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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Seven reasons to visit Ouray

  
  
  

Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, Ouray County is a Natural Treasure.

minerOnce central to a booming mining industry, Ouray County now relies mainly on tourism, recreation, ranching, construction and still some mining. Its two towns, Ouray and Ridgway, remain true to the best of the Western Colorado tradition - a relaxed, meaningful quality of life that many only dream about.

Ouray County is noted for some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Often refferred to as "Switzerland of America" and the "Gem of the Rockies", Ouray County offers amateur and proffessional photographers the magnificence of the San juan Mountains, waterfalls and sparkling riversd, alpine wildflowers and endlessly changing seasonal colors.

In addition, Ouray County offers a number of delightful visitor attractions:

1.) Railroad

trainRailroad buffs will enjoy a walk or ride along the old Denver and Rio Grande train bed, which runs paralell to the Uncompahgre River north of Ouray. Avid rock hounds can easily find specimens of pyrite, crystal and even silver and gold for those willing to try their hand at panning. the Bachelor Syracuse mine offers panning lessons and offers the equipment needed at their gift shop.

2.) Bird Watching

black swiftBird watchers will delight in the unique varieties of birds in Ouray County. Species ranging from tiny hummingbirds to golden and bald eagles may be viewed from the town or in the mountains and meadows of the surrounding area. The Box Canyon Waterfall Park is one of just a few known nesting sites for the rare Black Swift, and the entire area has been listed by the National Audobon Society as a rare bird sanctuary.

3.) Hiking

hiking2Hikers and backpackers will find terrain and trails in the county perfect for beginners and experienced hikers alike. From an easy stroll to the base of Cascade Falls, or Portland Trail, a good first time intro to area hiking, to the challenge of the Horsethief-Bear Creek Loop Trail, Ouray County has something for all interests and abilities.

4.) Four-Wheeling

jeep torOften refferred to as the "Jeeping Capitol of the World", four-wheeling is an unqualified means of experiencing the magnificence of Ouray County. Bring along a four-wheel drive vehicle or trail bike, rent a jeep locally or enjoy the convenience of a jeep tour, with knowledgeable, experienced drivers. With access to over 500 miles of trails to explore, a four wheel drive adventure is an item easily marked off of your bucket list! 

5.) Rock Climbing and Ice Climbing

iceclimberMountain climbing in the summer, and ice climbing in the winter are popular activities in Ouray County. Some of the most popular "fourteeners" are located in the area as well as other challenging peaks to conquer. Canyoneering is a sport quickly gaining popularity in Ouray County as well, combining hiking, climbing and rpelling through spectacular waterfalls. Adventure is easy to find here in Ouray County!

6.) Wildlife Viewing

Early Morning Guests at the tubsOuray County Sparkles during its long season of winter sunshine and moderate temperaturres. Ouray winters offer a quiet serene contrast to Colorado's more bustling ski areas. Deer, Elk and bighorn sheep are often seen grazing in the City Park during the winter months. One doesn't even have to travel that far from the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, as a variety of wildlife enjoy the warmth of the hot springs, and can often be spotted just a few feet away while guests enjoy a warm soothing soak.

7.) Winter Exploring

snowshoeing2The ultimate in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can be enjoyed against a backdrop of 14,000 foot peaks, wooded trails and alpine meadows. For those less athletically inclined, a snowmobile tour can be an exciting winter adventure which can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Regardless of the season, Ouray County offers a range of activities and interesting adventures centered around the majesty of the San Juan Mountains. The county's 540 miles encompass the rich, fertile ranchlands of the Uncompahgre river valley, the gentle rolling expanse of Dallas Divide, the majestic Sneffels Range, the scenic solitude of Owl Creek, Cow Creek and the Courthouse Range, and the spectacular Million Dollar Highway.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help to create the mountain adventure of a lifetime for you! From arranging dinner reservations and jeep tours, to mapping out the ideal trails to explore, or just providing a quiet oasis frigors of the outside world, Ouray and the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are the perfect escape. 

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

High Adrenaline Adventures in Ouray Any Time of Year

  
  
  

From Ice Climbing To Canyoning, The Waterfalls in Ouray Beckon 

fall san juansFall is gradually turning to winter. As the evenings become cooler, and the mornings more brisk, the land waits impatiently for the first snow. Fall colors still bloom at lower altitudes, and some leaves are clinging tenaciously in the high country, but we all know the season is about to change again.

ourayiceparkmapMembers of the Ice Park have begun to prepare for the cold, promising an early season as long as Mother Nature cooperates. Of course, it is still far too early to begin farming ice, but there is much to do before then.

ourayice2Once the ice forms, the silence in the park is deafening, as athletes concentrate on proper placement of axe and boot, ever conscious of the spotter below. Onlookers watch in quiet amazement as climbers contort their bodies to best experience the climb. As if in defiance of gravity, the experts traverse ice as smooth and clear as glass, deep in the Uncompahgre Gorge.

ourayiceJanuary marks the 20th Annual Ouray Ice FestivalThis gathering is attended by ice climbers from around the world, as well as industry sponsors, inspiring speakers, and the world’s top exhibition climbers. 

ouraycanyoningSo, what is an Ice Climber to do when there is no ice? Well, rock climbing is quite popular, and becoming ever more so in and around Ouray. There is also a sport that is beginning to become more and more popular with every season: Canyoning, or Canyoneering

ouraycanyoning2Combining hiking, climbing and rapelling, Canyoneering adds the element of water. Yes. Canyoneers begin by hiking to a waterfall, which they climb to the top of, then rapell through the water to the base. Not much is missing in this adrenaline pumping sport. 

ouraycanyoning4For the past five years, Ouray has hosted a canyoning festival each August. Steadily, the number of Canyoneers has grown, and in 2015, Ouray will host the Rendezvous International for Canyoning (RIC). We will welcome athletes from around the world as they join us and explore the amazing canyons and waterfalls in the region. The final day of the festival will be highlighted with the Annual City of Ouray Grillin & Chillin Festival in Felin Park.

Whether travelling to Ouray in the Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. From Exploring the high country by 4x4 on foot, or skis to traversing a wall of water, either frozen or flowing, the best part is being able to relax in the warm soothing waters of a natural mineral hot spring tub at the end of the day.

Experienced guide companies are standing by to take you out on the adventure of your choosing. Whether new to any given sport, or just the area, these individuals can take you and your family where you want to go in a safe, professional manner filled with breath taking fun and excitement.

Weekend adventurers and mid week getaways add a little spice to the ordinary, and although Ouray seems so far away, it is really just in your back yard, accessible year round, with access to some of the most spectacular scenery and adrenaline pumping sports around!

 

Contact Us to Arrange Your Outdoor Adventure in Ouray!

Second Annual Sneffels Fiber Festival in Ouray County

  
  
  

Food, Fun and Fiber in Ridgway Colorado September 2014.

 

fiberfestflyerWeehawken Creative Arts works tirelessly to provide high-quality arts education and personal growth programs and events to adults and children year-round.

A Colorado Non-Profit Organization (501-c-3), Weehawken serves Ouray, Ridgway, Colona, Silverton and Montrose.

snefels fiberfest.2From dance to pottery; cooking and sewing, plays and music; Weehawken embraces every form of art and presents it in programs and classes attended by a variety of individuals. Each event they offer is a potpourri of talent and a treat for every taste.

The Second Annual Sneffels Fiber Festival promises to be an eclectic mixture of art, music, food and fun. Focusing on all aspects of fiber and fiber arts, the festival will be a three day event held at the Ouray County 4H Events Center, featuring live animals, such as yaks, alpacas and maybe even a camel!

snefels fiberfestFrom beautiful tapestries, embroidered in rainbows of color, to wearable arts such as scarves and sweaters, the variety of fiber to be seen and purchased will entertain for hours.

This event is free, and will run as follows:

Friday, September 26, 5-7 pm Sneak Preview

Saturday, September 27, 9am-5 pm

Sunday, September 28, 11am-3pm

Free Admission on Saturday & Sunday (donations gladly accepted!)

bcltubslgContact the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs for more information, or to plan your stay. Soak in the soothing mineral hot springs, hike the magnificent San Juan Mountains, and go find that special one of a kind something at the Second Annula Sneffels Fiber Festival!

See you soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

 

Ouray Hotel Offers Great Incentive to Off Season Visitors!

  
  
  

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is the Perfect Winter Escape!


ouraywinterAt the Box Canyon Lodge, we love our guests. Whether you have been visiting us for years, or this is your first time to the property, every guest becomes a part of what makes us great.

Nineteen years ago, John and Barbara Uhles offered a special incentive to folks who join the "Once A Month Club". In exchange for coming to see us at least once a month from October through May, members receive incredible discounts and offers on rooms. The club took off, and the lodge has been blessed with an extended family who have visited monthly for years and years.

box canyon lodge hot (2)When Rich and Karen Avery purchased the hotel in 2006, the "Once a Month Club" was an exciting and interesting concept. What better way to learn what does and does not work than from the folks who visit so frequently? Not to mention the opportunity to meet so many of the people who have been an integral part of this amazing property! Friendships formed and continue to thrive and grow. Members come and go, some stay with the club for just one year, while many more become life long members.

guestsatthetubsThe months of October through May, the city of Ouray becomes a much more quiet community. As the snow begins to fall and temperatures drop, access to the high country becomes more limited. Several businesses close for the winter, the owners taking advantage of the chance to explore the outside world, or just relax and prepare for the following summer. Nothing compares to an evening in Ouray when the streets are so quiet it is as if you are the only person in town. Snow falls gently, and the four mineral hot spring tubs in our courtyard are an intimate escape from it all.

tubsinwinterThe majority of our Once a Month Club members live fairly close to us, but we also have a number of folks from as far away as Denver, Santa Fe and Moab. A number of members have chosen to join the club with family members, friends, or through their businesses. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the benefits of the club without having to worry about whether you can commit to visiting all eight months yourself. From hospitals to families to business associations, we have a wide variety of visitors who enjoy the benefits of the Once a Month Club.

The serene beauty of the Uncompahgres is a magnificent backdrop to whatever winter activities interest you. Whether an avid skiier, snow shoer, ice climber or hot tubber, Ouray serves as a perfect base camp. Telluride is just a short drive for downhill skiing. The Box Canyon Lodge is just at the base of the Ice Park Trail, and any hiking trail becomes the perfect winter adventure for snow shoeing. Ironton Park is only a few miles up the pass for a day cross country skiing on meticulously groomed and maintained trails. 

fall tubsAfter a day of fall or winter adventuring, how nice to relax in the warm, soothing mineral hot springs! 

Once a month members can take advantage of these little getaways much more often, not having to be concerned with a long drive home. Of course, there are times when the discounted rate does not apply, however, with so many other days available, it is simple to plan around.

Every year, as the summer season begins to wind down, everyone at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs begins to look forward to October with a feeling of anticipation and excitement. The Club members have started to call, and make dates for the first visit of the season, and we can't wait to start catching up on the past months.

tubs.3This year, we hope to add to the family, and invite everyone to come and experience a winter in Ouray!

Check out our contract. Fill it out and send it back to us, or just bring it along on your first visit! This year, be sure to expect some great deals for the summer season as well! Every once in a while, we just miss our clubbers, and want to see them during the warm months as well. So, every once in a while, club members may receive an email from us inviting them all to come visit for a last minute getaway!

Join the Club, and become a part of our little extended family here at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs!

See You Soon.

 

  Ouray, southwest colorado

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

  
  
  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray and Ridgway Events this July 2014

  
  
  

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

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

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

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

Happenings in Ouray and Ridgway this July: 

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

black bearHave you ever wondered how the peaks around Ouray got their Names? Our special exhibit answers these questions and more. See photos of the local peaks with detailed descriptions of where the names came from.

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

waterfalls near ouray colo in julyAn exhibit of 16 Ouray County Photographers who attended the John Fielder Photo Workshop in September 2013. Each photographer will have one 10 x 15 photo exhibited.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

corkscrewCorkscrew Railroad Bed and Turntable Hike (guided, $10 cost) - Sponsored by the Ridgway Railroad Museum and OCHS. Call 970-325-4576 to preregister. Hikers will meet at the Ouray County Museum at 9:00 am and return to the museum between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. In case of inclement weather call Don Paulson at 325-0931 before 8 am to ascertain the hike status.

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

july 4 fireworks ouray.3Board member Tim Force has put together an amazing new museum exhibit, educating all on brands and branding in Ouray County and surrounding area. Highlights include some of the oldest brands of the county branded to fence rails surrounding the exhibit and informative posters.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - Evenings in History at the Ouray Commuinty Center from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

cedarhillcemeteryGuided Cemetery walking tour by a museum docent. Learn about the famous people buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Meet at Cedar Hill Cemetery at 9 am. Pre-register at 970-325-4576.

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

black bear pass wildflowers (1)Board member Tim Force has put together an amazing new museum exhibit, educating all on brands and branding in Ouray County and surrounding area. Highlights include some of the oldest brands of the county branded to fence rails surrounding the exhibit and informative posters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 19 through Sunday, July 20 - Brand Exhibit - Learning About Branding from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Ouray County Ranch History Museum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

live music ouray bcm3Board member Tim Force has put together an amazing new museum exhibit, educating all on brands and branding in Ouray County and surrounding area. Highlights include some of the oldest brands of the county branded to fence rails surrounding the exhibit and informative posters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 


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

  
  
  

Historic Venue has Southwest Colorado Singing its Praises!

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 14, 2014 - Radney Foster

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 22, 2014 - Trio Solisti

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

Monday, June 23, 2014 - Magic with Eli

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

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

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

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

 

See you soon!




Weekday Fun for Everyone in Ouray!

  
  
  

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

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

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

So, here's the plan: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

Historical Ouray County

  
  
  

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Southwest Colorado Wineries

  
  
  

A Delicious Day Trip From Ouray, Enjoy a Wine Tasting and Meal!

Garret Estate Cellars groundsA bit of a drive from Ouray, but well worth it, many of the wineries in Southwest Colorado are only open to the public by appointment, but they are always happy to have people come visit. We headed north about an hour drive from Ouray on Highway 550 past Olathe, and up onto California Mesa, driving through farm land, orchards and vineyards.
wines2Olathe has 3 wineries, Garrett Estate Cellarswhich is where we were headed, Mountain View Winery and Cottonwood Cellars. The road dead ends in the vineyard, we arrive to the sun setting. The vines are just beginning to bud, spring.
Entering the tasting area we are greeted by Mitch Garrett, the head of marketing for the winery. 
Garret Estate Cellars Mitch GarretGarrett Estate is a family run business with 3 generations participating. We start to try their selection of wines paired with cheese from Rocking W Cheese  also in Olathe. Rocking W has some really amazing cheeses. We tried their Jalapeno Jack, which is not spicy at all, just fresh and flavorful. My other favorites are Tomato Basil, Portobello Leek, Garlic Chive and Farmers Veggie. They also make amazing Egg Nog in the winter.
Garret Estate Cellars vinyardsThen we went on a tour of the facility. We started in the vineyards; they currently have 35 acres, but are planting almost 20 more. They have the capacity to plant 80 acres of vines. From the vineyards we go to the crushing area and then to the fermenting room.
Garret Estate Cellars bottling.2We end in the bottling and casing room, the bottling machine can bottle, cork and label 4 cases at a time. They make all dry wines and all the whites are fermented in stainless steel.
Garret Estate Cellars dinnerGarret Estate Cellars socializingAs we explored the winery and socialized with the other guests, the aromas of dinner began wafting through the building. We were ushered back to the tasting room where lovely tables, set by Two Sister Restaurant and Catering, awaited us. Our first course was a delicious salad with crusted cheese on top paired with a dry Reisling. Second course, a roasted game hen with veggies and wild rice decorated with sliced apples, and paired with a Gewurztraminer. Dessert was a raspberry cheesecake with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, paired with their Pheasant Run Red, which is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Savenion and Syrah. 
Garret Estate Cellars casksWe ended the evening with more wine, great conversation, and the opportunity to purchase some great wine to take home. 
Right now Garrett Estate and Rocking W Cheese are working on doing a 
combined tasting room in the town of Olathe so they will be more accessible, so stay tuned for that. In Ouray you can buy Garrett Estate wine at Ouray Liquors
winesWhen you book a room at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, we can arrange your very own special evening at this or one of the other fabulous wineries in Southwest Colorado. 
Ever the wine enthusiast and farm to table promoter, Faith Parry is the brains and braun 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! Lasy month, FaitRich and some other local businesses took part in a wine dinner in Olathe. 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
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