fronts. Now home to the Buen Tiempo Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, this building has several ornamental elements on the ground level, and a complete second-floor sheet metal facade. When checking out this beautifully restored building stop in and enjoy a tasty meal and margarita.

Next time you come to stay with us here at the Box Canyon Lodge please take some time to wander Main St and enjoy the beauty of the many and varied Mesker facades scattered throughout Ouray. And please don’t forget to peruse the fun shops and restaurants located within those beautiful buildings.

About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

A Weekend of Festivities this Holiday Season in Ouray

  
  
  

The Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival in Ouray is an event not to miss.

winechocchzposterThe holiday season is once again approaching. We celebrated Fall and Halloween in Ouray fashion, with revelry and dancing in ghoulish costumes all over town. Despite the sunshine, we prepare for a quiet November as the Indian Summer continues. The Box Canyon Lodge finally had to take down the flowers, which were still colorful, but beginning to show the inevitable signs of steadily colder days and nights.

Restaurants and shops on Main Street have started their winter hours, still providing plenty of hours to peruse the unique and interesting merchandise one cannot find in a large department store.

winechocolatecheese3As we enter into this quieter time, we begin to focus on the next few months of earlier evenings, warm fires, soaking in hot springs and preparing for the holidays.

winechochsThis December marks the sixth year of the Annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival, tied in with all of the celebrations of a Holiday Weekend in Ouray. Wine, chocolate, cheese, distilled liquor, arts and crafts and live music, a great combination for a fantastic evening! A great excuse to dress up or pull out the stops for a costume along the lines of “Winter Wonderland”.

FaithParryWineandCheeseFestival goers will get to try samples of Colorado wine, chocolate, cheese and some delicious creation from Trail Town Still. This is also a great opportunity to get unforgettable Christmas gifts. All the vendors will have their product for sale, so not only do you get to sample but you also get to purchase and support Colorado business.

swingcityexpressSwing City Express will be keeping the festive atmosphere with fantastic music from a live 9 piece band. Bring your dancing shoes and have some fun.


The festival is at the Ouray Community Center on December 13th decorated according to the theme and you would never recognize it as a community Center. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on line or check our website for a location near you. Stay at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs and get tickets to the festival for half price.

Come for the weekend and we have a great package for you! December 12th Cavallos Restaurant will be preparing a 4 course Wine Dinner from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The dinner includes wines from Stoney Mesa Winery with each course and samplings of what you will experience the next night at the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival. December 13th is the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival! The Wright Opera House in Ouray will be showing “It’s a Wonderful Life”, a Radio Drama on December 14th at 3:00 pm, performed by locals. The entire weekend of activities is $140 for 2 plus your room rate. Follow Winterfest on Facebook for all the happenings in Ouray this winter.

About the Author: Ever the wine enthusiast and farm to table promoter, Faith Parry is the brains and braun of the Ouray Wine, Chocolate and Cheese festival. She tirelessly explores hidden gems, and shares with us experiences and adventures that otherwise we wouldn't know were so fabulous! Southwest Colorado is a treasure trove of talented people all eager to share their passion for a variety of creativity from wine and cheese, to the Ridgway MoonWalk.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Indian Summer Continues in Ouray County

  
  
  

Warm Weather continues into Daylight Savings in the San Juan Mountains!


last dollar road ross ranch true gritOctober in Ouray was amazing. Every day, we watched with bated breath for the snow to fall, covering the earth with a blanket of white for Trick or Treaters to trudge through on a quest for the best candy in town.

Typically, the children wear thick coats and snow shoes over costumes, requiring folks to look closely to discern what typr of monster stands before them. Halloween parties are much the same, with coats draped over every chair as ghouls and goblins dance the night away.

Not so last night, or very much at all this year. We are walking into the 11th hour with the sun shining, and yet another forecast for snow. Of course, at almost 8000 feet, it is difficult to guage when mother nature will decide to send winter our way. We celebrate whatever the weather wants to provide, knowing full well that even the worst winter storm will only last a day or so, then we will be blessed with a magnificent winter wonderland.

ourayice2Ice climbers have not started to get nervous, nor have skiers and other winter sport enthusiasts. Everyone knows winter will be here soon enough, and are taking advantage of the seemingly unseasonable weather. Ice farmers have had an easy job so far of prepping the site and checking the water systems. They are expecting to have the park open no later than mid-December.

Skiers need not worry. Just a short drive away, the resorts are still forcasting a Thanksgiving opening, and there are no concerns that the weather will not cooperate.

Of course, we are all prepared for cozy nights in town as well. Many local restaurants will remain open this winter, offering a variety of great dining options, while shops an of course, the hot springs anticipate a great season.


bcl deerHere at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, we are excited for the months events at the Wright Opera House. From Wednesday night movies to plays and live music, the next couple of months look promising for evening entertainment.

Not to mention the hot springs! With hardly any sulphur in our water, the mineral springs in Ouray and particularly at the hotel are an experience not to be missed. Winter soaking is almost surreal, as the steam surrounds you, melting giant snowflakes before they land. The views from the tubs are second to none. Surrounded by mountains, with deer grazing in the warmth of the springs, it is no surprise the Utes considered this area sacred ground.

Until the snow arrives, visitors can enjoy strolling Main Street in light jackets, wandering from shop to shop. Soon, the snow will come, creating a sense of wonder on Main Street, the lights of the shop windows reflecting on the snow. Warm cocoa and a delicious meal are a temptation not easily ignored.

Life is good in Ouray, we look forward to seeing you!

 

Contact Us to Arrange Your Outdoor Adventure in Ouray!

Seven reasons to visit Ouray

  
  
  

Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, Ouray County is a Natural Treasure.

minerOnce central to a booming mining industry, Ouray County now relies mainly on tourism, recreation, ranching, construction and still some mining. Its two towns, Ouray and Ridgway, remain true to the best of the Western Colorado tradition - a relaxed, meaningful quality of life that many only dream about.

Ouray County is noted for some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Often refferred to as "Switzerland of America" and the "Gem of the Rockies", Ouray County offers amateur and proffessional photographers the magnificence of the San juan Mountains, waterfalls and sparkling riversd, alpine wildflowers and endlessly changing seasonal colors.

In addition, Ouray County offers a number of delightful visitor attractions:

1.) Railroad

trainRailroad buffs will enjoy a walk or ride along the old Denver and Rio Grande train bed, which runs paralell to the Uncompahgre River north of Ouray. Avid rock hounds can easily find specimens of pyrite, crystal and even silver and gold for those willing to try their hand at panning. the Bachelor Syracuse mine offers panning lessons and offers the equipment needed at their gift shop.

2.) Bird Watching

black swiftBird watchers will delight in the unique varieties of birds in Ouray County. Species ranging from tiny hummingbirds to golden and bald eagles may be viewed from the town or in the mountains and meadows of the surrounding area. The Box Canyon Waterfall Park is one of just a few known nesting sites for the rare Black Swift, and the entire area has been listed by the National Audobon Society as a rare bird sanctuary.

3.) Hiking

hiking2Hikers and backpackers will find terrain and trails in the county perfect for beginners and experienced hikers alike. From an easy stroll to the base of Cascade Falls, or Portland Trail, a good first time intro to area hiking, to the challenge of the Horsethief-Bear Creek Loop Trail, Ouray County has something for all interests and abilities.

4.) Four-Wheeling

jeep torOften refferred to as the "Jeeping Capitol of the World", four-wheeling is an unqualified means of experiencing the magnificence of Ouray County. Bring along a four-wheel drive vehicle or trail bike, rent a jeep locally or enjoy the convenience of a jeep tour, with knowledgeable, experienced drivers. With access to over 500 miles of trails to explore, a four wheel drive adventure is an item easily marked off of your bucket list! 

5.) Rock Climbing and Ice Climbing

iceclimberMountain climbing in the summer, and ice climbing in the winter are popular activities in Ouray County. Some of the most popular "fourteeners" are located in the area as well as other challenging peaks to conquer. Canyoneering is a sport quickly gaining popularity in Ouray County as well, combining hiking, climbing and rpelling through spectacular waterfalls. Adventure is easy to find here in Ouray County!

6.) Wildlife Viewing

Early Morning Guests at the tubsOuray County Sparkles during its long season of winter sunshine and moderate temperaturres. Ouray winters offer a quiet serene contrast to Colorado's more bustling ski areas. Deer, Elk and bighorn sheep are often seen grazing in the City Park during the winter months. One doesn't even have to travel that far from the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, as a variety of wildlife enjoy the warmth of the hot springs, and can often be spotted just a few feet away while guests enjoy a warm soothing soak.

7.) Winter Exploring

snowshoeing2The ultimate in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can be enjoyed against a backdrop of 14,000 foot peaks, wooded trails and alpine meadows. For those less athletically inclined, a snowmobile tour can be an exciting winter adventure which can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Regardless of the season, Ouray County offers a range of activities and interesting adventures centered around the majesty of the San Juan Mountains. The county's 540 miles encompass the rich, fertile ranchlands of the Uncompahgre river valley, the gentle rolling expanse of Dallas Divide, the majestic Sneffels Range, the scenic solitude of Owl Creek, Cow Creek and the Courthouse Range, and the spectacular Million Dollar Highway.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help to create the mountain adventure of a lifetime for you! From arranging dinner reservations and jeep tours, to mapping out the ideal trails to explore, or just providing a quiet oasis frigors of the outside world, Ouray and the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are the perfect escape. 

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Second Annual Sneffels Fiber Festival in Ouray County

  
  
  

Food, Fun and Fiber in Ridgway Colorado September 2014.

 

fiberfestflyerWeehawken Creative Arts works tirelessly to provide high-quality arts education and personal growth programs and events to adults and children year-round.

A Colorado Non-Profit Organization (501-c-3), Weehawken serves Ouray, Ridgway, Colona, Silverton and Montrose.

snefels fiberfest.2From dance to pottery; cooking and sewing, plays and music; Weehawken embraces every form of art and presents it in programs and classes attended by a variety of individuals. Each event they offer is a potpourri of talent and a treat for every taste.

The Second Annual Sneffels Fiber Festival promises to be an eclectic mixture of art, music, food and fun. Focusing on all aspects of fiber and fiber arts, the festival will be a three day event held at the Ouray County 4H Events Center, featuring live animals, such as yaks, alpacas and maybe even a camel!

snefels fiberfestFrom beautiful tapestries, embroidered in rainbows of color, to wearable arts such as scarves and sweaters, the variety of fiber to be seen and purchased will entertain for hours.

This event is free, and will run as follows:

Friday, September 26, 5-7 pm Sneak Preview

Saturday, September 27, 9am-5 pm

Sunday, September 28, 11am-3pm

Free Admission on Saturday & Sunday (donations gladly accepted!)

bcltubslgContact the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs for more information, or to plan your stay. Soak in the soothing mineral hot springs, hike the magnificent San Juan Mountains, and go find that special one of a kind something at the Second Annula Sneffels Fiber Festival!

See you soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

 

Ouray Hotel Offers Great Incentive to Off Season Visitors!

  
  
  

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is the Perfect Winter Escape!


ouraywinterAt the Box Canyon Lodge, we love our guests. Whether you have been visiting us for years, or this is your first time to the property, every guest becomes a part of what makes us great.

Nineteen years ago, John and Barbara Uhles offered a special incentive to folks who join the "Once A Month Club". In exchange for coming to see us at least once a month from October through May, members receive incredible discounts and offers on rooms. The club took off, and the lodge has been blessed with an extended family who have visited monthly for years and years.

box canyon lodge hot (2)When Rich and Karen Avery purchased the hotel in 2006, the "Once a Month Club" was an exciting and interesting concept. What better way to learn what does and does not work than from the folks who visit so frequently? Not to mention the opportunity to meet so many of the people who have been an integral part of this amazing property! Friendships formed and continue to thrive and grow. Members come and go, some stay with the club for just one year, while many more become life long members.

guestsatthetubsThe months of October through May, the city of Ouray becomes a much more quiet community. As the snow begins to fall and temperatures drop, access to the high country becomes more limited. Several businesses close for the winter, the owners taking advantage of the chance to explore the outside world, or just relax and prepare for the following summer. Nothing compares to an evening in Ouray when the streets are so quiet it is as if you are the only person in town. Snow falls gently, and the four mineral hot spring tubs in our courtyard are an intimate escape from it all.

tubsinwinterThe majority of our Once a Month Club members live fairly close to us, but we also have a number of folks from as far away as Denver, Santa Fe and Moab. A number of members have chosen to join the club with family members, friends, or through their businesses. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the benefits of the club without having to worry about whether you can commit to visiting all eight months yourself. From hospitals to families to business associations, we have a wide variety of visitors who enjoy the benefits of the Once a Month Club.

The serene beauty of the Uncompahgres is a magnificent backdrop to whatever winter activities interest you. Whether an avid skiier, snow shoer, ice climber or hot tubber, Ouray serves as a perfect base camp. Telluride is just a short drive for downhill skiing. The Box Canyon Lodge is just at the base of the Ice Park Trail, and any hiking trail becomes the perfect winter adventure for snow shoeing. Ironton Park is only a few miles up the pass for a day cross country skiing on meticulously groomed and maintained trails. 

fall tubsAfter a day of fall or winter adventuring, how nice to relax in the warm, soothing mineral hot springs! 

Once a month members can take advantage of these little getaways much more often, not having to be concerned with a long drive home. Of course, there are times when the discounted rate does not apply, however, with so many other days available, it is simple to plan around.

Every year, as the summer season begins to wind down, everyone at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs begins to look forward to October with a feeling of anticipation and excitement. The Club members have started to call, and make dates for the first visit of the season, and we can't wait to start catching up on the past months.

tubs.3This year, we hope to add to the family, and invite everyone to come and experience a winter in Ouray!

Check out our contract. Fill it out and send it back to us, or just bring it along on your first visit! This year, be sure to expect some great deals for the summer season as well! Every once in a while, we just miss our clubbers, and want to see them during the warm months as well. So, every once in a while, club members may receive an email from us inviting them all to come visit for a last minute getaway!

Join the Club, and become a part of our little extended family here at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs!

See You Soon.

 

  Ouray, southwest colorado

History of Ouray - Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs

  
  
  

Ouray Hotel has long provided a soothing relaxing atmosphere!

boxcanyonlodgehistoryLong before the area was discovered by two miners in search of gold, the tiny canyon now known as Ouray served as a sacred spot for the Ute Indians. Some people speculate that perhaps the name "Uncompahgre", or dirty water, was given to the area to protect the secret of the hot springs.

Once gold had been discovered though, the soothing waters of the natural springs were an added perk to living in the area, offering a soothing respite from days deep in the earth searching for treasure.

In 1877, a newspaper article mentioned the vast number of bath houses in Ouray and their popularity. While several places took advantage of the warm waters for recreational purposes, it was not until the early 1900's when a facility was opened which brought to light the healing properties of the hot springs.

Rich in a variety of minerals, particularly helpful in soothing rheumatism and skin problems, the first sanitarium was developed.

cogar sanitariumRichard and Bessie Cogar purchased the land which now houses the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, as well as its neighboring hotel in 1913, with the intention of building the first sanitarium in Ouray. 

In the early 1900's, the term "Radio Active" had an entirely different connotation than the post World War Two use of the word, as did the term "Sanitarium".

sweetskinThe Cogar's Sanitarium and "Radio-Active Baths" were incredibly successful, and men and women came fraom all over to take advantage of the treatments provided at the facility.

In 1927, after the death of her husband, Bessie had remarried and left Ouray, selling the sanitarium to Mr. C.W. Kent, of Peoria, Illinois. Mr. Kent maintained and invested in the sanitarium, which he re-named "The Sweet Skin Sanitarium", until 1946. During his residence and ownership of the hot springs, he added five cabins to the property to accommodate the growing tourism and declining mining industry.

boxcanyonmotelIn 1945, Mr. Kent sold the land to the Idarado Mining Company, who re-named it the "Crystal Court Bathhouses", and rented cabins to local miners.

Sometime around 1953, the original 35 acres were parceled out, and on July 9, 1959, The Ouray County Herald announced the opening of the Box Canyon Motel. Long term residents, Tommy and Della May (or Sally) Fellin had built a two story hotel with ten complete units. This building is the first of three expansions over the year, and is on the Southwest side of the property. When John Ray and Mary Joyce Scoggins purchased the property in 1964, there were fourteen completed units available for rent.

During the five years they owned the hotel, the Scoggins added another eight rooms to the property, and moved the front desk to the front of the hotel, facing the street.

Joseph and Viola Muse purchased the Box Canyon Motel in 1969, selling it again in 1972 to Kurt and Margaret Kircher. When the Kirchers sold the property to Thomas and Nancy Borman in 1975, there were twenty two rooms. During their time at the Box Canyon, the Bormans added eight more units, and built the four mineral hot spring tubs which still provide hours of relaxation and pleasure to our guests.

boxcanyonlodge1993When John and Barbara Uhles purchased the hotel in 1986, they immediately set about making the property their own, renaming the Property "Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs", and completely refurbished the original 14 rooms. They purchased the parcel of land between the Box Canyon and its neighboring hotel, the Chief Ouray Gun Club, and added eight rooms, including the two large suites, each with a fireplace, and the Honeymoon Suite. 

In May, 2007, Rich and Karen Avery purchased the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. With 39 beautifully maintained rooms, including five suites and a fully furnished two bedroom apartment, it was easy to fall in love with. The four mineral hot spring tubs still stand on the hillside. The tubs themselves have been replaced once or twice, still as cedar tubs though in order to best compliment the majesty of the views.

box canyon lodge hot (1)Every year, the Averys follow the tradition of upgrading and maintaining the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. The Averys expanded increased use of the hot springs by converting the entire property to geothermal, using the natuaral heat to warm the guest rooms and tap water. Every time a guest returns, whether it is weeks, days or even years later, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs provides the perfect escape. The love and passion put into the property from the very beginning shines through in every portion of the grounds and rooms.

Come see us soon!

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Ouray Mountain Trail Run - Rain or Shine September 27, 2014

  
  
  

Enjoy the Majestic Beauty of Fall in the San Juan Mountains with this Amazing Marathon! Register Today!

ouraytrailrunTom Shroer, director of the Ouray Trail Run, has out done himself, organizing and promoting a marathon comparable in difficulty to the Imogene Pass Run at the end of September. The Ouray Trail Run circumnavigates the City of Ouray using 13 miles of single track trails including the Silvershield, Ice Park and Portland trails. 

September heralds the changing of the leaves, as the world in the high country prepares for winter. Brilliant splashes of color 

ouraytrailrunmapJoin us for a 13 mile run on the beautiful hiking trails around the city of Ouray Colorado. The Ouray Mountain Trail Run has everything to live up to its name. The course includes slogging climbs, fast descents, fantastic views, and creek crossings including the high bridge over box canyon. Because of the quality of the course the run is limited to 100 participants making this low-key event a great day on the trails.

The adventure starts at 10 a.m. at the Hot Springs Pool with a flat mile of gravel road following the river then on to single track for the rest of the 13 mi. course. The trail run takes place on the last Saturday of September every year in an effort to take advantage of the fall colors with the cool temperatures and clear days of Colorado autumns.

ouraytrailrun3The Ouray Mountain Trail Run is a charity event with proceeds benefitting programs and organizations that get youth outside and active. Last year, the runners were able to help the outdoor program at the high school with some equipment purchases for their river trips. The entrants also put a few tykes on pedal less Strider Bikes through the Axel Project and set up a program to make swim lessons available at the Hot Springs Pool to kids who might not get the chance.

ouraytrailrun2There is a post race raffle where local businesses have donated tokens of appreciation. The heavy hooded sweatshirts from Ourayle House Brewery and the Exotic Earth Coffees are among the most popular examples. Trail Town Still has also always been generous to the run with donations and volunteers.

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is also excited to offer all participants of the race an additional 15% off their stay. There is no better way to relax tired muscles than a long soothing soak in one of our all natural mineral hot spring tubs. 

 

Ouray, southwest colorado
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