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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Three Favorite Four Wheel Drive Trails Around Ouray

  
  
  

Ouray Colorado is the Jeeping Capitol Of The World!

waterfalls near ouray colo in julyBoasting access to over 500 miles of 4-wheel drive trails, Ouray County and the surrounding area has truly earned the title of Jeeping Capitol of the world. 

Off roading enthusiasts from all walks of life and all over the country come to this tiny little area in Southwest Colorado specifically for the adventure of the high country trails.

Whether you are an experienced off roader, or this is your first time to explore these high country trails, there is a jeep road just for you! Time and again visitors travel from Lake City to Ouray over Engineer Pass, or to Telluride and back via Ophir, Imogene or Black Bear Pass. High country lakes, seasonal waterfalls, wildlife of every shape and size. Wildflowers in the spring and summer, and colorful aspens in the fall. Every trip along one of these trails is a new experience, dotted with new and exciting stories with opportunities for spectacular photographs around literally every bend.

Every jeep tour and rental company is eager to help guests to find the perfect route most suited to their comfort levels and experience. The idea is for everyone to enjoy this amazing place we are fortunate enough to call home. Of course, one of the most important unspoken rules of off roading is to always stop and lend a helping hand to your fellow adventurers, and Colorado is nothing if not a friendly, helpful state!

With so many trails to choose from, there is no one in particular that is more spectacular than the other, however there are three ( ranging in levels of difficulty) which seem to draw the most interest:

Last Dollar Road (level 1 experience - easy)

october2This is indeed one of the most incredible drives in the fall. Travelling from just outside of Ridgway (10 miles from Ouray) to the outskirts of Telluride, the road travels through long tunnels of aspen trees, creating a surreal drive that virtually feels like a painting. The sunlight becomes a little less intense, and leaves of every color drift around your vehicle. Places to pull off abound, and the area is populated with photographers catching frame after frame.

To access, travel past Ridgway toward Telluride on Highway 62 to the top of Dallas Divide. Last Dollar Road is on the left, and marked. Six miles down the road, you will come to a fork giving the option of a shorter route which exits at the town of Sawpit on the right, or left to travel along Hastings Mesa to Highway 145 just past the Telluride airport. 

If you have a decent amount of clearance on your vehicle, take the left turn. This is a little more steep and curvy, but the views of the Sneffels Range are truly awesome!

 

Yankee Boy Basin (level 2 experience - moderate)

yankee boy basin columbinesYankee Boy Basin is known best for the vivid wildflowers in the late spring and early summer which blanket the fields with a rainbow of Mother Natures most incredible creations. With a twin waterfall flowing through the colorful vista, this is truly a magical place!

Adventurers drive along this well travelled road along the Uncompahgre Gorge, past abandoned as well as operating mines. Gazing at the cliffs across the way, it is hard to believe that once over a thousan people lived and worked here - summer, winter, spring and fall. If you look closely, you can still maybe find the ruins of an old bunk house on the side of the mountain, accessed by an ingenious lift system to get the miners from the top of the hill to the mine entrances below.

To access this trail, head south out of Ouray toward Silverton. At the first switchback, turn right onto Camp Bird Road. About ten miles up the road, take the right fork to Yankee Boy Basin. The last two miles of this track are quite steep and narrow, so a number of vehicles will park where the road is still a little more traversible and walk the rest of the way. Because it is a narrow two way road, in this instance, whoever has the most space is required to back up and make way for the other driver.

Corkscrew Gulch ( level 3 - moderate to difficult)

corkscrewQuite possiblly my personal favorite, Corkscrew Gulch is one of the most fun for people who want a little daring, but not so much they can't handle it. Starting about 10 miles from Ouray, take a left at the turn off for Brown Mountain, Corkscrew and Ironton Park. Stay to the right as you head up the hill, and the fun begins almost immediately!

Travelling up switchbacks not so tight to be scary, the view through the forested road above the Million Dollar Highway is amazing. It is also the best way to guage exactly how much you are climbing, as every glimpse of the highway becomes even more distant until reaching timberline, at which point it is difficult to decide where to look.

At the summit, it is as if you are standing at the top of the world. High above timberline, at 12,217 feet, the views are phenominal.

jeep exiting engineer passThe eastern descent offers access to either south to Silverton, or north over Hurricane Pass and California Gulch, connecting to the road to the ghost town Animas Forks. Be sure if you take this route to watch for the trailhead to Poughkeepsie Gulch, which is a level 5 trail, and prohibited by most rental companies.

Obviously, there are more than three trails to explore on your adventure in the high country. From Last Dollar to Black Bear, each offers a variety of visual candy and an entire world of adventure. Exploring the trails, I often wind up taking random side trails, and find the most amazing valleys and mountain lakes. Just be sure to remember that if the road looks doubtful, follow your instinct. If unsure, get out and walk a little way to see what is up ahead. Be aware of road condidtions. The weather can change drastically in a very short period of time. Don't be caught off guard. Never go cross country. Not only does this do irreperable damage to the  tundra, it is illegal. Be aware of your own level of comfort and experience, and above all, bring your camera and be prepared to stop. A lot.

If you prefer, a jeep tour is an awesome way to experience the high country. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the scenery as a seasoned driver shows you all of the sights you may have missed otherwise. Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan the perfect adventure for you!

 

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

Live Music, Craft Beer, and Excellent Food in Ouray August 23, 2014

  
  
  

Grillin & Chillin in Ouray is great Family Fun with a Variety of Entertainment!

GrillinChillinLogover2 000Bouncing castles, and frisbee games. Craft brewers and distilleries from accross Southwest Colorado. Delicious food, and music all day long! If you haven't been to a concert in Fellin Park, Grillin & Chillin is by far the biggest and the best. 

This year, all of the proceeds from the festival will be used for the 2015 Mountain Air Music Series. 

There is something magical and great in a concert in the park, regardless of where you are from. In Ouray, the beauty encompasses so much more. Surrounded by the majest of the San Juans, the music seems to echoe off of the mountins, creating a sense of freedom and comaraderie. Even the most shy will find themselves twisting and turning with friends they just met as the energy of the musicians demands.

live music ouray bcm3Booths line the park, offering a variety of breweries and distilleries for you to sample and enjoy. The cost to join the fun of tasting them all and judging you favorite is just $25.00, or you can purchase individual drinks for $5.00 a glass. Craft brewers and distillers include:  Horsefly Brewing Company, Avery Brewing, Palisade Brewery, Revolution Brewing, Ska Brewing, Copper Club Brewing Co., Two Rascals Brewing, Suds Brothers Brewery, Carver Brewing Co. and KJ Wood Distillers.

The Mountain Air Music Series is proud that this event allows local non-profits to raise funds for their organizations, so a wide variety of great festival food will be available for purchase, all served by regional vendors and non-profit organizations.

live music ouray bcmFamily friendly is not just an open statement here. From a bouncing castle, to fun games and just plain open air surrounded by music make this an ideal place to bring the family for a full day of fun! The air rings with laghter and squeels as children run and dance and play game after game. Bring a blanket and lawn chairs to sit and enjoy all of the magic of every moment!

And of course, there is the music! This year The Ouray Chamber Resort Association and the Mountain Air Music Series are excited to host four talented acts as the main entertainment. Local musicians, The Royal We, kick off the day, followed by The Shady Elders from Denver.  The fun continues with full sets by Grand Junction’s Zolopht and rock band Fictionist from Provo, Utah.   Festival-goers are sure to find something to dance to and Ouray’s Fellin Park is one of the most beautiful outdoor concert venues around.

theroyalweAt 1:00 pm, The Royal We begins the day with high energy fun and sound. This group of seasoned performers plays a variety of genres, ranging from R&B, to Southern Rock to Alternative, these talented artists play with joy and passion that carries over into every note.

Shady Elders CoverIndie Pop band The Shady Elders joins us from Denver to carry us on a journey through the beauty of dream pop, shoegaze, doo-wop and indie rock. Combining clear resonating vocals with instrumental genius, this up and coming band will mesmerize you with its powerful sound.

Zolopht band pic copy1 1024x682Grand Junction band Zolopht follows the line up with a heavy blend of reggae, blues, rock & bluegrass influences. A staple in the Colorado music scene for years,  Zolopht creates a sound that is diverse and very much their own. Thier high energy will have you dancing and singing along in moments!

FictionistOut of Provo, Utah, Fictionist finishes up the evening, bringing their high energy love of music to Ouray! These artists bring a level of Rock to the stage that will move you to new heights of appreciatin for the genre.

This year, the Grillin & Chillin festival is far outdoing itself this year, and is sure to be everything and more to be expected from a day of absolute fun in the majesty of the San Juans! Join us today!

 

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

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

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

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!

Ouray and Ridgway Events this July 2014

  
  
  

Ouray and Ridgway are Bound to be a Blast this July!

room with a viewEvery year, once the sun has melted all of the snow from the high regions, folks travel to Ouray County, where they can escape the heat and enjoy a variety of outdoor adventures. From concerts in the park, to jeeping in the high country, hiking and shopping and enjoying great food with interesting people, there is an air of camaraderie that permeates the area, a oneness with nature that is profound and freeing.

This July holds no less wonder than years gone by. With the moisture we have enjoyed, it appears we will be able to enjoy fireworks this Fourth of July - for the first time in three years! Granted I don't want to jinx us, but hopes are high as long as afternoon showers continue to occur at least a couple of times a week......

Otherwise, the jeep roads are calling and the hiking trails begging to be explored, as well as a variety of fun and exciting events:

Happenings in Ouray and Ridgway this July: 

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

black bearHave 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

waterfalls near ouray colo in julyAn 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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - Evenings of History at the Ouray Community Center from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Jerry Frank will speak on "Rocky Mountain National Park: The Environmental History of an American Treasure."

Thursday, July 3, 2014 - Ridgway Summer Concert Series Presents: Paper Bird with Chimney Choir Opening at Ridgway Town Park from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

paper birdRidgway Concert Series - Ridgway's 7th Annual FREE Summer Concert Series in Ridgway Town Park ? Every Thursday in July - 6pm until dark 
Local Beer, Food & Wine Vendors, Late Night After Party at the Sherbino Theater Bring a lawn chair, blankets, coolers, picnics, but no glass please! All shows are broadcast LIVE on KVNF (90.9) starting at 7pm (89.1 Montrose).

Friday, July 4, 2014 - Fourth of July Celebrations all day in Ouray and Ridgway

fourth of july waterfight.2The morning begins with a parade down Main Street in Ouray, followed by barbecues everywhere, and a variety of games and activities at Fellin Park. In the afternoon, cool off at the waterfights as Main Street is closed yet again for battles between teams with fire hoses. Don't plan on staying dry! After the water fights are over, head back to your room for a rest and dry clothes before heading out for dinner on Main Street, then back to the park for a free concert! As the music dies down, and the sky turns dark, look to the mountains for an amazing fireworks display! The Fourth of July can't get much better! A full day of family fun and activities.

Saturday, July 5, 2014 - Corkscrew Turntable Hike beginning at 9:00 am at the Ouray Museum

corkscrewCorkscrew 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, July 5 through Sunday, July 6 - Brand Exhibit - Learning About Branding from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Ouray County Ranch History Museum

july 4 fireworks ouray.3Board 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, July 8, 2014 - Evenings in History at the Ouray Commuinty Center from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

abandoned mineDon Paulson will speak on the "Historic Grocery Stores of Ouray County." There were dozens of grocery stores in Ouray and the surrounding mining and ranching communities. Learn about their history.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - Guided Tour of Ouray County Museum from 9:00 am to 11:00 am

ouray county museumGuided tour of the Ouray County Museum led by Curator Don Paulson. Learn what the curator thinks are the gems of the museum during this 2 hr tour. $10 per person ($5 for museum members). To preregister call 970-325-4576

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - Ridgway Summer Concert Series from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ridgway City Park

haldonwofordandthehibeamsRidgway Concert Series  Ridgway's 7th Annual FREE Summer Concert Series in Ridgway Town Park This week Presenting Halden Wofford and the High Beams, with Lash La Rue opening!
Local Beer, Food & Wine Vendors, Late Night After Party at the Sherbino Theater Bring a lawn chair, blankets, coolers, picnics, but no glass please! All shows are broadcast LIVE on KVNF (90.9) starting at 7pm (89.1 Montrose).

Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Guided Cemetery Walking Tour from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Cedar Hill Cemetery

cedarhillcemeteryGuided 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, July 12 through Sunday, July 13 - Brand Exhibit - Learning About Branding from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Ouray County Ranch History Museum

black bear pass wildflowers (1)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.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Ridgway MoonWallk from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Downtown Ridgway

Join the Ridgway Creative District, Weehawken Creative Arts, and Ridgway's galleries with special guests for the Ridgway MoonWalk with a Summer Fun theme. Pick up a map and brochure of participating locations at Resource Art, 540 Sherman St. Demonstrations and refreshments provided.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm - Evenings in History at the Ouray Community Center

high country wildflowers.3Richard Wilshusen, the Colorado State Archaeologist, will speak on "Mesa Verde and the Ancestral Puebloans."

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Ridgway Summer Concert Series from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ridgway City Park

orgonRidgway Concert Series  Ridgway's 7th Annual FREE Summer Concert Series in Ridgway Town Park This week Presenting Orgon with Andy Frasco Opening!
Local Beer, Food & Wine Vendors, Late Night After Party at the Sherbino Theater Bring a lawn chair, blankets, coolers, picnics, but no glass please! All shows are broadcast LIVE on KVNF (90.9) starting at 7pm (89.1 Montrose).

Friday, July 18, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm - Poetry in the Garden; a Benefit for haven House

CanyonNotesCoverBeth Paulson will read poems from her three recent books with David Vickers performing on the guitar in the garden of St. John's Church, Ouray. A portion (50%) of the proceeds from all book sales will go to support Haven House in Montrose. This is a free community event. Light refreshments will be served.

Saturday, July 19 through Sunday, July 20 - 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.

Saturday, July 19, 2014  - Guided Walk of Ouray's Hiistoric Main Street from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm  

wrightoperahouseGuided 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, July 19, 2014 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm - Phillipines Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction at the Ouray Community Center

red mountainnDinner and Silent Auction. Donations only. An all-you-can eat Asian buffet with tropical island decor. Silent auction includes native handmade crafts, jewelry and pearls from the Philippines, as well as gift certificates and merchandise from local restaurants, golf courses and businesses. Raising funds for the upcoming mission, "Operation Christmas Share" which provides gifts, clothes, school supplies and other necessities for the needy and orphaned children in the Philippines.

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - Everest & Lhotse, Presented by Hilaree O'Neill from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House

oneill webCombining a passion for exploration, mountains and skiing, Hilaree has traveled to some of the most exotic mountain ranges on earth. Outside Magazine named her one of the most adventurous women in the world of sports.
She’s skied from the Himalayan summit of Cho Oyu in Tibet and climbed and skied several high peaks in Bolivia and Argentina. Elsewhere, she’s cut turns on remote volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, in Mongolia, Pakistan, Lebanon, as well as many first descents in the tight couloirs of Baffin Island.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Evenings of History from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center

jeep torCarolyne Kelly will speak on "The people behind the Mountain Top and Grandview Mines." Come and learn about these lesser known but very interesting and historical Ouray County Mines. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - Ridgway Summer Concert Series from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ridgway City Park

zongoRidgway Concert Series  Ridgway's 7th Annual FREE Summer Concert Series in Ridgway Town Park This week Presenting Zongo Junction with The Royal We opening
Local Beer, Food & Wine Vendors, Late Night After Party at the Sherbino Theater Bring a lawn chair, blankets, coolers, picnics, but no glass please! All shows are broadcast LIVE on KVNF (90.9) starting at 7pm (89.1 Montrose).

Saturday, July 26 through Sunday, July 27 - Brand Exhibit - Learning About Branding from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Ouray County Ranch History Museum

live music ouray bcm3Board 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.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 - Kim Richey at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

kr webTwo-time Grammy-nominated Kim Richey is a storyteller; a weaver of emotions and a tugger of heartstrings. Tender, poetic and aching with life’s truths, Kim’s songs transport you to her world, where words paint pictures and melodies touch the soul. And then there’s her voice. Pure, arresting and honest, it makes you take notice...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - Evenings of History at The Sherbino Theater from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

ouray main streetJon Horn will speak on "Westward Ho, History of the Wagon Roads in our Part of Western Colorado."

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - Ridgway Summer Concert Series from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ridgway City Park

prowanRidgway Concert Series  Ridgway's 7th Annual FREE Summer Concert Series in Ridgway Town Park This week Presenting: Peter Rowan with Frank Sullivan & Dirty Kitchen, and Bruce Hayes opening
Local Beer, Food & Wine Vendors, Late Night After Party at the Sherbino Theater Bring a lawn chair, blankets, coolers, picnics, but no glass please! All shows are broadcast LIVE on KVNF (90.9) starting at 7pm (89.1 Montrose).

July is a time for fun filled days of adventure in the San Juans. From scenic drives and hot spring soaking, shopping and fabulous food, the question isn't so much how to fill your days, but how many days do you have to spend?

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you experience the full spectrum of activities and interests this tiny county has to offer. You won't be disappointed!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 


Wright Opera House Brings Music, Art and Culture to Historic Ouray

  
  
  

Historic Venue has Southwest Colorado Singing its Praises!

wright logoRecently, The Wright Opera House recieved another grant to use toward renovations on the building. Work had commenced on the new elevator and refurbishing the stairway. Every event brings us that much closer to a finished work!

With summer now coming into full swing, it is time to put more restoration on hold and bring out the fun! From Wednesday night movies, to plays and concerts, the Wright is entering into the season with a variety of entertainment which will not only please the crowds, but also shine a light on the immense amount of work being put into bringing back the golden years of this venue.

Guests at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs get a little extra incentive this month to take in a show at the Wright! Just bring us a ticket stub, and receive an additional 10% off of your stay!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - Wednesday Night Movie - "The Lunchbox"

the lunchbox2Middle class housewife Ila is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes that this new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker, Saajan, a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day's lunchbox, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the mystery. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the mere comfort of communicating with a stranger anonymously soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Gradually, their notes become little confessions about their loneliness, memories, regrets, fears, and even small joys. They each discover a new sense of self and find an anchor to hold on to in the big city of Mumbai that so often crushes hopes and dreams. Still strangers physically, Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities.

Saturday, June 14, 2014 - Radney Foster

radneyfosterCountry and Western artist and producer Radney Foster has been on the scene since his first album release in 1992. Four top ten chart songs later, he began to explore the 'Original" love song. Every release of music since has demonstrated his originality while at the same time, his strong voice and instrumental talents reflect his love for the soul of the country. 

Thirty years later, with the realease of his first album in over five years, Radney hes decided to forego the expecctations of others, and write to please himself, “I’ve gotten to an age where I feel like I don’t have anything to prove,” admits Foster. “And that’s very freeing when it comes to playing, singing and recording.” The fact is, he has found his own secret in the creation of music that remains traditional, while at the same time exuding his joy in the song.

Don't miss an evening with this great performer. Regardless of your genre of preference, the passion and fun in his music will have you begging for more!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - Movies at the Wright - Locke

lockeIvan Locke (Hardy) has worked diligently to craft the life he has envisioned, dedicating himself to the job that he loves and the family he adores. On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job, and soul. All taking place over the course of one absolutely riveting car ride, LOCKE is an exploration of how one decision can lead to the complete collapse of a life. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Steven Knight (EASTERN PROMISES, DIRTY PRETTY THINGS) and driven by an unforgettable performance by Tom Hardy, LOCKE is a thrillingly unique cinematic experience of a man fighting to salvage all that is important to him.

Sunday, June 22, 2014 - Trio Solisti

triosolistiThe Ouray County Performing Arts Guild welcomes the “consistently brilliant” Trio Solisti for a concert at the newly renovated Wright Opera House on Sunday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss this chance to hear one of the nation’s most celebrated trios perform a program that includes Tchaikovsky Trio in A minor, Op. 50, and Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. Trio Solisti, comprised of violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Adam Nieman, has earned a reputation for soulful and passionate performances marked by soloistic virtuosity, electric energy, seamless ensemble playing, and thrilling abandon. These qualities have drawn high praise from such journals as The New York Times (“consistently brilliant”) and The Washington Post (“unrelenting passion and zealous abandon in a transcendent performance”).

Monday, June 23, 2014 - Magic with Eli

eliAward winning teen magic star from Toledo, OH, Eli will return to the Wright Opera House on Monday, June 23th at 7:00 PM. Eli's show packed the house in 2013 and he is back with a mix of his signature routines and some brand new effects never before seen in the world of magic. Eli's action packed show combines classic magic performed with a hip and modern twist. As always, it is packed with humor, music and audience participation.

The Wright Opera house has also asked Eli to "share the magic" this year, and so a few lucky kids will be able to work with Eli this year, learning hands on magic and maybe getting their start in showbiz just like Eli did! Space is limited, so please book early.

Shows at the Wright all begin seating and last minute ticket sales half an hour before show time. There is nothing quite like enjoying a show in this historic theater. The acoustics are perfect, and the intimate setting ideal. 

Remember to present your reciept to the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, or just give us a call and we can arrange "Will Call" tickets at the door for a trouble free evening of fun at this fantastic venue, and a little discount to enjoy our mineral hot springs!

 

See you soon!




Weekday Fun for Everyone in Ouray!

  
  
  

An Adventure Filled With Music, Flowers and Fun Awaits in Southwest Colorado!

live music ouray bcm3Well, the time has come again. With sunny days in the seventies, and jeep trails outside your door for every ability, it is no wonder that everyone is looking forward to the concerts in the park with such anticipation. 

Midweek is a great time to visit! From jeep tour and amazing hikes to concerts in the park, your days will be filled!

So, here's the plan: 

a view of main streetWednesday, come on up to Ouray and get settled in your room. Wander the shops on Main Street, and find something fabulous for yourself or someone on your list. The hardest thing about dinner is what are you in the mood for? I guarantee we can find something to appeal to any taste. Unless you want something rare, like cuttlefish. Nobody serves cuttlefish. But there are some great places to sample fresh Rocky Mountain Trout! I don't think anyone serves those.

bcl courtyardSoaking in the all natural mineral hot spring water is undeniably one of the best ways to relax. Under a canopy of stars, with your favorite companion, or early in the morning enjoying a cup of unbelievably good coffee from Exotic Earth Coffee Roasters,as the warm water soothes away the last bit of sleep, our hot spring tubs are the ultimate experience.

box canyon lodge hot (1)Thursday morning greets you with the sun smiling down on our little valley in anticipation of adventures.

Around 8:30, a jeep pulls up, and the driver leaps down calling your name and escorting you to the seat of your choice. Other daredevils are there, introducing themselves with nervous smiles, all unsure of what they have signed up for. Cameras ready and jackets stowed under your seats, let the adventure begin!

The driver creates an atmosphere of camaraderie with his passengers, as he travels ever up into the San Juans. Occasional stops along the way educate and entertain simultaneously. Who would have believed that hundreds of miners lived year round in that bunkhouse on the other side of the mountain? How can one not stare in awe of the rainbow of wildflowers blanketing the meadow at Yankee Boy in June? Is it possible for that many colors to truly exist?

deer at box canyon.2The wildlife is out in droves, quietly peering at travelers as they journey the roads- occasionally giving onlookers a glimpse of their grace and beauty. As a deer stops to stare, it is easy to wonder who is watching whom! Don't forget to look up! Bighorn Sheep dot the cliffs, and hawks, blue jays and a variety of aviary sweep the skies and rest on the branches of almost every tree you pass.

yankee boy basin columbinesThe half day tour returns you to town just in time to seek out lunch. Conversation is filled with exchanging pictures and commenting that no photograph can truly capture what you just experienced, as well as discussions about whether the driver was telling the truth about the heart shaped porch in Ironton, or perhaps embellishing some of the stories you just heard.

After returning to the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs to catch your breath, head to the lobby to peruse our extensive video library, or jump back in your suit for a lovely afternoon soak.Afternoons are so quiet and peaceful in our courtyard, it feels as if you are the only one here.

music in the park ourayThursday evening is filled with electric anticipation, as folks from near and far begin to gather at Fellin Park. Booths line the outskirts, offering a variety of craft beer to sample, and a plethora of snacks and fun games for the kids abound, as everyone sets up lawn chairs in front of the stage.

live music ouray bcmWhen the music starts, the experience cannot be measured. Echoing off the tiny box canyon walls, toes begin to tap, and the lawn chairs empty out as everyone takes to the grassy field moving to their own style as the band plays on.

It is impossible not to feel the energy. Regardless of your favored genre of music, the MountainAire Music Series has outdone itself again. Each band brings such joy to the crowds. Children and adults mingle as if they were the oldest of friends. Smiles brighten the mountain air as the sun begins to set; creating a rainbow of colors and sounds of pure pleasure.

Far too soon, the second band plays their final song. Revelers sway to the farewell notes, embracing one another in a moment of absolute togetherness. Lawn chairs and family members are gathered up in anticipation of next weeks show, and plans are made to sit with new friends.

There is still time for a quick jump in the tubs before wearily returning to a clean comfortable room to watch the movies you picked out earlier. Perhaps you will be able to stay awake through the whole movie, or just let the background noise of a romantic comedy lull you into a rest filled with dreams of the wonders yet to be explored in beautiful Ouray Colorado!

bcltubslgEarly risers on Friday morning can enjoy a quick walk up to the Box Cañon Falls before returning for one last soak, or a long soak before taking a more challenging hike. The serene beauty of the San Juans beckons for more adventures. Stay through the weekend, or reserve your next visit with us so you can continue on with a scenic drive to adventures untold!

Let us help you to plan the perfect escape. From dinner reservations to river rafting adventures, to the perfect spots for quiet introspection, the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are here to make every moment of your time in Ouray the best moment imaginable.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

Historical Ouray County

  
  
  

From Mining to Ranching to Soaking in Natural Hot Springs; The Beauty of Ouray County is Everlasting!


cascade falls ouray1The Ute Indians arrived in what is today known as Ouray County about 1300 AD to find a land formed some 35 million years ago by firs and ice. Immense volcanic eruptions resulted in deep, lava formed craters. The most recent Ice Age scoured the mountain valleys, carving great amphiteatres, cliffs and peaks. the Utes valued the Uncompahgres based on abundant wildlife, plentiful streams, and of course the natural hot springs. For ages, the Ute tribe lived in harmony with the land.

million dollar highway.2It is widely believed that the first white men to visit the valley were "Gus" Begole and John Eckles in 1875 in search of gold and silver. Soon the men found the area was rich in possibilities, and soon claims were being made all through the area. 

The following spring, the rush was on. The town was surveyed, streets laid out, and most of the timber in the Ouray area was cut down for cabins. In the fall of 1876, the town was incorporated and given the name of Ouray in honor of the great Ute chief famed for his efforts to maintain peace between the two cultures.

fall.colorsMines were also taking root higher in the mountains in Imogene and Yankee Boy. Pack trains carried supplies and ore between local mines and Ouray, now over 400 strong, boasting a school, four stores, two hotel, a saw mill, an ore sampling works, post office and an assortment of saloons and gambling houses.

In 1883, entrepreneur and engineering genius Otto Mears carved a toll road between Ouray and the towns of Silverton and Ironton to the south. This road is now known as US Highway 550, or more lovingly dubbed the Million Dollar Highway.

trainIn 1887, the area experienced another boom when the Denver Rio Grande Railroad established a depot in town, which allowed the profitable mining of low grade ores. With rich discoveries made northeast of town in the Gold Hill area, and the mining industry booming, the population of Ouray exploded to over 2000 residents by the year 1890. The following year, the town of Ridgway was developed as a travel hub for the railway.

The town suffered a scare in 1893, when the value of silver plummeted, but three years later was again riding high when Tom Walsh struck it rich at the Camp Bird Mine, southwest of town. Between 1896 and 1910, the mine produced over $26 million.

downloadAt the turn of the century, Ouray entered a boom or bust cycle as mining became less productive and tourism became more of a focal point. The Ouray Hot Springs Pool was built, and the city purchased Box Canyon Park.

Ridgway prospered as a railroad transportation center until the Rio Grande Rail Southern Rail halted service in 1951. Today, Ridgway is a successful ranching community, gifted with moderate climate and fertile land. The town continues to serve as an important junction, leading to some of the finest skiing in Colorado, and energy rich mineral deposits in the west.

ouray courthouseThe city of Ouray has been designated as a National Historic District. Beautifully preserved and restored Victorian architecture serves to recall the century old mining traditions and ingenuity of the early settlers. Even the city pool is on the National Historical Register.

The Ouray County Historical Society Museum is housed in what was once the hospital, and offers a sampling of the rich and varied past of the area.

jeep torThere are over 10,000 abandoned mine shafts, tunnels or cuts within a ten mile radius of Ouray, for hikers to seek and discover, as well as access to over 500 miles of four wheel drive trails, most leading to ghost towns and abandoned mines high in the mountains. It is always fascinating to experience in a four wheel drive vehicle trails that were once traveled by hearty men and women on horseback or on foot, often in the winter through feet of snow. Yikes!

The Bachelor Syracuse Mine, just a few miles north of the city now offers tours, taking people over 2,000 feet into the ground to experience a tiny taste of mining at the turn of the century.

Rich in history and overflowing with natural beauty, Ouray County offers a variety of adventures. Whether fascinated by the old town feel, or eager to soak in the natural mineral hot springs, there is something for everyone here.

See you soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado
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