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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Dining and Entertainment over the Holidays in Ouray!

  
  
  

Ouray’s very First Christmas with a dash of Vinegar

 

Christmas Tree (1)Every town large and small has their own holiday traditions, and each has its own unique story of beginning.  Here in Ouray we have a wonderful tradition of going to Vinegar Hill to go sledding as children and later as adults we will take our own children there to sled on Christmas day. You may ask why this particular sled hill is named Vinegar Hill? Well the name goes all the way back to the very first Christmas ever celebrated here in Ouray in 1875.

 

sledoldIn 1875 the town of Ouray was yet to officially exist, this valley was still Ute Indian land with only a small handful of white men just starting to settle here. These first men were here to prospect, mine and start a small settlement that would later be named Ouray in honor of the Ute Chief Ouray.

 

 

balsamic vinegarIn December 1875 when winter was just beginning the 13 men and no women that lived here gathered together in a cabin for a simple dinner consisting of bread, bacon, and beans. The men, finding that none of the traditional spirits were on hand and the closest place to find any liquor or wine was in Silverton, decided to doctor the one fluid that they had to drink, Vinegar!

 

Thus with a simple meal toasted with a glass of vinegar the first Christmas was celebrated and the location was named for that one drink, retaining that name to this very day. Not only was Vinegar Hill christened with that meal but a town was born, first named Lexington then changed to Uncompahgre City and eventually becoming the city of Ouray.

 

Now days Vinegar Hill still has a place in our Christmas traditions…..whether you spend the day sledding down it with your friends and family or just enjoy watching all the fun. Should you be in need of a sled to use for your day of fun check out Ouray Mountain Sports. And please try to remember this special place and its unique history in our beautiful little spot of the world.

 

This Christmas don’t worry that we will be serving a glass of Vinegar for your holiday meal, there are plenty of fabulous restaurants to dine at:

 

CHRISTMAS EVE

turkeydinnerArtisan Bakery: 7 AM – 2 PM

Backstreet Bistro: 7 AM – 3 PM

Beaumont Hotel Grand Ballroom: 5 – 9 PM (Reservations 970-325- 7000)

Bon Ton: 5 PM - Close (Reservations 970-325-4951)

Buen Tiempo: 5:30 PM – Close (970-325-4544)

Cavallo’s: 7 AM—2 PM; 5:30 PM & 7 PM (Reservations 970-325-2042)

Goldbelt Bar & Grill: 11 AM – 4 PM

Mouse’s Chocolates: 9 AM – 7 PM

O’Briens Pub: 11 AM – Close

Ouray Brewery: 5 PM – Close

Outlaw: Closed

 

eye of round roast lCHRISTMAS DAY

Backstreet Bistro: 7 AM – 1 PM

Ouray Brewery: 5 PM – Close

Outlaw: 5 PM – 9 PM

 

From all of us at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs we wish you warm and wonderful holiday season.

About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle. Morgan is also the newest member of our front desk team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Come in and say hello! 
Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray Bar Still Serving the Best to the Best After 25 Years!

  
  
  

Have a drink with the locals in Ouray's very own Saloon!

SilverEagle4Ouray, Colorado offers a variety of great things to do during the day, from hiking to shopping, to soaking in the mineral hot springs, and some wonderful dining options in the evening. Often though, there is the lingering question of what to do after dinner if you are so inclined.  Many times, we are asked where the locals go, and what kind of night life there is to be found. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, there is one spot here in Ouray that hasn't changed in over twenty five years, and will hopefully stay around for another twenty five years!

SilverEagle3The Silver Eagle Saloon is a great place to enjoy a drink and relax. This is a BAR not a restaurant, they do not serve food in fact they do not even have a kitchen. If you want to experience what it is like to chill in an old school saloon this is the place for you. You can still smoke in there, so any non smokers that have a problem with that may want to find another place to have a drink. They do not allow anyone under 21 to enter at anytime. This wonderful throw back bar is open 7 nights a week year round and usually open until 2am.

The Eagle (as the locals call it) is the only place in town with a pool table, they also have pinball, darts, and an internet jukebox.
Owned and operated by the same couple for the last 25+ years The Eagle is a a local hang out in the evenings, but be forewarned that most of the regulars don't get off work until around 10pm each night so the bar does not start to really get busy until about 11pm.
SilverEagle2The Eagle's history goes back to the late 1960's when the front and back bar where located on the other side of the building where the Ouray Glassworks shop is now. In the 1970's the original 1886 Brunswick Bar (made of Mahogany, Cherry Wood, and Zebra Oak) was moved into the newly built location where it remains to this day.
SilverEagle5Back in those days the bar was called 550 Saloon, and was renamed the Silver Eagle Saloon when Bruce and Cheryl McDaniel bought it in January, 1987. The McDaniel's had been managing and running the 550 for several years before they purchased it. This lovely old bar is a family operation, as not only do both Bruce & Cheryl still work it, but two of their four daughters have spent significant time working behind the bar over the years. You can still on occasion see one of their children appearing as a guest bartender when they are in town.
SilverEagleThe Silver Eagle Saloon is truly one of the great old bars in Colorado, it has been featured in books, magazines and websites throughout the years. Don't hesitate to go in sit down and have a cold one, and enjoy a little bit of Ouray history.
Located on Main Street, the Silver Eagle is just a short walk from the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, the perfect spot to park your car and saunter up for some after dinner cocktails! Spend a day relaxing in Ouray, and an evening with friends old and new at this great little home town bar.
About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle. Morgan is also the newest member of our front desk team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Come in and say hello! 
Ouray, southwest colorado

The Ouray Victorian Yule Fest Weekend December, 2013

  
  
  

Shopping, Live Music, Wine, Chocolate and Cheese and Santa - All in Ouray This Yule Fest!

Winter is upon us. We have survived Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday with flying colors. The holidays are in full swing, and Ouray is ready for Yule Fest.

ouray winterThe Ouray Yule Fest Victorian Christmas Weekend greets the Holiday Season with open arms and activities sure to entertain everyone. From Friday, December 13, 2013 through Sunday, December 15, 2013, the town is bursting with sidewalk sales, Santa on parade, festive music in several venues and the Fifth Annual Wine Chocolate and Cheese Fest, just to mention a few exciting opportunities to enjoy the Holiday Cheer and small town charm Ouray is famous for.

Every year, Ouray locals and visitors welcome the season with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Children will all have the opportunity to visit with him at the Ouray Elks Lodge, starting at 5:00 PM. The lodge will also provide a chili supper at 5:15, with meals just $8/adults, $5 kids 5 - 12. 

winefest17The Fifth Annual Wine Chocolate and Cheese Fest, which will be held at the Ouray Community Center on Saturday, December 14, 2013, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, sample a variety of decadent treats, all presented by local vendors. Featured last month on 9News Colorado and Company, Faith Parry, creator and organizer of the Wine Chocolate and Cheese Fest, introduced many of the vendors who will be attending this years gala event, including Dirty Water Soap Works IncEast Mesa DesignMountain View WineryStoney Mesa WineryJumpin Good Goat DairyHaystack Mountain Goat Dairy, and MouCo Cheese Company to name a few.

winefest10Colorado is increasingly receiving accolades for the spectacular wines produced accross the state, and many of the cheese and chocolate companies who will be in attendance are very well known and loved all over the country.

As always focusing on local talents, Faith has again included local distilleries and artists who will be displaying a variety of original and interesting wares. Whether you still need to finish off your Christmas list, or are looking to cross off some of your own holiday desires, surely there will be a plethora of enticing options available at this years Wine Chocolate and Cheese Fest in Ouray! 

Once again, door prizes will be awarded for the most festively dressed, and the evening should prove to be the best yet of this hugely popular event.

winefest7After the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Fest, the evening continues at O'Briens Pub from 9:00pm to 12:00am, with Tony Rosario, a rugged oaken voiced guitar-slinger/troubadour, deftly running the rails from from Blues, Country, Rock, Folk, R&B, and Soul with the purpose of a steam-train engineer and an anything but common 1-man groove a country mile wide. 

On Sunday, December 15, 2013 what better way to celebrate the season than an afternoon enjoying Dolce Voce, a Montrose based a capella choral group as they entertain and delight with a great assortment of holiday music from all ages.

 

This year, The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is excited to offer a special deal for our Yule Fest Guests. Come on up to Ouray on Friday, and begin your weekend with a soothing soak in our mineral hot spring tubs. After an evening enjoying the serene beauty of the San Juans, head on back to the Lodge and wind down with one or a few movies from our video library.

Saturday morning, stay in town soaking and relaxing, or take a scenic drive through some of the most spectacular scenery in the state before the festivities of the night. As the sun sets, after the parade of lights and a visit with Santa, put on your Holiday best, and enjoy an evening at the Wine Chocolate and Cheese Fest. Sample pallet pleasing delights from local vendors such as Stony Mesa Winery, Pleasant View Vineyards, Four Leaves Winery, Joyce Withrow with Rosemaling, Gubbini Winery, Mountain View Winery, Trail Town Still, Mouse's Chocolates, Ouray Candy Company, Drost's Chocolates, Jumpin Good Goat Dairy, Dayspring Farm, Garrett Estate Cellars and MouCo Cheese. Peruse the variety of original gift ideas from your favorite Bordeaux, to a one of a kind piece of art displayed by local merchants!

box canyon lodge hot (2)Once the evening festivities have come to a close, your room at the Box Canyon is waiting to envelope you in a warm, cozy night sleep. Before heading home on Sunday, be sure to enjoy a cup of Exotic Earth Coffee as you take one last soothing soak in our mineral hot spring tubs!

Box Canyon Lodge guests receive 50% off of admission to the Wine Chocolate & Cheese Fest on Saturday, December 14, 2013.

Rooms are going Fast, so give us a call today!

 

Give the Perfect Gift orGive Yourself a much Deserved Escape!

Ouray, Colorado Invites You to Join us for Thanksgiving!

  
  
  

Tiny Town in the San Juan Mountains Gives Plenty to be Thankful for This Thanksgiving.

snow ouray3The holidays are upon us. We knew this day was coming, and have been looking forward to it for what seems like ages.

When one wakes up in Ouray, and looks out the window, it is impossible not to feel the holiday spirit. Nestled in a tiny box canyon, with unbelievable views in every direction, Ouray epitomizes the sense of community and hard work that is Thanksgiving.

A night at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is an ideal way to begin, or end the perfect Thanksgiving, with no dishes to wash!

Wake in the morning to freshly brewed coffee roasted by our very own Exotic Earth Coffee Roasters as you soak in the early morning light. Work up an appetite on a leisurely stroll on Main Street, window shopping and enjoying the clean crisp mountain air.

The Ouray Hot Springs Pool will be open on Thanksgiving from 4pm to 9pm!

Bring the kids, and enjoy a day at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool! With a variety of temperatures, and a lap swimming area, the Hot Springs Pool is a fabulous place to enjoy an afternoon or evening, soaking, swimming and playing. big turkey dinner, and guess who is sleeping alllllll night?!? 

Dinner is not a problem, but deciding on where to eat may be! 

snow ourayWe serve a very light fare in the morning: homemade muffins, fruit and a selection of juices and teas in addition to coffee, which is just enough to get you going in anticipation of a decadent feast later in the day! Of course, if a full hot breakfast is what you are looking for, no problem! In addition to restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner, breakfast and lunch are on the menu as well!

Backstreet Bistro will be open from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm.

It is hard to believe when walking up to the front door of the Backstreet Bistro that there is anything interesting inside, let alone room for more than a party of perhaps three or four people. believe me, this is not the case! From the moment one walks through the door and is greeted by at least one smiling face, a genuine, good dining experience is in the works.

Just off the menu breakfast and lunch is what you can expect here on Thanksgiving - fabulous baked goods, and Boar's Head meats. You surely cannot go wrong.

At the counter, the menu is listed on the wall, and what a menu! Everything from bagel sandwiches to eggs benedict for breakfast, and a variety of delicious sandwiches for lunch are listed, and the job is to decide what to try!

Beaumont Hotel- Grand Ballroom, Thanksgiving Buffet, Seating’s , Noon,2:30 & 5pm

Adults $34.95, Children, $17.99 (12 & under)

snow ouray2When imagining a refined, traditional Thanksgiving feast, a seating in the Beaumont Grand Ballroom is exactly what comes to mind. Offering turkey, ham and prime rib, with a variety of traditional sides from home-made stuffing to decadent pies, this is a Thanksgiving Buffet sure to please!

This property, redone to the exact specifications of its original glory, is a testament to the accomplishments of our forefathers. 

Amazing architecture and even better food combine to create a truly original experience - one not to be missed.

Bon Ton- Open 3-7pm- Reservation requested- Turkey dinner with all trimmings as well as a limited menu.

For as long as anyone cares to remember, The Bon Ton Restaurant has been a local favorite. Serving masterpieces for the palette, with class and attention to detail not often found any more.

Walking down the stairs into the restaurant is like walking back in time. From the moment the host greets you, til the moment you leave - full to capacity on the decadent deliciousness that is the menu, you will be transported to a place where you are the star, and your dining pleasure is the goal.

The Victorian decor in the Bon Ton is romance to its fullest, with soft lighting, and excellent service, your glass will never be empty!

Outlaw Restaurant- Traditional Turkey dinner- open 4pm-8pm

turkey1Cowboys like turkey too, and the Outlaw Steakhouse is here to provide!

With John Wayne memorabilia every where, and wooden shingles with messages from guests old and new, the Outlaw is a great place to enjoy an evening with friends and family, making new friends along the way as you enjoy an amazing traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Tap your toes to upbeat music and a friendly atmosphere, as you dig in to some of the best fixins around. Not in the mood for turkey? Well, never fear, the limited menu is also offering a variety of flame broiled steaks cooked to perfection! 

You can always expect excellent service here, and a Thanksgiving to remember is definitely on the menu at the Outlaw!

 

Each of these restaurants have the highest reputation not only in Ouray, but are known far and wide. The best part by far though, is that there are no dishes to clean or food to put away! After indulging in a most wonderful feast, now all that is left is to head back to the hotel, pick out a movie, put on your Thanksgiving pants, and relax and digest.

The holidays are off to a magnificent start!

See you soon!

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray and Ridgway Events in December, 2013

  
  
  

Ouray County is Your Holiday Headquarters this December!

wintertreeAs the Holiday season gets into full swing, our thoughts are often awash in a whirlwind of wish lists and party preparations. As we struggle through crowded stores searching for that special something, it is easy to become overwhelmed, eventually resorting to the ever popular gift basket filled with the same goodies we bought last year.

This year, take some time for yourself. There is no end to the possibilities when wandering the shops on Main Street in Ouray and Ridgway. The picturesque town offers a variety of options for even the most difficult person on your list, while at the same time, shopping takes on a vacation like quality. Not only are there wonderful shops, but there are a variety of excellent restaurants and exciting activities during the winter months!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: The Colorado River: Flowing through Conflict

mt.abrams3Join your fellows for this thought provoking talk by Jonathan Waterman, renowned author and photographer, as he delves into themany uses and dangers facing the Colorado River, one of the most dammed, diverted and heavily litigated rivers in the world. Travel the 1,450 miles of the Colorado with Mr. Waters as he guides us along his jouney as chronicled in his two books: Running Dry and the Colorado River: Running Through Conflict.

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway: Open Bard Poetry Series

Open Bard is a monthly poetry reading/performance series at the historic Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. This month's featured poet is Rosemerry Trommer from Placerville. The doors open at 6:30 for sign-ups to read and refreshments. Starting at 7:00 pm a nationally or regionally known poet from Colorado or beyond takes the stage. Following the reading and a short intermission will be an open reading during which audience members can read or perform their poetry. Open Bard is sponsored by the Ridgway Chautauqua Society and the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild.

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: Dinner & Karaoke

skating.8Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: "Christmas Carol" Radio Show presented by the Ouray County Players at the Wright Opera House

This production, a radio drama, is a unique form of audio storytelling which relies on dialogue, music and sound effects to enable the audience to visualize the story. Radio drama was initially developed during the 1920's, losing some of its popularity in the United States when television became popular in the 1950's. Radio drama broadcast on the BBC continues to enjoy popularity. We hope that you enjoy this radio adaption of Dickens' classic, "The Christmas Carol".

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 10:00 am to 1200 pm at the Ridgway Elementary School in Ridgway: Weehawken's Gingerbread House Building Fun

bambyattubsEnjoy the holiday tradition of Gingerbread House decorating with Weehawken and our partner, Voyager. Each registered family will receive a gingerbread house to decorate as they wish from a wide variety of candies, frosting and more. All supplies are provided, however please bring wrapping for the base of your box, and any additional items you may wish to decorate with. This wonderful holiday tradition returns again due to generous local sponsorship. A $10/family donation is appreciated but not required to participate. Come join the festivities! Please remember it is ONE house per FAMILY not per child.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: "Christmas Carol" Radio Show presented by the Ouray County Players at the Wright Opera House

This production, a radio drama, is a unique form of audio storytelling which relies on dialogue, music and sound effects to enable the audience to visualize the story. Radio drama was initially developed during the 1920's, losing some of its popularity in the United States when television became popular in the 1950's. Radio drama broadcast on the BBC continues to enjoy popularity. We hope that you enjoy this radio adaption of Dickens' classic, "The Christmas Carol".

Sunday, December 8, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Weehawken Ouray: Wise Voices from the East

sledhillWise Voices from the East: From Han Shan to Basho and Beyond A Day of Discussion and Curiosity with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer 
“No direction is better or worse, east is just as good as west. Those who know the meaning of this are free to go where they want.” These words, written by Han Shan in the seventh century, were part of the Chinese literary tradition that informed the work of the Japanese tanka and later haiku. In six hours, we’ll travel through over a thousand years of Eastern poets, including Han Shan, Kukai, Shikibu Izumi, Dogen Kigen, Basho, Ryokan, Issa, Chiyo-ni, and more, joining them as they explore themes of humility, grateful acceptance, non-duality, contradictoriness, love, freedom, courage and death. Fee: $95.00 per person

Sunday, December 8, 2013 - 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Ouray School Multipurpose room: Weehawken's Gingerbread House Building Fun in Ouray

Enjoy the holiday tradition of Gingerbread House decorating with Weehawken and our partner, Voyager. Each registered family will receive a gingerbread house to decorate as they wish from a wide variety of candies, frosting and more. All supplies are provided, however please bring wrapping for the base of your box, and any additional items you may wish to decorate with. This wonderful holiday tradition returns again due to generous local sponsorship. A $10/family donation is appreciated but not required to participate. Come join the festivities! Please remember it is ONE house per FAMILY not per child.

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Ouray Public Library: Free Grant Writing Work Session: Locating the Appropriate Funding Sources

mt.abrams6Join the Ouray Public Library and the Community Development Committee (CDC) for a special grant-writing work session: Locating the Appropriate Funding Sources. All Ouray County nonprofit organizations are invited to attend the free sessions, which will be held at the library. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP by calling the Ouray Library during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by sending an e-mail to OurayPL@gmail.com.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Ouray Public Library: Ouray Library Angel Party Open House and Fundraiser

Celebrate the holiday season and support your local library. Join the Ouray Library staff and board members for its annual open house and fundraiser. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the holiday season and support your local library. Bring family and friends to enjoy snacks, sweets, and sparkling beverages at the library. We hope you'll join us!

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in Ouray: Yule Fest Victorian Christmas Holidays

elkA weekend full of festive activities, concerts, festivals, shopping and fun for the whole family. Search for the Ouray ornament in local shops and restaurants for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for the Ouray business of your choice. Enjoy the holiday parade, get photos with Santa, enjoy a Christmas concert at the historic Wright Opera House. Events also include the annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival and much more.

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: Dinner & Karaoke

Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in Ouray: Yule Fest Victorian Christmas Holidays

A weekend full of festive activities, concerts, festivals, shopping and fun for the whole family. Search for the Ouray ornament in local shops and restaurants for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for the Ouray business of your choice. Enjoy the holiday parade, get photos with Santa, enjoy a Christmas concert at the historic Wright Opera House. Events also include the annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival and much more.

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center in Ouray: 5th Annual Wine Chocolate and Cheese Festival

skating.8Join us for an evening of treats and delightful tastings of wine, chocolate, cheese and more! And an opportunity to buy the things you try! Dress in your best impression of Winter Wonderland and enter to win the most festively dressed. Vendors will be coming as far as Fort Collins! Music provided by Alternate Rounte. This event a benefits a different local non-profit each year. Deck the halls in Ouray on Dec. 8th 7 pm- 10 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 a the door.

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am at O'Brien's Pub & Grill in Ouray: Tony Rosario Live

Come and enjoy an evening of dancing and revelry to the musical stylings of Tony Rosaio, highly acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, recording artist, performer, producer and teacher.

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in Ouray: Yule Fest Victorian Christmas Holidays

A weekend full of festive activities, concerts, festivals, shopping and fun for the whole family. Search for the Ouray ornament in local shops and restaurants for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for the Ouray business of your choice. Enjoy the holiday parade, get photos with Santa, enjoy a Christmas concert at the historic Wright Opera House. Events also include the annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival and much more.

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: Dolce Voce - Holiday Concert

ouray ski hillDolce Voce, an 8 voice a cappella group from Montrose and Ridgway, will brighten our holiday with a delightful concert of music -- some old favorites and some new treats. The group always gives a fine concert.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Downtown Ridgway: Ridgway MoonWalk Art Outing, presented by the Ridgway Creative District and Weehawken Creative Arts

The Ridgway Creative District and Weehawken Creative Arts present a monthly gallery tour coinciding with the full moon! For October, we're calling it the Starry Night Lantern Parade. 
Come learn about all the amazing artists and creative folks that you might not know about around town!

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: Dinner & Karaoke

This is a special dinner night at the Ouray Elks! All of Santa's helpers will be gathering to help fill stockings for Santa. A pot luck dinner is the order for the evening of fun and helping. Members and guests welcome. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - All Evening in Ouray County: Santa Delivers

uncompaghresnowEvery year, The Ouray Elks Lodge sends Santa out to give every child a special moment with Mr. claus himself! Whether you are a local, or just visiting, Santa has something special for your little ones! If you are visiting with us at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, just let us know how many boys and girls you have on this magical night, and the Ouray Elks will be sure to visit!

Wednesday, December 25, 2015 - All Day: CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas, and hopefully you have planned on a special night in Ouray, a living Christmas card!

Please stay tuned for a listing of local restaurants serving decadent dinners on this special night.

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: Bob Levy & the Intervention Band

An evening at the Wright Opera House with an ensemble of first class musicians who ply their trade with both joyful abandon and sensitivity. Bob Levy & the Intervention Band are a show not to be missed!

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am at O'Brien's Pub & Grill in Ouray: the North Fork Flyers Live

fireworksnyeDance the night away with one of the most popular bands in Southwest Colorado!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - All Day: NEW YEARS EVE!

There is no better place to ring in the New Year, and say goodby to the old! With Fireworks at midnight, and a number of places to celebrate, Ouray brings in the New year right!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 7:00 pm til next year: Ouray County Fair Board New Year's Eve Gala at the Ouray County 4H Event Center in Ridgway

Box Canyon Winter (1)The doors open at 7pm for the Silent Auction with appetizers and a cash bar. Dinner from 8 pm to 9 pm and dancing from 9 pm till after midnight. The 2012 dinner menu featured Apricot Glazed Pork, gluten-free and vegan entrees are available upon request. New Year’s party favors such as hats, noise makers, etc., will be provided at your table and a glass of champagne at your table to celebrate. There will be two ways to celebrate … at 10pm there will be a live feed from New York for those who wish to celebrate a bit early. The traditional New Year’s Celebration will be at midnight. Each celebration does include a champagne pour/toast. There will be sparkling cider available as well. Designated drivers will be offered free non-alcoholic beverages all night.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 8:00 pm til next year at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway: The New Sherbino Theater New Year's Eve Party

Rock in the New Year at this popular Sherbino Fundraiser event! More details TBA.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 7:30 pm til next year at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: New Year's Party at the Elks

snowshoeing2Enjoy a night of good food, music and fun at theOouray Elks Lodge, a perfect location to watch the fireworks at midnight!

Stay tuned for more information on the perfect New Year's Eve Celebrations and dinner in Ouray County this year!

As you can see, Ouray is an ideal escape from the holiday rush. After a relaxing day on Main Street, or out enjoying all that the San Juans have to offer in the winter months, there is no better way to end the day than a long soothing soak in one of our all natural mineral hot spring tubs.

You can always save yourself time too - give the gift of the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs! No one will turn away a gift certificate for one of the best hotels in Southwest Colorado! We have a variety of packages available, and love to make a gift extra special! For the rest of this year, spend $200.00 on gift certificates, receive an additional $50.00 certificate. Keep it for yourself as our special gift to you, or give it to a loved one. Just remember to mention the Holiday Special when you call our front desk!

See You Soon!

Give the Perfect Gift orGive Yourself a much Deserved Escape!

 

 


 

 




 

 

 




 




 





 

Ouray Nordic Council Makes Outdoor Winter Sports Safe and Fun!

  
  
  

Skiing and Snowshoeing season in the San Juan Mountains is about to begin!

nordicadventure.2November is upon us, and Mother Nature has been smiling on Southwest Colorado. We have gotten some wonderful storms: just enough snow to coat the mountains, followed by beautiful sunshiny days that entice any one looking out a window to go out and enjoy.

Skiing in the San Juan Mountains is an amazing adventure, made perhaps even more of a once in a lifetime experience due to the reputation for extreme avalanche danger. The Ouray Nordic Council works through the winter months to maintain wondefulyy groomed trails, and maintain the most up to date information on the conditions of popular winter sport areas. Following a brautifully groomed trail does not in any way depreciate the wonder of the San Juan skiing or snow shoeing experience.

A division of the Ouray Trail Group, the Nordic Council is a group of families and individuals dedicated to maintaining not only the Ironton Park Trails, but a varity of other trails in the Ouray North Corridor to be accessible for winter recreation. Through the support of these families and local businesses, Ouray County can boast a variety of scenic areas for snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and other winter sports.

Of course, anyone can help. For a very small annual fee, you can become a member of the Ouray Nordic Council. Not only will you be helping to maintain the trails we all enjoy, membership has other benefits. The opportunity to win some great prizes not the least of which.

This year, the annual Nordic Council Dinner is going to be an event worth attending:

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, be sure to meet with old friends and new to show your support of an organization worthy of our respect. 

nordiccouncildinnerFor just $10.00 per person, attendees recieve:

nordicadventureNot only does the Nordic Council focus on providing safe, well maintaned trails for skiers and snow shoers, they also focus quite seriously on the safety of every individual who chooses to adventure in the San Juans. Avalanche safety is tantamount to their mission, and members are eager to share safety tips as well as the optimal skiing and snowboarding options given the time of your visit.

Regardless of whether you choose to join, be sure to always check with them prior to going on an expedition. The best part of a trip in the high country is to go to a spot that is at its peak for whatever activity you have in mond.

At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our goal is to help every one of our guests enjoy the beauty of Ouray and the surrounding area safely. There is of course, no comparrision to a long soothing soak in one of our mineral hot spring tubs following a morning spent in the peaceful splendor of one of our awesome Cross Country Ski trails.

Let us help you to enjoy everything the San Juans have to offer, as you enjoy a special getaway of perhaps one day, or longer.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

New Local Restaurant Makes Every Meal an Event in Ouray!

  
  
  

Cavallo's Restaurant is fast becoming a local hotspot in Ouray!

mainstreetourayThere are a variety of fabulous dining establishments in Ouray, and at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, it is our job to guide our guests to the one most suited to their expectations.

Our job just got a lot easier!

Sid and Kelly Cavallo have truly outdone themselves with their new restaurant which proudly bears their name. Offering breakfast and lunch with a distinct Cajun style, Cavallo's has already filled a niche in Ouray's dining world.

cavallos food.3Located at 630 Main Street on the lower level, the restaurant has been lovingly redecorated in a Classic Garden Theme by Kelly, a perfect compliment to the culinary delights created by Sid. Cajun food has a reputation for being spicy, but not so, insists Chef Sid. The perfect Cajun dish is full of flavor, not spice, and he demonstrates this truth with dishes from traditionally recognized biscuits and gravy to a decadent twist on eggs Benedict.

Lunch is an adventure your taste buds will be ready to repeat with salads and shrimp po'boys just the tip of the iceberg.

cavallos food.2Not only has this town been gifted with a fun new dining option, every dish is prepared from scratch, using local produce as often as possible. A cup of chicory blend coffee freshly roasted by local coffee company Exotic Earth is a great compliment to any breakfast choice. Lunch can't get much better when paired with one of a rotating selection of micro brews provided by local breweries Mr. Grumpy Pants (Ourayle House), Ouray Brewery and Two Rascals.

Open seven days a week from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm, Cavallo's is a definite must during any visit to Ouray.

But Wait! There's More!

cavallosrestaurantThroughout the month of November, and hopefully the entire winter, Cavallo's will be serving dinner and entertainment on select evenings. From movie night, to improvisational jazz guitar, with preset menu options that change every week, there is a whole new reason to visit Ouray this winter!

November 21, 2013, don't miss the Farm to Table Harvest Dinner! A collaboration of ideas between Kat Papenrock from the Ouray Chamber and Resort Association, Kris Dunham from Kristopher's Culinaire, and of course, Sid and Kelly Cavallo, the menu is sure to be a treat

cavallos food.4Tuesday, November 5, 2013  is the first Tuesday Night Dinner! Every week promises a new and exciting preset menu, with vegetarian and gluten free options available as well. But Wait! What would Tuesday Night Dinner Cavallo's style be without  music? Ben Gaude is a Jazz and Blues guitarist from New Orleans who has traveled with several bands in Colorado and New Mexico, guaranteed to be the perfect compliment to a terrific meal!

Friday, November 8, 2013 is the first Friday Night Dinner & a Movie! Thats right, doors open at 6:00 pm, and once all the dinner orders are in, sit back and enjoy a new film every week as you enjoy an excellent meal, local beers and the company of friends old and new.

bcl fallWith so much going on and so many great dining opportunities, it's no wonder Cavallo's has already become so popular.

At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, we are always excited to inform our guests of fun and exciting events in Ouray, and it looks like there is definitely a new spot to be this winter!

Come stay and play in Ouray!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado
 

 

 

Events in Ouray and Ridgway this November, 2013

  
  
  

There is plenty to be Thankful for in Southwest Colorado this November!


turkeyWith the early snow blanketing the mountaintops, the holiday season in Ouray is off to a beautiful start. Walk the shops on Main Street and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. There is something magical about the one of a kind treasures to be found that speak volumes to even the most difficult person on your Christmas list!

A scenic drive is ideal when the seasons are changing. every corner promises some new sight- whether it is fresh fallen snow, or the last leaves cingint to an aspen tree. Elk and deer are a constant addition to the scenery. Driving the Million Dollar Highway is always an adventure! Of course, even if you are planning on just staying in and enjoying the mineral hot springs, Ouray, with its natural mineral hot springs is definately the best option! 

Often when you visit a town with hot springs, the smell of sulfer is prevalent; not so in Ouray! And at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, there are four tubs just outside your room that provide the perfect relaxation spot as you prepare for the busy holiday season to come. And there is always something to do:

Saturday, August 17 through Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Ouray County Museum in Ouray Colorado: Otto Mears Exhibit

Due to the extreme popularity of this exhibit and requests to continue it we are holding it over for another year. Most Ouray County residents are familiar with the name Otto Mears. He is most famous for building toll roads and railroads. However, Otto was involved in many other endeavors including founding newspapers, mining investments, military service, Colorado politics, and numerous others. Learn about the career of this famous Colorado entrepreneur. The exhibit closes July 5th and reopens August 17th thru November 19th.

Friday, November 1, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge: Dinner & Karaoke at the Ouray Elks Lodge

million dollar highwayEnjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person.

Tuesday, October 22 through Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at the Sherbino Theater: The Music Behind The Mix

Sherbino Theater with Jimmy Dorsey
Fee: Standard charge: $90.00
6 Week Session
Tue, October 22 - Tue, December 3
3:45pm to 4:45pm
Ages: At least 8 but less than 11
All new to Ouray County for ages 8-11, grades 3-5! The Music Behind the Mix: This six week class explores how to really hear what is happening in electronic dance music and to understand what makes that sound! The objective is to learn to mix songs in time, in tune and in style. It's a whole new way to embrace "learning to play music" for kids...it's the latest and greatest the music world has to offer! Students with or without musical background will find this class an amazing opportunity and unique!! If you are curious but want to know more, give us a call and we can connect you to the instructor to find out more!

Tuesday, October 22 through Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at the Sherbino Theater: DJ Producer using Ableton Live

hot springs box canyonSherbino Theater with Jimmy Dorsey
Fee: Standard charge: $90.00
6 Week Session
Tue, October 22 - Tue, December 3
5pm to 6pm 
Ages: 11+, Grades 6th-9th
All new to Ouray County for middle schoolers! This six week class will teach the parts of a song, talking the language of music, tonality, keys, beat matching and transitions. By the end of the class the student will be able to sequence beats, mix songs and create melodies to compliment his/her mix. This is a brand new way of learning to play music but not from a instrument perspective but in the education of composition. If you are curious but want to know more, give us a call and we can connect you to the instructor to find out more! It's a unique opportunity right here in our community!

There is plenty to be Thankful for in Southwest Colorado this November!

With the early snow blanketing the mountaintops, the holiday season in Ouray is off to a beautiful start. 

Saturday, August 17 through Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Ouray County Museum in Ouray Colorado: Otto Mears Exhibit

Due to the extreme popularity of this exhibit and requests to continue it we are holding it over for another year. Most Ouray County residents are familiar with the name Otto Mears. He is most famous for building toll roads and railroads. However, Otto was involved in many other endeavors including founding newspapers, mining investments, military service, Colorado politics, and numerous others. Learn about the career of this famous Colorado entrepreneur. The exhibit closes July 5th and reopens August 17th thru November 19th.

Friday, November 1, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge: Dinner & Karaoke at the Ouray Elks Lodge

Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person.

Tuesday, October 22 through Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at the Sherbino Theater: The Music Behind The Mix

bambiatthetubsSherbino Theater with Jimmy Dorsey
Fee: Standard charge: $90.00
6 Week Session
Tue, October 22 - Tue, December 3
3:45pm to 4:45pm
Ages: At least 8 but less than 11
All new to Ouray County for ages 8-11, grades 3-5! The Music Behind the Mix: This six week class explores how to really hear what is happening in electronic dance music and to understand what makes that sound! The objective is to learn to mix songs in time, in tune and in style. It's a whole new way to embrace "learning to play music" for kids...it's the latest and greatest the music world has to offer! Students with or without musical background will find this class an amazing opportunity and unique!! If you are curious but want to know more, give us a call and we can connect you to the instructor to find out more!

Tuesday, October 22 through Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at the Sherbino Theater: DJ Producer using Ableton Live

Sherbino Theater with Jimmy Dorsey
Fee: Standard charge: $90.00
6 Week Session
Tue, October 22 - Tue, December 3
5pm to 6pm 
Ages: 11+, Grades 6th-9th
All new to Ouray County for middle schoolers! This six week class will teach the parts of a song, talking the language of music, tonality, keys, beat matching and transitions. By the end of the class the student will be able to sequence beats, mix songs and create melodies to compliment his/her mix. This is a brand new way of learning to play music but not from a instrument perspective but in the education of composition. If you are curious but want to know more, give us a call and we can connect you to the instructor to find out more! It's a unique opportunity right here in our community!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado: Adult swing/Lindy Hop Intro

sunset.ridgwayHave you ever wanted to learn the art of the Lindy Hop? With the essentials easy to pick up in just four short weeks, you will be dancing to any genre of music, and having a blast while doing so! Continue with Lindy Hop Beginning B the following month. Don't miss the best swing classes in the tri-county area! Taught by Chris & Wendy Shima, Lindy teachers for over 15 years!

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado: Thursday Afternoon "Independence" Club at the Sherbino Theater

Come “get randy” with former Independence Café master bartender Randy Gregory, every Thursday afternoon/evening for the foreseeable future at the historic Sherbino Theater!

 

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado: Open Bard Poetry Series

mt.abrams5Open Bard is a monthly poetry reading/performance series at the historic Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. This month's featured poet isWendy Videlock from Grand Junction. The doors open at 6:30 for sign-ups to read and refreshments. Starting at 7:00 pm a nationally or regionally known poet from Colorado or beyond takes the stage. Following the reading and a short intermission will be an open reading during which audience members can read or perform their poetry. Open Bard is sponsored by the Ridgway Chautauqua Society and the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild. 

Friday, November 8, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge: Dinner & Karaoke at the Ouray Elks Lodge

Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person.

Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ridgway Library: 10th Annual Community Artists Show featuring 21 Local Artists

deer at box canyonThe Ridgway Library is hosting the 10th Annual Community Artists Show from November 9, 2013 - January 9, 2014. This year's show features 21 talented local artists who work in a variety of different styles and media. The exhibit will open with a reception on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 4 - 7 pm. Refreshments will be available. The Library is located at 300 Charles Street in Ridgway. For more information contact Judy Hazen at 626-5513.

Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center: Friends of the Library Christmas Carol Luncheon and Fashion Show

Join the Friends of the Library for the 38th Annual Friends of the Ouray Library Christmas Carol Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Ouray Community Center. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. for the vendor showcase; lunch is served at noon; the fashion show begins at 1:00 p.m. We hope to see you at this wonderful event!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado: Adult swing/Lindy Hop Intro

ouray at nightHave you ever wanted to learn the art of the Lindy Hop? With the essentials easy to pick up in just four short weeks, you will be dancing to any genre of music, and having a blast while doing so! Continue with Lindy Hop Beginning B the following month. Don't miss the best swing classes in the tri-county area! Taught by Chris & Wendy Shima, Lindy teachers for over 15 years!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sherbino theater: ArtBar in Clay- Holiday Ornaments at the Sherbino

With the holiday season sneaking up on us, what a better time to think of a gift or keepsake from the heart. While you sip on a delicious beverage of choice, Deidra Krois will guide you through the process of making some special clay ornaments. You'll get to experiment with creating texture stamps, with each being a unique piece of functional art. Students can expect to make up to 5 ornaments and a small plate. All materials and firing is included, along with a beverage of choice. Additional may be purchased during class to be enjoyed with friends, or make new ones! Come learn more about this great medium, while completing your holiday shopping! Please note, items will be ready for pickup 10-14 days after completion of the projects. Pre-registration is requested though not required.

Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado: Thursday Afternoon "Independence" Club at the Sherbino Theater

elk2Come “get randy” with former Independence Café master bartender Randy Gregory, every Thursday afternoon/evening for the foreseeable future at the historic Sherbino Theater!

Friday, November 15, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge: Dinner & Karaoke at the Ouray Elks Lodge

Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House: Brian Loftus & Tony Galizia - Jazz at the Wright

Brian Loftus and Tony Gulizia, known as 'BLT', take the stage at Ouray's Wright Opera House on November 16th to kick off the Wright's second season of bringing Jazz music to Ouray County. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm at the Ridgway Secondary School Gym: "Tossed & Found"- A Family Event

ouray winterAward-winning juggler, dancer and physical comedian Peter Davison in a new one-man show, including original music by Jesse Manno. Tossed & Found is appropriate for all ages, and a perfect show for the entire family to enjoy together.

Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Ridgway Firehouse & Gallery: Ridgway Moonwalk

Discover the creative outdoors at the Ridgway MoonWalk on Sunday, November 17!! This art outing at the full moon features Ridgway's Alley Art, Alley Poems, and Public Art sculptures in the downtown area. Meet the poets, artists, and sculptors who created these works at receptions for them at various venues, including Resource Art Co-op and the Firehouse of Michael McCullough and Lucy Boody where maps and a scavenger hunt will be available. Walkable, refreshments available, all ages welcome. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado: Adult swing/Lindy Hop Intro

Have you ever wanted to learn the art of the Lindy Hop? With the essentials easy to pick up in just four short weeks, you will be dancing to any genre of music, and having a blast while doing so! Continue with Lindy Hop Beginning B the following month. Don't miss the best swing classes in the tri-county area! Taught by Chris & Wendy Shima, Lindy teachers for over 15 years!

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado: Thursday Afternoon "Independence" Club at the Sherbino Theater

mt.abrams6Come “get randy” with former Independence Café master bartender Randy Gregory, every Thursday afternoon/evening for the foreseeable future at the historic Sherbino Theater!

 

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Cavello's Restaurant: Ouray Chamber Resort Association Community Harvest Dinner

This is a five-course Farm-to-Table dining experience accompanied by specially sourced local produce, meats and wines. The meal will be a special creation by Chef Sid and local 'celebrity' sous chefs and servers to benefit the Ouray Chamber Resort Association 

Friday, November 22, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge: Dinner & Karaoke at the Ouray Elks Lodge

elks lodge2Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person.

Thursday, November 28, 2013 - THANKSGIVING

Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Switzerland of America!

Beaumont Grand Ballroom

Enjoy a Traditional Thanksgiving Meal in the Historic Grand Ballroom of the Beaumont Hotel. Seating at noon, 2:30 and 5pm. $34.99/Adult. $17.99/kids 12 & under. Reservations Required.

Bon Ton

Whether it is a traditional plated Thanksgiving dinner, or something else you had in mind, the Bon Ton aims to please your pallette. Enjoy dinner from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm with your option of a turkey dinner, or something off of the limited menu.

Outlaw

tub.soakingServing a hearty Thanksgiving fare as well as a limited menu, the Outlaw Restaurant offers an ideal spot to enjoy dinner in a fun and festive atmosphere. Open from 4:00 pm to close.

 

Why worry about cooking all day, and dishes all night? Join friends and family at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs and let one of our fabulous restaurants create the ideal Thanksgiving dinner for you. Whether you enjoy the traditional meal with all the fixings, right down to home made pumpkin pie, or something a little different, dinner is served, and all you have to do is enjoy. After dinner, head on back to the hotel where you can soak in the soothing mineral hot springs.

See You Soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

  

Ouray Oktoberfest 2013 - Celebrate Fall in The Switzerland of America

  
  
  

Craft Beer, Authentic Cuisine, and a variety of Prizes abound at the 49th Annual Oktoberfest in Southwest Colorado!

fallbcm4The Fall harvest is a celebration not only of bringing in the last crops of the year, but also a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the season, and prepare for the relative quiet of the season to come. If planned correctly, the harvest heralds a winter of relaxation and rejuvenation, as the earth rests and prepares for spring.

This is a wonderful time of year to visit. You never know what you might find! There could be a blanket of colored leaves draping the hillsides, or there could be a Christmas card worthy display from the first snow. Regardless, October is blessed with the best of both worlds. Brisk with the whispers of winter, yet bright and sunny as the days cling to one last glimpse of summer.

In Germany, the home of the original Oktoberfest, harvest festivities begin on September 21 and run for 16 days. Only specific types of beer are allowed to be served during the festival: those locally brewed, and with a high alcohol content!

oktoberfestHere in Ouray, Oktoberfest has become a little more westernized. Obviously, there is still a variety of craft beers to sample and enjoy, however, the celebration only lasts for a day. Shops all along Main Street hold sidewalk sales, and a general air of festivity is in the air. With so many options for shopping, this is a great time to start picking up gifts for those special people in your life in preparation for the holiday season just around the corner.

In the evening, from 5:00 til 9:00 pm, the Ouray Chamber hosts the Oktoberfest dance and celebration at the Ouray Community Center. 

falljeepingIf you haven't already, don't forget to pick up a few raffle tickets before the night begins. Every year, the Ouray Chamber raffles off a variety of prizes, with the grand prize being a brand new Jeep Wrangler! As visitors and locals walk Main Street throughout the Spring and Summer minths, the jeep is parked all over town for folks to check out. This year is a pretty little red jeep with a Ouray Edition sticker on it. 

Imagine the fun of enjoying an evening of toe tapping music, fantastic craft brews, great food, and a brand new jeep to pick up in the morning. Granted, you don't have to be present to win, but it does sound a little bit more fun than a phone call....Then again, that would be a call to take!

Tickets may be purchased any time at the Ouray Visitor Center (1230 Main Street, Ouray, 1.800.228.1876) and participating local businesses up to the October 4, 2013. On October 5, all ticket sales will move to Oktoberfest at the Ouray Community Center (320 Main Street, Ouray, 5-9 PM)

fallbcm3Tickets: 1 for $5, 3 for $10, 7 for $20

Proceeds from the raffle are used for Fourth of July and New Year's Eve fireworks in Ouray, an annual student scholarship, the purchase of a new Jeep and community events.

Combine your trip to enjoy the Oktoberfest with other activities that let you explore the San Juan Mountains in October!

bcl tbsDrive the Million Dollar Highway for an easy beautiful scenic drive through a photographers paradise of fall foliage. Or, hike one of the many trails accessible in town for a more close up experience. Cascade waterfall is a spectacular sight surrounded by a rainbow of leaves, and the Box Canyon Waterfall is a sight to behold.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan an ideal getaway. After a day of exploring the many things Ouray has to offer, a long leisurely soak in our all natural minral hot spring tubs is the coup de gras for a perfect fall day.

See you soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ghost Towns of the San Juan Mountains - Ironton

  
  
  

Not so Long Ago, Ouray was Just One Of Many Towns in Southwest Colorado.

ironton3Founded in 1883 and quickly becoming one of the largest towns in the area with over 1800 residents at its peak, Ironton, Colorado, originally know as Copper Glenn, was a thriving mountain town until the late 1950's. At the end of the mining craze in Southwest Colorado, it, along with so many towns, was eventually abandoned by its residents. 

ironton.10A few years ago, while out four wheeling with my family, my step father, born and raised in Ouray, began telling us about his days as a miner in Ouray County. One of my favorite stories was how he and his friends would sneak out and head up to Ironton for the night when they were kids. Apparently, it was quite the place to hang out, always full of miners and good times. Of course, I did wonder if he was referring to Red Mountain Town, which was reputed to have more bars than houses, but he was a pretty mild man, so Ironton probably seemed quite dangerous when he was 15.

ironton5The saloons are no longer standing, but one bar can be found in the Saloon at the Historic Western Hotel on 7th Street in Ouray. If you get the chance to, go enjoy a beer and the owners will share with you some interesting facts. Such as the fact that when the bar was dismantled, the pieces were numbered, but somehow, they still wound up putting it back together wrong. Not that it matters. It is a beautiful piece!

ironton.7Ironton was still considered a town up until the 1960's. In fact, there is an episode of the series "I've Got A Secret", dated December 18, 1961, that is quite amusing, and features the last resident of the town, Milton Larson. He and his brother stayed in Ironton working their mines until they passed away. Although the clip shows a picture of Miltons house in Ironton, it is difficult to picture where it is when in what is left of the town today. Not only that, but from what I have read and heard, as the mining industry began to decline, people just abandoned their homes and those left were known to move into an empty house if it were in better condition than their own. What an interesting time they must have had! Imagine choosing from a variety of homes every day.

Unlike Ouray and Silverton, Ironton suffered several fires through the years, destroying much of the original architecture. It is fascinating to look at old photos on the Historical Society website.

ironton.9Easily accessible from highway 550, Ironton can be visited any time of year. During the winter months, the Ouray Nordic Council grooms cross country ski trails all around the ghost town. There is little to compare to skiing around the remaining buildings in the surreal quiet of a winter day in the Uncompahgres. It is tempting to step inside and explore these silent witnesses to a time long passed regardless of the season. Be warned though, it can be pretty dark, and these houses are literally falling down. Enter at your own risk!

guideJeep tour guides will tell a variety of stories about some of the homes and characters of Ironton and the surrounding mines. One story that stands out is about a man so in love with his wife, he spent 8 years building her dream house in town, complete with a heart shaped deck. Less than a year after she joined him, she became ill and passed away during the long cold winter. The story goes that instead of putting her in the cellar until the spring thaw, she was wrapped in a blanket and set in her rocking chair on the porch she loved, gazing at the spectacular view until Spring.

ironton.12As with any old ghost town, stories about the people who once walked the streets are prolific. Of course, standing between two of the buildings still standing so pristine, one can create their own image of what it must have been like. One of my favorite things is to have conversations with the people that were actually there. Remember, Ironton is a fairly young ghost town, so many of our residents remember a different time. The Ouray County Museum is a great place to visit to view pictures of Ironton and many other towns that once were thriving communities, and they also offer a number of "Evenings in History" with speakers sharing a piece of American history from not so long ago.

Getting There:  The town of Ironton is located just off of Highway 550 between Ouray and Silverton. From the Box Canyon Lodge, turn right onto Highway 550 heading South toward Silverton. Just past Crystal Lake on the right, about nine (9) miles, there is a pull out on the left. Signs indicate the turnoff for Corkscrew Pass, Brown Mountain, and Ironton Park. This is an easier turn off to spot, and the town can be reached from this turn off, however, perhaps a quarter mile further south is a short dirt road leading to the town site, County Road 20D. The road is quite grooved, but you can get to the parking area without a four wheel drive.

 Happy Exploring!

 

 

 

 

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