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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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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

Free Fun for the Whole Family in Southwest Colorado August, 2014!

  
  
  

Weehawken Creative Arts Invites All to Attend the 30th Annual Ridgway Rendezvous Arts & Crafts Festival This August 9 and 10, 2014 in Ouray County!

ridgwayrendezvous2014logoYet again, Weehawken has outdone itself with the upcoming Ridgway Rendezvous. Artists from all over Colorado and beyond will gather to share their creativity at the event in Ridgways Hartwell Park.

From amazing paintings and ceramics, to jewelry and culinary explosions of talent, the event will focus around the incredible creativity of our local artists.

ridgwayrendezvous4Live music provides a perfect background, as young and old wander each booth exploring a world of creativity and expression.

A perfect time to get started purchasing the perfect gift for a special someone, or yourself, hand crafted jewelry, candles and beauuty products, and embroidery compliment awesome photography, paintings, glassworks and more talent than can possibly be described in one sentence.

ridgwayrendezvousFamilies bring blankets to recline on the grass while young ones gather in joyful comaraderie and dance to the music of local performers and parents and friends reconnect over a microbrew from one of the food booths, indulging the kids with cotton candy and hot dogS.

Often reffered to as "The Gateway to the Rockies", Ridgway sits at the junction of Highway 550 and 62, just ten miles north of Ouray. With the magnificent San Juans serving as a backdrop to the festival, the Ridgway Rendezvous is considered one of the most picturesque  locations for booth set-up and for shoppers in our spacious town park and for successful sales for our vendors.  The Rendezvous is a juried show with a commitment to quality.

ridgwayrendezvous3Several thousand patrons visit the show every year, finding treasures sure to please any person on their shopping lists, as well as original decor not found anywhere else. 

For thirty years, the Ridgway Rendezvous has continued to grow in popularity and  vendors. With the backdrop of this beautiful small town serving to increase its popularity, it is exciting to once again welcome guests to enjoy a weekend of art and talent.

The MoonWalk begins Friday, August 8, 2014 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, Its theme is Celebration of the Harvest, and the Ridgway Community Garden will participate. Plan to check out the art in the garden just for this event!! Plus garden-related refreshments!

box canyon lodge hot (1)The Ridgway Rendezvous opens to the public from 9:00 am til 5:00 pm on Saturday, August 9, and again from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 10 at Ridgways Hartwell Park.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs serve as your Basecamp to the Arts! Join us Friday noght, and wander the streets of Ridgway for the Ridgway MoonWalk, sampling a small amount if the crafters who will be displaying their work in the Park on Saturday, August 9 and Sunday, August 10. This is a weekend to enjoy art in all of its forms while visiting one of the most beautiful palces in the country.

See you soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

Whats Happening in Ouray and Ridgway this August 2014

  
  
  

Southwest Colorado is Bursting with Excitement this August!

red mountainnSummer is here in the high country! Flowers are still blooming, and the grass is green and inviting. Hiking trails are abundant with life and energy as four wheel drive enthusiasts play in the Jeeping Capital of the World.

ouray main streetRestaurants and shops on Main Street offer a variety of interesting and original gift ideas and meals that are second to none. The museums are a perfect place to cool off and enjoy a moment travelling abck in time to a Ouray unlike the one before you, and yet similar enough to take your breath away.

wrightoperahouseLive music and plays at the Wright Opera House draw visitors to one of the most spectacular historic venues around, and the staff at the Box canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are here to make every moment exciting and memorable.

Thursday, April 17 through Saturday, November 15, 2014 - "How the Local Mountains Got their Names" exhibit at the Ouray Museum from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

seaesonal waterfall red mountain pass.3Have you ever wondered how the peaks around Ouray got their Names? Our special exhibit answers these questions and more. See photos of the local peaks with detailed descriptions of where the names came from.

Saturday, May 17 through Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Autumn in Ouray County- Special Photo Exhibit at the Ouray Museum from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

box canyon rainbow2An exhibit of 16 Ouray County Photographers who attended the John Fielder Photo Workshop in September 2013. Each photographer will have one 10 x 15 photo exhibited.

Every Saturday and Sunday for the Month of July - Brand Exhibit - Learning About Branding from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Ouray County Ranch History Museum

Board member Tim Force has put together an amazing new museum exhibit, educating all on brands and branding in Ouray County and surrounding area. Highlights include some of the oldest brands of the county branded to fence rails surrounding the exhibit and informative posters.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - Evening of Hisory at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

viewBrad Wallis will speak on "The History of the Sherbino Famil and the Sherbino Thearter"

Wednseday, August 6, 2014 - "A Short History of Decay", Movie at the Wright Opera House from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

When Nathan Fisher, a thirty-something Brooklyn writer with a stalled career, is dumped by his ambitious girlfriend, he doesn't know where to turn. Suddenly, he gets a call telling him his father has been hospitalized and races down to Florida to help. His short visit turns into an extended stay, during which he discovers that his aging parents are in much better control of their lives than he is. He also meets a woman, the polar opposite of his ex, who may be exactly what he is looking for. Starring Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, Kathleen Rose Perkinsm and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

Friday, August 8, 2014 - Ridgway MoonWalk from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

jeepJoin the Ridgway Creative District, Weehawken Creative Arts, and Ridgway's galleries with special guests for the Ridgway MoonWalk with a Harvest theme. Celebrate local talent! A brochure with map of participating locations can be picked up at Resource Art, 540 Sherman St. Demonstrations and refreshments provided.

Saturday, August 9, 2014 - Ridgway Arts & Crafts Rendezvous from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Ridgway Town Park

bald eagle ouray county colorado2Weehawken Creative Arts is proud to sponsor this event for it's 30th year running. Featuring a variety of local artists from painters and jewelers to glass blowers and fiber artists, this festival brings together a variety of craftsmen from all over. Open to the publis all day on Saturday and Sunday, August 9-10, what a marvelous opportunity to do some early shopping for an original gift to anyone on your list!

Saturday, August 9, 2014 - Shawn Mullins at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

wrightlogo2;Since we last heard from Shawn Mullins on 2008’s Honeydew, the Atlanta-based singer/songwriter and band leader has undergone a series of trans-formative experiences, leading to a second coming for the veteran artist. Evidence of Mullins’ new found level of musical and lyrical ambition courses comes through with Light You Up (Vanguard Records, October 12). This captivating new song cycle will likely be viewed as a flat-out revelation even by Mullins’ most fervent fans.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 - Ridgway Arts & Crafts Rendezvous from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Ridgway Town Park

high country basinWeehawken Creative Arts is proud to sponsor this event for it's 30th year running. Featuring a variety of local artists from painters and jewelers to glass blowers and fiber artists, this festival brings together a variety of craftsmen from all over. Open to the publis all day on Saturday and Sunday, August 9-10, what a marvelous opportunity to do some early shopping for an original gift to anyone on your list!

Friday, August 15, 2014 - "Much Ado About Nothing - No Holds Bard" - Play at the Wright Opera House from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

top of corkscrewThe course of true love sure does not run smoothly in this romantic comedy. Beatrice and Benedicke, who hate each other, are tricked into love, while Hero and Claudio, who adore each other, are tricked out of love. Will Benedicke kill his best friend Claudio for the sake of his new love? Only the most ingenious of plot twists can save the day. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Corkscrew Turntable Hike - from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm hikers meet at Ouray County Museum

abandoned mineCorkscrew 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 and return to the museum between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. In case of inclement weather call Don Paulson at 325-0931 before 8 am to ascertain the hike status.

Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Guided Cemetery Walking Tour - At Cedar Hill Cemetery from 9:00 am to 11:00 am

alpine tundra overlooking million dollar highway red mtn (1)Guided Cemetery walking tour by a museum docent. Learn about the famous people buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Meet at Cedar Hill Cemetery at 9 am. Pre-register at 970-325-4576.

Saturday, August 16, 2014 - "Much Ado About Nothing - No Holds Bard" - Play at the Wright Opera House from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The course of true love sure does not run smoothly in this romantic comedy. Beatrice and Benedicke, who hate each other, are tricked into love, while Hero and Claudio, who adore each other, are tricked out of love. Will Benedicke kill his best friend Claudio for the sake of his new love? Only the most ingenious of plot twists can save the day. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - San Juan Chamber Music Fest - Classical Cafe at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center from 7:30 pm to end

last dollar scenic drive.3The annual MusicFest features a small group of musicians of international renown, under the artistic direction of pianist Max Levinson, producing a number of concerts and events throughout Ouray County. The San Juan Chamber MusicFest kicks off with this delightful informal concert at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center. Gather around cafe tables with your friends, sip wine and enjoy appetizers while listening to “Music from Around the World,” including Beethoven’s “Eyeglasses” Duo and Mozart G minor Piano Quartet, Chopin’s famous “Military” Polonaise and a solo guitar piece from Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos.

Friday, August 22, 2014 - San Juan Chamber Music Fest - Concert at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to end

foals.3The annual MusicFest features a small group of musicians of international renown, under the artistic direction of pianist Max Levinson, producing a number of concerts and events throughout Ouray County. Join the San Juan Chamber MusicFest musicians for a concert at the newly renovated Wright Opera House. The program is titled “Slavic Soul: Music from Eastern Europe.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - Guided Walk of Ouray's Historic District - from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm starting from Ouray County Museum 

Guided walk of Ouray's historic Main Street led by a museum docent. Meet at the Museum at 3 pm. $10 per person. Pre-register at 970-325-4576

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - San Juan Chamber Music Fest - Family Concert at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to end

scenicdriveThe annual MusicFest features a small group of musicians of international renown, under the artistic direction of pianist Max Levinson, producing a number of concerts and events throughout Ouray County. Join the San Juan Chamber MusicFest musicians for a concert at the newly renovated Wright Opera House. Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry returns to delight children young and old at this delightful informal afternoon concert at the Wright Opera House. Entry is by donation.

Tuesday August 26 through Saturday, October 11, 2014 - Annual OCHS Quilt Show at the Ouray County Museum daily 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

silverjack owlcreek.2Ouray County Historical Society sponsors this event with a presentation of quilts all dated prior to 1960. Each of these works of art are stories in and of themselves, on loan from local families. A fascinating journey into the history of Ouray County.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Axel Project Bicycle Classic from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm

A breathtaking 48 or 80 mile charity ride over Dallas Divide into Placerville or Telluride and back. One of the most spectacular journeys you can take on a bike with up to 5,000 ft. of total climbing, thin air, and epic beauty. All proceeds benefit the Axel Project and their mission to introduce bicycles and a healthy lifestyle to kids and families.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Peter Bradley Adams at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

ouray ridgway flowersPeter Bradley Adams was formerly one half of the duo, Eastmountainsouth, signed by Robbie Robertson (of The Band) to DreamWorks Records in 2002. Since then, Peter has released four solo records as well as an EP with his side project, "Down Like Silver".

Often on the weekends, spur of the moment music is playing at one of the restaurants or bars in town in addtion to the events set out above. There is always something to do in Ouray, and the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs look forward to making your visit memorable.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Wildflower Season in The San Juan Mountains

  
  
  

The High Country of Southwest Colorado is in Bloom!

alpine tundra overlooking million dollar highway red mtn (1)When people talk of the majesty of the Uncompahgres, images of a blanket of color draped across fields of green often fill our minds.
Not to say the idea of the snow capped mountain peaks of winter, or the fantastic reds and yellows of Fall aren't equally breathtaking, there is something idyllic about a cool meadow filled with a rainbow of color.
high country wildflowers.2The first glimpse of a field high above timberline, covered in flowers, with a panoramic view of the world can be mind altering. Perhaps it is the thinner air, but that wouldn't translate so clearly into photographs.
Mid July through August, the flowers begin to peak in meadows and valleys in the high country, so now is the time to jump in your four wheel drive, and visit! 

Thanks to the input from our guests, the National Forest Service and county websites, the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has an up to date listing of where the best flowers can be found:

National Forest Service Information:


black bear pass wildflowers (1)A few of our popular viewing areas and hiking trails-

  • Hope Lake - 6 miles out and back, south of  Telluride
  • US Basin - east side of  Red Mountain Pass near Ouray
  • Lizard Head - Wilson Meadows - 5 miles out and back, trailhead at Lizard Head Pass parking lot, south of Telluride
  • Bilk Creek Upper Falls - 7 miles out and back,  trailhead is off Sunshine Mesa Road, near Telluride.
  • Bear Creek Falls - 4.5 miles out and back , south on Pine Street in Telluride
  • Lower Blue Lake - 6.6 miles out and back, trailhead at the end of Dallas Creek Road (CR 7/FR 851 ) west of Ridgway on CO 62. 
  • Wetterhorn Basin Trail from West Fork Cimarron River - 6.2 miles out and back, US 550 near Ridgway- take Owl Creek Pass Road,  turn right (south) on West Fork Cimarron Rd (FR 860)   
  • Copper Creek - trailhead north of Crested Butte and Gothic off (FR 317)
  • Rustlers Gulch - trailhead north of Crested Butte and Gothic off (FR 317) 
  • Oh-Be Joyful Trail (#836) - off  FR 754 from CR 734, north of Crested Butte  
flowersHere are a few of our more popular 4 wheel drive routes:
  • Yankee Boy Basin
  • Ophir Pass
  • Imogene
  • Black Bear Pass
  • Cinnamon Pass
  • American Basin
A more personal point of view is provided to us by the marvelous folks at the Silverton Chamber:
silverjack owlcreekJuly 11th, 2014: In and Around Prospect GulchBelow Timberline
  • Arnica: Broad leaf and Heart Leaf are peaking
  • Avens: Very Prevalent & Pretty!
  • Columbine: Past Prime
  • Jacob’s Ladder: Very Prevalent
  • Paintbrush: Barely Started
Above Timberline
  • high country wildflowers.2Bluebells: Just Starting to Peak
  • Larkspur: Just Starting to Peak
  • Lovage: Peaking
  • Old Main of the Mountain: Peaking
  • Sky Pilot: Beautiful and Blooming
  • Yarrow: Peaking
According to guests, the flowers up at Yankee Boy are not quite at peak, so perhaps in the next week or two, they will be at full peak.
Summer is in full swing in the rest of the world, but when you travel to 7800 feet and above, it is a cool breath of fresh air. Once the sun begins to set, and stars dot the clear skies, nothing quite compares to a long soak in the soothing waters of our four natural hot spring tbs at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, truly an oasis from the rest of the world!
Join Us at The Box Canyon LodgeA Rainbow of ExcitementAnd Color Await!

Ghost Towns of the San Juans - Animas Forks

  
  
  

Over 500 Miles of Four Wheel Drive Trails Provide a Glimpse into the History of Southwest Colorado Mining History.

animasforks2It is hard to believe as we put our jeep into four low and ascend the side of a mountain, high above timberline that once hardy men and women made this journey in the dead of winter an foot and with mule carts heavily laden with gold, silver, and other precious metals.

riversnowDriving along the narrow trails and gazing to the side of a 200 foot drop, a jeep tour driver will share stories of how these tough men and women would have to choose between the team of animals or the wagon they were pulling. Sadly, the gold won out much more often than the hardworking donkeys.

animasforkssign.2At an elevation of over 11,000 feet, the tiny town of Animas Forks began with just one small cabin in 1873, and within three years, boasted over 450 residents. With a post office, jail, general store hotel, and of course, a saloon, the town prospered for a few years during the mining boom. In 1997 and 1998, a grant to San Juan County served to preserve and stabilize the last few buildings of the once bountiful town. Now part of the Alpine Loop scenic byway, Animas Forks is a small window into life in the San Juans in the early 1900's.

view from gustavsonhouseParking at the base of the remaining buildings, one is somewhat haunted by the overwhelming beauty of the area. Only the foundation remains of what was once a boarding house that served as a resting place to over 150 miners. Gazing out of what must have been a basement window, the spectacular views almost make up for the harsh life they must have had.

The Gustavson House was once lauded for its indoor toilet (a glorified outhouse connected by a hallway). The family lived here year round, unlike many of their neighbors who left to winter in Silverton at the first signs of snow.

duncanhousebaywindowThe Duncan House was built in 1879, and is often mistakenly referred to as the Walsh House, although Tom Walsh never lived there. Its beautiful bay windows look across to the river and the Columbus Mine which sits the the fork of the Animas River.

With work always in progress to maintain the stability of these buildings, one can wander through these old homes and marvel at the tiny rooms, narrow staircases, the incredible views and the "modern conveniences". Glass still covers the windows, and it is easy to be taken away to a different time, as you imagine the hustle and bustle of the streets below less than a hundred years ago.

animasbunkhouse4Animas Forks can be reached either by traveling the Alpine Loop, accessing the town either by Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass or California Pass. If you are not looking to spend the day on the jeep trails, you can get there by taking County Road 2 out of Silverton. The first half of the drive is along a well maintained dirt road, eventually becoming a bit more rough. Although I did see some two wheel drive vehicles on the trail, something with a little more clearance might feel more comfortable, and allow for more exploring on the numerous little side trails.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to map out your next adventure in the high country! A perfect base camp for all of your four wheel drive fantasies, our knowledgeable staff will male sure you get everything and more from your visit, not to mention the inviting natural hot spring tubs just outside your door to soak away the dust of the road.

 

Contact Us!Let the Box Canyon Help YouExperience the Jeep Capital of the World Today!

Ouray Perimeter Trail gets TLC from the OTG

  
  
  

Circling the City of Ouray, the Perimeter Trail takes Hikers on a Path to Beauty!

CascadeLowerThe Ouray Trail Group is a non-profit corporation of volunteers working with the U.S. Forest Service dedicated to the preservation and safe use of hiking trails in Ouray County.

Thanks to these fine individuals, we are fortunate to have miles and miles of mapped and marked trails at our fingertips in Ouray.  

One of the newest and most popular trails is the Ouray Perimeter Trail. This 5.2 mile trek encircles the city of Ouray, offering spectacular views and an amazing hike for almost every level of expertise.

Formally, the trail begins across the street from the Ouray Visitor's Center, on the East side of Highway 550, however the true appeal of this trail is its accessibility from several spots in town and off of other trails, as well as linking to a variety of other trails along the way. 

ptoffppatchTo take the formal trail, walk from the visitor center up Main Street then left onto 8th Avenue. The trail takes you past Cascade Falls, to the Ampitheater, follows the Baby Bathtubs trail, and meanders along the Portland Trail for a little bit. Just a few more steps takes you through the Three Pines Day Use Area to Ohio Park.

The Potato Patch brings hikers to the highest point on the trail, at approximately 8500 feet. Spectacular views of the area take your breath away as you cross the highway, and travel along the Ice Park Trail toward the Upper Box Cañon Falls Trail, at which point you will cross a bridge that hovers over 200 feet above the Uncompahgre Gorge and walk through a tunnel carved into the mountain.

ptboxc stepsThe path soon descends onto Oak Street, which leads hikers back to a bridge across the river and into Fellin Park and the Visitors Center.

The popularity of the Perimeter Trail cannot be explained with just one simple answer, it is just a great trail!

Every step offers a vantage of the town below, and the mountains all around. There are steep portions, however the trail is manageable for most levels of hiker. Trail heads intersect the Perimeter Trail frequently, offering a plethora of options and ideas for the next adventure!

Of course, you don't have to start the trail from the Visitors Center, although it is nice to go in and check out all of the interesting and fun things to do in Ouray. 

OPTWherever you decide to hike, remember to be safe! Hiking at altitude can quickly dehydrate you, so be sure to bring water. Wear appropriate shoes. The terrain changes rapidly, and good sturdy shoes will be a blessing to you! Don't be afraid to turn back or take a rest if the trail feels too difficult hiking is not a race. Make sure you let someone know where you are going and when you plan on returning, and try to have at least one other person with you. Hiking is a lot more fun with a buddy! 

box canyon lodge hot (1)As always, don't forget your camera! These trails are amazing, with sights and scenery your friends may not believe without proof. Every twist in the path, and every opening in the trees offers a dream panorama for photographers of every level!

And after a nice hike, there is no better way to relax than to take a long soothing soak in one of our all natural mineral hot spring tubs. The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is an ideal location for access to the Perimeter Trail, and a plethora of other adventures. Our knowledgeable staff can help you to plan the perfect adventure based on your experience and expertise. From steep switchbacks leading to unbelievable views, to mild meanderings through shady woods, there is no end to the adventures to be had in Ouray!

 

Contact us TodayTo Begin Your Hiking Adventure In Ouray!

Four Wheel Drive Road Conditions Ouray - June 2014

  
  
  

Adventure Awaits in the High Country all around Ouray!

high country wildlife2June almost over, and July is waiting for us in the distance. Soon, all of the passes will be open for the adventurer to explore and experience The days are long and liesurely. Snow melt in the high country creates roaring rivers and seasonal waterfalls at every turn. One needs just to look up to be overwheled by the beauty and majesty of the Uncompahgres.

Wildlife looks on as if we are the ones on display, and wildflowers dot the countryside in a rainbow of colors. Travelling the four wheel drive trasls this time of year is both challenging and immensely thrilling. It is like travelling back in time. Every twist and turn is filled with wonder at the springtime beauty of a world awakening from a long winter nap. Adrenaline pumps through your veins as you wonder whether the mountain will permit passage. 

above timberlineThe weather can change in a heart beat. One minute, cruising with the top down and wondering if you put enough sunblock on, and the next pulling on sweaters and raincoats as mother nature teases with rain or snow.

Passes are opening in record time, and by the end of the month will be so well travelled, it will seem like old hat.

Four Wheel Drive Road Conditions as of June 27, 2014:

four wheel drive trail

Alpine Loop - Open  Animas Forks - Open    Alta Lakes - Open

Black Bear Pass - Closed
Blue Lakes Trailhead - Open
Brown Mountain - Open
Cinnamon Pass - Clear to Lake City
Clear Lake - Open
Corkscrew - Open
County Road 2 to Animas Forks - Open
room with a viewCounty Road 9 - Open
Cow Creek - Open
Engineer Pass - Open **Please Note! The Trail is Extremely Rough.
Fall Creek Road (to Woods Lake) - Closed
Governors Basin - One mile of Governors Basin is clear
Hastings Mesa - Open
top of corkscrewHorsefly - Closed                                                  
 Howardsville/Cunningham Gulch to Highland Mary Trail - open              jeep trailHurricane/California - Closed                                  Imogene - Closed - started clearing 6/9 to Richmond Basin and Silver Basin                                      Iron Springs (Hwy 145 through to Hwy 62)- Closed

Last Dollar Road - Open - High clearance vehicles only; expect mud snow and ice
Little Cone Road (CR G49) - Closed
Maggie/Minnie - Closed
Miniehaha (CR 51) - Closed
high country basinOld Lime Creek - Closed
Ophir - Open
Owl Creek Pass - Maintained to Vista Point - Open to West fork Intersection. Gunnison County will open their section by mid June **Please note! There is still deep snow.
Picayune -Open
Pittsburgh Mine Road - Closed
Placer - Open
old ore carsPoughkeepsie - Closed
Red Mountain Town - Open
Shrine Road (CR 6) - Closed
Skyline - Closed
South Mineral Campground road -Open to Bandora Lane

County road 7 - Open
Stony Pass - Open over the top to Pole Creek. ***Please note: Travel through Pole Creek is not reccomended 
Yankee Boy - Open

corkscrewWhether this is your first time, or you have been driving these roads for years, comsider taking a tour! The experienced drivers with all of our tour companies take the work out of experiencing the high country! Even if you brought your own vehicle, taking a half day tour is a wonderful way to get a feel for the road conditions and difficulty levels you are comfortable driving yourself. Not to mention the fact that when someone else is driving, you get to focus on the scenery, and getting the perfect shot with your camera!

black bearIf you are renting a jeep, or bringing your wn four wheel drive vehicle, please always remember to be safe! Check road conditions prior to setting out, and know the limits of your vehicle, as well as your own comfort levels. Let the satff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to map out the perfect itinerary. They have the most up to date information at their fingertips, and are eager to help you plan an adventure that you will enjoy. Remember to let the staff know when you return, and update us on how the roads are!

where weve been or where were goingDon't forget that every one of these roads is taking you over 9,000 feet. Weather conditions in the high country can change in moments! You are also a lot closer to the sun up there, so please remember sunscreen. Even if it doesn't seem hot or even sunny, take my advice on this one! Sun burns hurt, and make the rest of your dream vacation uncomfortable. Bring layers. In just a few feet, the weather can change from warm and sunny to a wintry snow storm, on into hail, followed by freezing rain, then back to seventy degrees again. If you come to a spot of trail that you are unsure of, scout ahead on foot before attempting. There is no shame in turning around and finding a trail you feel safer on.

mountain lakeRespect your fellow adventurers! Remember, ettiquette on four wheel drive trails allows right of way to up hill drivers, however, often due to the width of the roads, it is appropriate to trade off depending on who has more room. Don't try to pull offf without a comfortable space for your vehicle, and please remember the tundra is extremely fragile, so stay on the designated trails.

Above all, HAVE FUN!!!!!

The majesty of the high country is unbelievable. Bring your cameras, and be sure there is plenty of memory. Every turn holds new wonders to behold, and opportunities to capture just a taste of the San Juans!

 

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