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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Ridgway Event - Love Your Valley Festival May 16, 2015 from 1pm -6pm

  
  
  

Music and brews in Ridgway Hartwell Park next weekend!

loveyourvalleyfest2015With 18 Colorado Micro Breweries in attendance the $20 tasting fee will get you a lot of tastings and a souvenir glass. If you don’t want to drink the event is free. There will also be food vendors serving BBQ or Thai.

Big Medicine will be playing music all day. Formed in the snowcapped Rockies of Breckenridge Colorado in May of 2012, Big Medicine Gang's high energy original sound is a stiff cocktail of funk blues & reggae. Their original songwriting conjures an ol’ school sound reminiscent of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Sam & Dave and Led Zeppelin with a healthy dose of reggae back beats & dub jams fueled by Wailers, Sublime & Skatalites influences. 

bigmedicinegangWhile most bands endure a couple of awkward formative years, BMG had a formative couple of months and got right to putting on top notch performances in the 200 - 600 person rooms on the Colorado circuit in their first year. a few years later, the self-managed / self-booked gang has had the outstanding pleasure of supporting & sharing the stage with such great acts as Melvin Seals and Jerry Garcia Band, The Motet, Orgone, Mingo Fishtrap, Euforquestra, Don Carlos, members of the Subdudes, The Revivalists, Keller Williams, Mike Dillon Band and members of Further just to name a few. http://www.bigmedicinegang.com/

The event is a fundraiser for the Ridgway Concert Series which brings a great lineup of bands to an outdoor concert at Hartwell Park every Thursday in July.

The lineup for July 2015 is as follows:

ridgwayconcertJuly 2 - Sol Driven Train, w/ Blair Crimmins & the Hookers

 July 9 - Humming House, w/ Intuit

 July 16 - The Congress, w/ The Blackberry Bushes

 July 23 - Roxy Roca. w/ Mipso

 July 30 - The Steep Canyon Rangers, w/ Front Country

In June the Mountain Air Music Series brings a great lineup of music to Ouray Fellin Park every Thursday.

live music ouray bcm3June 4 - Quiet Company, with The Blue Aces

 June 11- The Ragbirds, with Kinsey Sadler

 June 18- Zolopht, with Jack and Jill

 June 25th- The Black Lillies, with Sweetwater String Band

 

Ouray County has a great music scene year round. Come winter, summer, spring or fall and catch great music of all flavors. Bring your blanket or chair and come to Ouray in June and Ridgway in July for great music and food every Thursday night. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

Five Reasons to Make Ouray, Colo., Your Summer Vacation Destination

  
  
  

Festivals, Hiking, Biking, Historic Mining Highlight ‘Switzerland of America’

box canyon lodge hot (1)Winter won’t last forever (really). Despite the low temps, short days and seemingly endless snow shoveling ahead for much of the country, it is never too early to start dreaming about your summer vacation plans. Here are five reasons to put Ouray, Colo., the top of your to-do list this summer.

#1 - The Road Less Traveled

jeep.ouray.2One of the most enjoyable ways to explore the beauty that surrounds Ouray is to take a tour into the mountains – via jeep, ATV or off-highway motorcycle. Ouray is such a hotbed for this action that it’s been nicknamed “Jeep Capital of the World.” Bring your own, rent a vehicle in town or hire an experienced, knowledgeable guide to show you the sites along the old wagon roads prospectors and miners built in the 1800s and 1900s. Off-road staging areas are available at Eureka, Hensen Creek near Lake City, Canyon Creek, half a mile southwest of Lake San Cristobal and on Highway 550 south of Ouray at the Engineer Pass turnoff. ATV enthusiasts will not want to miss The Alpine Loop Back Country Byway system, a 60-mile road carved through the San Juans that connects the towns of Lake City, Ouray and Silverton.

#2 - Lore and Legend

bachelermineNot all of the mines in the area are completely abandoned. You can see firsthand the underground world of the hard-rock gold miner on one of two authentic mine tours. Just north of Ouray is the Bachelor-Syracuse Mine Tour (www.bachelorsyracusemine.com). Here, you can enjoy a delicious miner’s breakfast, take a gold panning class and tour 1800 feet into Gold Hill on a tram. Near Silverton, visit The Old Hundred Mine (www.mintour.com), where you can climb aboard the mine tram for a tour inside and see mining equipment in action. Afterward, try your luck as you pan for gold, silver and semi-precious gemstones in the miners’ sluice box.

minetourThe Ouray County Museum, is housed in an old mining hospital. Featuring mining, ranching and railroading history, containing many artifacts dating back to Ouray’s earliest days. You also can browse through the research center, which contains books and other written artifacts and photos.

#3 - Single Tracks and Trails

4wheelingOuray also offers well-rounded, off-road experiences for mountain bikers in search of the perfect single track. Bikers of all levels can access numerous back roads and trails that wind above and around Ouray. Whether you are hammering on the single track of Portland Trail, grinding away on Imogene Pass, or taking your time on the easier River Road, there is something for everyone. Box Canyon Falls Park in the southwest corner of Ouray is a must-see. This natural wonder was formed when the rushing waters of Canyon Creek eroded a deep and narrow boxed canyon through fault-weakened limestone. The lower trail, an easy 500-feet hike via a walkway and suspension bridge, will lead you straight into the belly of the falls. Enjoy Mother Nature’s orchestra as thousands of gallons of water per minute roar through the canyon.

hikingYou can also take a short (but steep) hike to the bridge above the falls and look down on the fury of the water as it plummets into the canyon – and as an added treat, enjoy beautiful views of Ouray. The area, designated an important bird watching area by the National Audubon Society, is the preferred habitat for the state’s largest population of Black Swifts, a protected species.

For other hikes, visit http://boxcanyonouray.com/activities/summer-activities/hiking/ the Ouray Perimeter Trail guide and look to our blog for more information on hiking trails.

#4 - “Hot” Springs Eternal

ouray hot springsThe Ouray Hot Springs Pool is the second-largest natural hot springs in the world with nearly a million gallons of water, fed by two local springs. In addition to several soaking sections at a variety of temperatures, the pool has a lap swim section, diving area, large slide, shallow section for youngsters, and game area for water volleyball. Floats are available for rent at the pool. In addition our hotel has natural hot springs onsite. Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs four redwood tubs terraced on the mountainside offer panoramic views.

#5 – Festival Fun

ouray colorado   fun in the parkOuray’s locals know how to have a good time, and they enjoy sharing the spirit of celebration with visitors. Here is a sampling of the festival fun on tap this summer.

June 4, 11, 18, 25 – Mountain Air Music Series: Enjoy free music each Thursday night in June at the town park in Ouray. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, your dinner, or purchase food and drink from one of the many vendors onsite.

fourth of julyJuly 4 – Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration – Main Street: This celebration includes parades, kids’ games, fire hose water fights, the Elks Club BBQ and spectacular fireworks display.

July 31 – Aug. 8 – 55th Annual Art Show – Community Center: A nationally juried exhibition, this art show is open to all artists in several mediums, including oil, watercolor and pastel.

2009 Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon photos 9 600 450 80Sept. 12 – 42nd Annual Imogene Pass Run – Main Street: A rugged 17-mile race from Ouray to

Telluride, via a 13,120-foot steep mountain pass, Imogene Pass Run is one of the top mountain races in the United States. (www.imogenerun.com or 970-728-0251)

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan your ideal getaway in Ouray this Summer. Our knowledgable front desk agents are witing to help arrange everything from jeep tours to dinner reservations.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

Second Annual ForkFest In Ouray this May

  
  
  

A Culinary Delight in Ouray!

logoForkfest is presented by Weehawken Creative Arts and a lot of community volunteers. ForkFest is designed to promote local food producers, chefs and restaurants. Weehawken is committed to bringing great educational events to the Western Slope, so this year we are adding a great seminar on wine and cheese making as well as paring wine with food.

muffinsForkFest begins with a Restaurant Crawl on Friday May 8th from 5-9 pm. Tickets to the Restaurant Crawl are $25 and include 10 tickets to be used as you choose at participating restaurants in Ouray. Saturday morning begins with a wonderful Champagne Brunch at the Ouray Community Center from 9-11 am. The brunch includes crepe station, omelet stations as well as a mimosa bar and pastry and cereal bar. Tickets for the brunch are $20.

crepesAt 10 am also at the Community Center Chef Demonstrations begin. Each chef will demonstrate some food preparation using food from a local food producer. mimosasDemonstrations will be 30-45 min interspersed with a 15 min presentation from the food producer. The food producers will be set up in the Brunch room throughout the day for people to purchase produce as well as sign up for a CSA or order local meat. Chef demonstrations are free.

At 5 pm the wine and cheese seminar begins. We will have a Colorado cheese maker talking about how cheese is made and a Colorado wine maker talking about making wine. Then we will have someone talking about paring wine with food. The seminar will end with a time for tasting several Colorado wines and cheeses and experimenting what you just learned. Tickets for the seminar are $30.

omelet stationIf you purchase tickets individually the cost of the weekend will be $75, however, we are offering a weekend pass which will be $60 per person. Weekend pass holders will have preferred seating at the chef demonstrations as well as receive a souvenir ForkFest reusable cotton bag.

Stay Friday and Saturday and complete the weekend with a Weehawken Dance performance at The Wright Opera House on Sunday afternoon showcasing dances of the past.

Guests at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs will enjoy an additional 10% off of their stay when they purchase a weekend pass to ForkFest!

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

Book Today!Enjoy ForkFest and a 10% discounton Your Room!

Whine & Whiskers Weekend in Ouray County

  
  
  

Since 1994, the Second Chance Humane Society has worked in Ouray, Montrose and San Miguel Counties to provide a safe refuge for lost and displaced pets.

secondchancelogoWith strong community support, they have grown from a small group of volunteers offering foster services, to a new facility able to provide shelter to a large number of pets as they wait to find their forever homes.

secondchanceIn October, 2011, the Second Chance opened a new Animal Resource Center at Angel Ridge Ranch, a 52 acre property located just outside of Ridgway. Here, they are able to provide care to more animals, as well as a broader scope of educational opportunities to the communities they serve.

It is that time again, Second Chance is presenting its 8th Annual Wine & Whiskers Weekend.

Community donations and interest are the bread and butter (or Kibbles & Bits) of the organization. Without the generosity of the areas it serves, Second Chance would not be able to consistently maintain its exceptional record of rescuing and caring for dogs and cats.

wineandwhiskersweekendAvailable auction items for bidding typically include golf, balloon, horse, sleigh, and bike adventure packages, a variety of wonderful art pieces, restaurant and get away packages, and hundreds more quality items and gift certificates from regional generous merchants, restaurants, artists, and service providers.

Thursday March 19th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM is the Opening Night Mixer geared toward those who are most interested in seeing the fashion & dance show. The performance combines fashion (straight from the Second Chance Thrift Shop), dance, and music for a high energy performance best described as “Attitude at Altitude”. Although there will be a small silent auction prior to the show on Thursday the focus will be on the roof-raising show.

secondchancethriftshopSaturday March 21st (5:30 – 11:30 PM) remains the Gala Event: the fun packed bursting at the seams evening includes the delectable catered fare, well stocked silent auction, lively live auction, the famous fashion & dance show, concluding with a dance party!

Offering decadent food with a Louisiana Flare prepared by Chef Sid of Cavallo's http://cavallosrestaurant.com/Restaurant, music and mountains of fun, this is an event to mark on your calendars!

Tickets will be limited for both evenings to assure that all have a seat this year - so get your tickets today!  They are $15 in advance for Thursday night ($20 at the door) and $40 in advance ($45/door) for Saturday night.  They are on sale now on their secure website or shortly at the Second Chance Thrift Shop in Ridgway.

Get an early start on Thursday, and enjoy an evening at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center; enjoy a fashion show unlike any other, as local models sport ensembles straight from the Second Chance Thrift Shop! 

On Friday, take the day to enjoy the splendor of the San Juan’s. Scenic Drives, frozen waterfalls and a plethora of outdoor activities abound between enjoying fabulous food and shopping on Ouray’s Main Street. 

Saturday have your dancing shoes on, and be prepared to bid on some awesome items!

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help arrange your visit. Spend a relaxing three day weekend! Start your break with a soothing soak in one of our natural mineral hot spring tubs. Bask in the beauty of the southwest as the steam surrounds you in a picturesque setting.

 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.

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Experience a Night of Fun and Dancing in Ouray

  
  
  

OPAG and Wright Opera House Welcome Ceilidh Dancing to Ouray!

mckees2Have you ever been to a Ceilidh? A Ceilidh (keili) is a Scottish/Irish gathering for playing music storytelling and dancing. Similar to Contra, but more upbeat and happy. Ceilidhs are a fun multi-generational social gathering. Masters of their performance Ken Willson and Kim McKee delight audiences with their many talents. From elementary classrooms to concert halls around the world this dynamic duo is at home in any situation. They do anything from a 45 minute presentation to a 3-5 day residency for elementary, high school, college and adult audiences.
Willson and McKee also do house concerts and library concerts. They will be at The Wright Opera House here in Ouray on March 13th to help us celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
instrumentsI had the privilege to see them a couple years ago when they were in Ouray and it was such a wonderful experience. The music was phenomenal and they are both such wonderful storytellers and entertainers as well as blow your mind musicians. They connect so well with their audiences including and engaging them. To end the evening they taught several Ceilidh dances and the audience kept asking for more. I think it was well after 10 when we finally went home.
mckeesWillison and McKee’s versatility with instruments in simply amazing! Between the two they play Bagpipes, Celtic Harp, Accordion, Cittern, Bodhran, Dulcimer, Guitars and Bouzouki as well as their stunning voices. We are so excited to have this couple back in Ouray to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with us. Willson and McKee live in eastern Colorado, but they are well traveled worldwide. They travel to Scotland and Ireland frequently to play with fellow musicians and to add to their repertoire of songs, stories and dances. They do a combination of original work as well as traditional songs and have received honors and awards at events such as Walton’s of Dublin International Songwriting Competition and National Instrumental Championship. 
The concert is March 13th at The Wright Opera House from 7-9 pm. Tickets to this amazing performance are $15 for adults, $5 for students and $30 for families. We would like to thank the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild for bringing such wonderful performances to Ouray!
About the Author: Ever the wine enthusiast and farm to table promoter, Faith Parry is the brains and brawn of the Ouray Wine, Chocolate and Cheese festival, and current president of the Weehaken Creative Arts Board. She tirelessly explores hidden gems, and shares with us experiences and adventures that otherwise we wouldn't know were so fabulous! Southwest Colorado is a treasure trove of talented people all eager to share their passion for a variety of creativity from wine and cheese, to the Ridgway MoonWalk.
Contact us to Arrange your Wright Opera House Adventure Today!

Weehawken Offers a Variety of Activities in Ouray County

  
  
  

Weehawken Creative Arts is a non-profit organization serving Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose and Silverton. 

weehawkenlogoWeehawken offers classes and programs for all ages that include: visual arts/fine arts, fiber arts, movement, music, photography, craftsman arts, creative writing, culinary arts, horticulture, miscellaneous topics tied to the creative process, and performing arts – including a full dance program.

bowlsWeehawken also provides the area with their “All Fired UP” Clay Center and the Ouray Children’s Garden, as well as some great annual festival and events such as; Ouray Fork Fest (May 8th and 9th 2015), the Amateur Sculptor Contest (2015 date tbd), the Ridgway Rendezvous Arts and Crafts Festival (31 years! Aug), the Sneffels Fiber Festival (Sept), the Souper Bowl Event (Jan 29th), a Ouray County Cookbook, and more!

alpenglowWeehawken is an active member in the Alpenglow Arts Alliance.   Alpenglow is an informal alliance of Ouray County based arts-focused organizations. As an alliance, our objective is to de-clutter the promotion of performing arts events in order that we may increase awareness of and participation in each, regardless of the sponsoring organization. Alpenglow acknowledges and celebrates the fact that we live in a small community. Our focus is to work more closely together such that the performing arts, and our community, cannot just exist, but can thrive.

weehawkendanceWeehawken Creative Arts is proudly supported by The Telluride Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries and by local business and personal sponsorships.

souperbowlComing up in February is a creative writing class with Beth Paulson for ages 16 and up. All you need to bring to this workshop is the ability to attend and observe what’s in your daily life and the willingness to let your imagination go and your ideas flow as you try your hand at writing in some new (old) forms. The class will begin by looking at and writing American Sentences invented by Allan Ginsberg in the 1950?s. Then move on to the recently rediscovered Persian ghazal as well as the now-popular villanelle. Last try our hand at understanding and crafting prose poems. Together you will read examples of poems by Ginsberg, Charles Baudelaire, Agha Shahid Ali, and Elizabeth Bishop, to name a few. Participants will receive handouts of all poems and other class materials. Each week in class you will explore your own creativity crafting poems, serious or light,. After the conclusion of the workshop, each person will receive one copy of an anthology of poems written by class members. The class is 4 Wednesdays starting February 4thfrom 12:30-2:30. The cost of the class is $75 and will be held at Weehawken Ridgway at the Old Schoolhouse.

artIn February and March Weehawken is offering several adult Aerial Dance workshops by Kate Orr. The classes are February 28th, March 1st and March 21st and 22nd.

Weehawken also offers adult Swing/Lindy Hop classes every Tuesday from 6:30-7:30 at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. They also offer classes in karate, belly dancing, fencing, guitar and clay and pottery. The full dance program includes jazz, ballet, hip hop and tap. The dance program produces several amazing performances every year including alternating Polar Express and Nutcracker every December. IN the spring they perform such shows as Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wizard of Oz as well as a Weehawken Company Dancers performance in the spring and fall. This last fall the Company Dancers performed Nightmare Before Christmas. They have also done a tribute to the Beatles, and Corpse Bride.

valentineartclassFor Valentine’s Day get ready to paint a saucy Valentine for that special someone. Kellie Day will take you through step-by-step instruction on creating your one-of-a-kind Valentine on a wood panel, with a mix of acrylic and collage. Discover her top secret formula for a great Valentine. First timers and men welcome! Eat chocolate and drink wine, then use the wrappers for a collage background. Use handmade letter stamps to add your dramatic message and get as cheeky as you dare. Kellie will provide saucy papers for collaging, including love poems, vintage clip art, virgin of guadalupes, heart art, metallic paint markers and handmade letter stamps for your messages! Just bring yourself and get loose for an evening of creativity and love. Class price is $40 and includes 1 glass of wine, additional wine available for purchase. You must be 21 or older for this class.

johnsoncountycoronersComing up on January 29th is Weehawken’s big Souper Bowl Party Fundraiser. Local restaurants donate many different soups and breadsticks and locals bake delicious desserts. The clay center has been working extra hard firing bowls for this event. For $18 you get a handmade bowl and all you can eat soup. The Johnson County Coroner, a 5 piece band out of Montrose will be providing participants with a fantastic mix of Bleues, Rock and Americana. There will also be a cash bar with beer and wine. Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast and Catering is providing a winter root veggie vegan soup.  Hoping to have a couple more soups for you as well.

For more information about any of the events listed here or about Weehawken or to become a sponsor please check out their website and Facebook page.

http://www.weehawkenarts.org/

https://www.facebook.com/weehawkenarts

https://www.facebook.com/weehawkendance?fref=ts

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

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 


 


Four Reasons to put Ouray, Colorado on Your Bucket List

  
  
  

From soaking in the sulfer free hot springs to adrenaline pumping adventures, Ouray invites you to share the magic!


ouraywinterThe area surrounding Ouray is a haven for the adventurer. The mountains seem to call out, begging to be explored. Every season holds a lifetime of experiences, the biggest question is where to begin?

Faith Parry and I decided to put our heads together, and came up with just a few adventures that everyone should try at least once:

The town itself is worthy of any Bucket List. When approached from the South on Highway 550 (the Million Dollar Highway), the initial view of this tiny mountain town is amazing. Walking along Main Street, it is impossible not to pause occasionally just to gaze at the splendor on every side. To one side of the canyon, Cascade Falls dominated the view, while a short walk in the other direction takes you to the base of Box Canyon Falls as it booms through the canyon walls.

 

ourayice1.) Ice Climbing 

The idea of climbing a frozen waterfall is an interesting one to say the least. Home to the largest farmed ice park in the country, Ouray boasts a group of volunteers whose passion for climbing is surpassed only by their desire to share the experience. For two decades, our ice farmers have sculpted the ice in the Uncompahgre Gorge into a playground for the sound of heart.

The silence in the park is punctuated by the sound of axes striking ice, and softly spoken warnings to those still below, as athletes ascend to the top of the canyon. The drama of the climb verges on surreal, as if you have transformed into a world in which there is only you, and the ice. Rainbows of light are captured in frozen water, begging a moment of speculation as your body is tested to its limits. Reaching the top of the climb, an impression of fulfillment pervades every fiber, and the mind explodes with ideas for the next challenge.

Climbers almost dance past the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in the early morning, eager to explore the limits of the ice and themselves. as the day warms and the ice becomes less stable, these same climbers tiredly make their way to the all natural mineral hot springs, exchanging stories of the climb as tired muscles relax in the healing waters.

blackbear42.) Drive the Four Wheel Drive Trails

Ouray is one of the jeeping capitals in the world. We have some of the greatest off road terrain the go over spectacular mountain passes and to old mining towns and beautiful high alpine basins.

The most extreme off road route is Black Bear Pass. The pass is one way from Ouray to Telluride and traverses mountain tundra and lush valleys with waterfalls and wildflowers. The pass summits at 12,840 feet above sea level.

Another awesome pass from Ouray is Engineer Pass which is part of the Alpine Loop and connects to many other wonderful passes such as Corkscrew and Cinnamon Passes.

Animas Forks is a wonderful ghost town on Engineer Pass near Silverton. If renting a jeep you will not be able to do Black Bear or Poughkeepsie Gulch. If you want to do any of these passes please be sure you have the right vehicle and equipment. Because of the narrow roads and tight turns a short wheel base and high clearance is a necessity as well as a low range gear.

guestsatthetubs3.) Sulfur Free Hot Springs

O.K., I know we talk about them all the time, but Ouray has some amazing hot springs.

Southwest Colorado boasts many towns and spas with natural mineral hot springs, but Ouray has the added good fortune to possess hot springs with very low sulfur content; soakers can enjoy the soothing heat of water full of minerals such as magnesium and calcium, without the distinctive odor of sulfur. Common to almost every mineral hot spring is a high content of sodium, which may explain the lightness so many bathers comment on when enjoying this natural wonder.

Bubbling to the surface at temperatures from 140 to 180 degrees, Ouray does have to cool its water to make it safe for bathing. Once part of the first Sanitarium in Ouray, The Box Canyon Lodge provides four redwood tubs tiered on the hillside in our courtyard for guests to enjoy the peace and beauty of the San Juans while soaking in a more private, natural setting. The temperature of our mineral hot spring water is maintained between 101 to 108 degrees varying by a couple of degrees from tub to tub.

The source of the hot water at the Box Canyon Lodge can be seen steaming above the tubs, and as with anywhere the water flows so close to the surface, the area surrounding the spring houses a variety of wildlife taking advantage of the warmer ground, and ever present foliage.

hiking4.) Hike a Fourteener

Anywhere you look in the town of Ouray are peaks and trails beckoning to be traversed. Deep into the canyon and high above timberline, access to miles and miles of back country heaven are literally on your doorstep.

Is climbing a 14er on your bucket list? If so, come to Ouray this summer for some great mountain climbing. Ouray is surrounded by spectacular towering peaks. Our most popular is Mt Sneffels which is 14,150 feet high. Access the trail head by driving up the famous Camp Bird Rd to Yankee Boy Basin. The climb to the peak is a giant rock field and there is usually snow in spots year round. The view from the top is spectacular! Below you to the north are Blue Lakes, which is also an amazing hike.

When climbing 14ers be prepared for any weather and take plenty of food and water. Some people like to start very early in the morning to avoid afternoon storms, but I have done it in the afternoon on a spectacular Colorado blue sky day.

If you just want a serious challenge for a hike and don’t care that it is a 14er there are several 13ers that are more difficult climbs. My absolute favorite is Mount Emma, which is around 13,500. It is a 5,000 vertical foot climb as opposed to Sneffels which is only about a 2,000 foot climb. Uncompahgre Peak is another good 14er nearby.   

Regardless of the season, be sure to bring your camera! Standing at the summit of Imogene Pass, or in the middle of Main Street, there is a never ending array of sights to behold. Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help design a getaway that will last forever in your heart, an adventure in every memory.

 

 

Contact Us to Arrange Your Outdoor Adventure in Ouray!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southwest Colorado Town Offers Many Services for the Holidays!

  
  
  

Ouray and Ridgway Welcome You to Celebrate the Holiday!

winterinourayIf you are planning to spend Christmas with us and would like a church to 
celebrate here is a list of some options, and a bit about what each has to offer:

Santa In SleighOuray’s Baptist Church just a block from the hotel at 100 4th St, Ouray, Co. (970) 325-4448 will have their Christmas Eve Candlelight service @ 6:30 pm, on Wednesday, December 24th.  All are welcome to come.  They begin by lighting the Christ candle then different people read Scripture from the Old and New Testaments.  In between the readings, they will sing Christmas carols and hymns.  All of this together, tells the Christmas story.  Toward the end of the service, they light a candle from the Christ candle, and then each person lights their candle from one another.  The service ends with singing "Silent Night" in the glow of the candles.
xmastreeOuray Christian Fellowship at 336 4th Ave, Ouray, CO. (970) 325-4253 will have a Lessons and Carols service at 7 pm *based* on (but different than) the traditional Anglican service performed each year.  It features roughly 7 “lessons” (readings from Scripture) which point us to Christ or to a theme of Christmas and 7 “carols” which are congregational and choral responses to those lessons.  The service is entirely “scripture” and “song” - no preaching; we let the Bible and the Hymns preach to us on the Eve of Christmas.  Everyone is welcome to attend and to listen to the themes of Scripture unfolded for us in Christ. There is no childcare provided because the service is designed with many interactive elements - mostly singing - to engage the family.  The service should last about one hour, concluding with a candlelight singing of “Silent Night”.

carolingCalvary Community Church at 380 2nd St, Ouray, Co (970) 325-4049 is having a Christmas Day Celebration at the church at 10:00 AM. The service will consist of singing Christmas Carols and special readings of the Christmas Story. They will also have stocking for children ages 2-10 during the service. The service will conclude with a brunch welcome to all.
 
bellsSt John’s Episcopal Church, (970) 325-4655 will have a Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service at 5 pm and a Christmas Day service at 10:30 am. St John’s is located at 329 5th Ave. Ridgway Community Church is having a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 5pm. The service will be a remembrance of Luke, Matthew and Mary, the mother of Jesus.  The Community Church is located on the north side of Hwy 62 also known as Sherman in town. 

reindeerSt Daniel’s Catholic Church at 614 5th St, Ouray, Co (970) 325-4373 will have a Christmas Eve Mass at 8pm on December 24, 2014, and a Christmas celebration at 9am on Christmas Day.
Ridgway Community Church (970) 626-5692
Ouray and Ridgway are a magical place to celebrate the holidays. From a variety of ourdoor activities, to the thriving community togetherness, there are few more enticing places to enjoy a winter getaway.
merryxmasThe staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs works to provide the ideal escape for everyone, and are more than happy to provide information to make your escape perfect!
About the Author: Ever the wine enthusiast and farm to table promoter, Faith Parry is the brains and brawn of the Ouray Wine, Chocolate and Cheese festival. She tirelessly explores hidden gems, and shares with us experiences and adventures that otherwise we wouldn't know were so fabulous! Southwest Colorado is a treasure trove of talented people all eager to share their passion for a variety of creativity from wine and cheese, to the Ridgway MoonWalk.
Contact us to arrangeyour Winter Getaway in Ouray!

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

  
  
  

Santa Delivers in Southwest Colorado!

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Ouray, Colorado Sledding: Vinegar Hill

  
  
  

sledding in ouray is wonderful free thing to doYears ago, at the birth of a flourishing hard rock mining community, the settlers of Ouray, CO retired for the winter with no idea of what a harsh mistress Mother Nature could be in the Uncompahgre River Valley.  Early snows cut the budding town off from travel, and food stores became more and more sparse. As Christmas approached, the town found itself in dire circumstances. Many would have given up, hoarded what they had, and given nary a thought to their neighbors.

The folk of this new town were a hardier, more generous group of individuals. Rather than giving up, each member of the community emptied their meager stores and created a feast. Perhaps not what we might consider to be a feast today, but when faced with starvation, this Christmas dinner was truly decadent: beans, a pound of bacon, and flour to make flatbread.

After having gorged to their hearts content, the men decided to continue the revelry with a grand Christmas sledding party. Of course, there was no wine or beer or any other spirits to warm them as they careened through deep snow on the steepest hill in town. Yet again, these industrious men were undaunted, and in lieu of alcoholic beverages, someone broke out a bottle of vinegar, pouring a healthy dose to each member of this sledding party to warm and invigorate them, and christening Vinegar Hill with its name and role to this very day.

The years have gone by, the town has changed, but several things remain the same. The Million Dollar Highway brings visitors to town year round, the scenic vistas around Ouray rank among the best in the state of Colorado, and in the winter, sledding on Vinegar Hill remains one of the best free things to do during the winter in Colorado.

The spirit of the people of this small mountain town maintains many similarities with the settlers of the past.  Winters cool breath does not frighten them and they love the active outdoor adventures, including sledding. In Ouray, there is still a sense of community, and love of this beautiful area, and wonderful Vinegar Hill.  Once the snow blossoms in this tiny Box canyon, bales of straw block the bottom of the hill. Children of all ages still careen down the snowy path, but hot cocoa in thermoses has replaced a glass of vinegar to warm cold fingers and toes.

This winter has been warmer than others but many sledding opportunities abound near Ouray and make great things to do over Spring Break.  Afterwards, enjoy a soak in our Ouray hot springs or enjoy the million gallon Ouray Hot Springs Pool!

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