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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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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!

 

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

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

Green Hotel in Ouray Celebrates Silver Status!

  
  
  

Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs AWARDED TRIPADVISOR GREENLEADERS™ STATUS

efh listing logoOuray, Colorado - May 8, 2014 today proudly announced it has been accepted as a Silver level GreenLeader into the TripAdvisor® GreenLeaders™ program, which helps travelers plan greener trips by identifying environmentally-friendly accommodations across the U.S.

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders have met a set of environmental standards developed for TripAdvisor by a leading environmental consulting firm, with input from expert partners. The more green practices a hotel has in place, the higher its GreenLeader level, which is shown on the property’s listing on the TripAdvisor site.

exterior tubs“We strive to find ways to consistently reduce our carbon footprint, and to help our guests to do so as well, while at the same time providing exemplary service.”

Travelers can now search for accommodations that have a GreenLeaders status on the TripAdvisor site, and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can expect at each location.

“TripAdvisor GreenLeaders are leading the hospitality industry in making efforts to improve their environmental footprint,” said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. “We greatly applaud these accommodations and are pleased to share their eco-friendly practices with our online audience of more than 260 million travelers who visit the site each month.”

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program was developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme. For more information, please visit www.tripadvisor.com/GreenLeaders.

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 260 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 125 million reviews and opinions covering more than 3.1 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. The sites operate in 34 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 20 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com,  www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, , and www.kuxun.cn. 

 *Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, June 2013

 **Source: Google Analytics, worldwide data, July 2013

Contacts:

TripAdvisor Media Relations mediarelations@tripadvisor.com www.tripadvisor.com Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs Bcm@boxcanyonouray.com

 

Book Today!Mention Trip Advisor or use Promo Code TA2014And recieve 10% off your next visit to Ouray!

 

 

 

Spring Fever In Southwest Colorado!

  
  
  

Longer days and warmer weather beckon in the San Juan Mountains!

foals.3Spring is in its full glory. As Mother Nature stretches from a long winter nap, flowers are beginning to bloom, and the world is showing signs of preparation for the Summer season.

A scenic drive along highway 550, even just a few miles, shows the signs of the season to come. 

Calves and foals frolic in the fields along the highway, and the truly observant may catch sight of young wildlife as well!

Knowing that the high country has not yet had enough time for a safe adventure, something a little lower sounded like a fine idea. Time to jump in the car and see how far we could go!

After much debate, we decided to make an attempt at Buckhorn Lake, located just on the edge of Ouray County.

scenicdriveFollowing Highway 550 North towards Montrose, turn right onto Buckhorn Road (just after the Conoco station). The road curves a bit, but in just short time turns into a dirt road, and houses quickly become sparse.

The steep incline is easily traversable for a couple of miles, and the views are spectacular!

A sharp curve takes you to, well, close to the end of this adventure in the first week of May.

snowyroads2Sunlight hasn't had time to melt all of the snow, and the road becomes a little more demanding. 

Shifting into four-low, the first snow packed switchback was easy enough to overcome, but alas! A dry stretch was misleading, and another curve brought us to a patch of road we obviously weren't the first to attempt.

Tire tracks and footprints told a tale even the most inexperienced could easily read..someone got stuck...perhaps this was a good place to stop and let the dogs play before turning back for safer adventures.

view.2Some folks passed us by, eager to prove they could get to the lake at the top, and it was a short fifteen minutes before we waved to them as they headed back down. Apparently even the most adrenaline driven weren't willing to walk back down the mountain!

So, turning back, we drove a short distance before turning off onto a drier patch, leading to a campsite overlooking the valley below. 

It was a little breezy, but still short sleeve warm, and we wandered about for a while, enjoying the grid like view of Montrose and Colona, before hopping back into the car and heading home.

early flowersSpring is in the air, it was apparent from the number of others we passed on the road that we were not the only ones ready for such a beautiful day, and eager to escape into the high country, but also pleasant to see we were not alone in the decision not to put ourselves in danger as others headed back down for a drier picnic spot.

baby dearIt won't be long before all of the four wheel drive roads are open for the season, but until then, just like everyone else, we will have to keep an eye on the County websites as they update everyone on road conditions, and remember to always be safe. 

 

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan your next escape! We research the road and weather conditions daily to ensure the safety of our guests as they experience the majesty of the Uncompahgres. Ready with advice on hiking, off roading and dining options, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is your perfect base camp for any adventure!

 

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