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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Box Canyon Falls In Ouray is Wonderful in Winter


Ouray is a great Spring Break Destination with Kids in Southwest Colorado

Even though it seems like Spring Break is nearly upon us in Southwest Colorado, many beautiful winter photos of Box Canyon Falls (Box Cañon Falls) in Ouray remain.

This attraction is free all winter long (there is a small fee in the Summer) and only a short walk from the Box Canyon Lodge.  The falls are less dramatic in winter since much of the water is frozen.  However, you can still see the very dramatic canyon walls and hear the thunderous roar of the water falling several hundred feet to Canyon Creek below.  

Welcome solitude?  This beautiful waterfall remains very uncrowded and one of the great things to do in Ouray during the winter but you get to enjoy it with fewer people than in the summer.

Walk slowly to the falls as it is somewhat icy but once you turn the corner to see the falls, the grates are free from snow and ice and the beauty of the canyon shines.

The Box Canyon Falls remains cold so warm up with a visit to the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, another fun thing to do in Ouray with Kids over Spring Break.  We sell discount passes to the Ouray Hot Springs to our guests.  Or like most of our hotel guests, enjoy a soak in our natural hot springs terraced on the mountainside as you relax after a fun filled day in Ouray!

box canyon falls ouray colorado winter


ouray colorado box canyon falls winter walkway

As you walk up to the Box Canyon Falls from our hotel in Ouray, you also pass the Ouray Ice Park and many times you can enjoy watching the climbers ascend the icy cliff wall from the road just af few hundred feet from your room.

ouray ice park near box canyon lodge


5th Annual Wine & Whiskers Carnival in the Uncompahgre Mountains!


Dancing, fashion, food and fun for a great cause in Southwest Colorado! 

wine and whiskers dog.oreoSaturday, March 10, 2012, spend the evening Mardi Gras style with fantastic food, a live and silent auction filled with spectacular finds while dancing the night away all in support of our furry friends in Southwest Colorado!

second chance logoThe Second Chance Humane Society once again presents its annual fund raising event not to be missed. Party attendees will be spoiled from the moment they arrive at the Ouray County 4H Center in Ridgway as they enjoy complimentary beer and wine from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

wine and whiskers catAfter a day enjoying the scenic wonders of Southwest Colorado, join the Second Chance Humane Society in a fundraiser not soon forgotten! Sample from a decadent array of tasty treats prepared by local chefs from Ouray and San Miguel Counties, with the palate pleasing creations of Chef Alix Fremgen as he returns to provide a dining experience not soon forgotten.
Bid on over 300 items in the silent auction and marvel at the Fashion Cabaret Fashion Show. The evening heats up to the diverse high energy dance tunes of DJ Antone. A cash bar will be open for the evening as well, and this should be one of the most fun and exciting evenings of the year.

Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door and available at the Second Chance Thrift Shop, Telluride Veterinary Clinic, Buckskin Booksellers in Ouray or DaLee Spa in Montrose.
Don't miss this great function for an even greater cause!


Raise your spirits with great food, drinks and friends in Ouray!


O'Brien's Pub & Grill in Ouray, Colorado serves up awesome entertainment to heat up the winter!

iceclimber4It's Saturday night. You have had a great day enjoying all of the winter activities the San Juans have to offer; ice climbing, skiing, sledding, soaking in the mineral hot springs, finished off with a fantastic dinner at one of our many great restaurants, but the night is young and there is still fun to be had!

At 10:00 every Saturday night through the end of March, the crew at O'Brien's clears the dinner tables and the real fun begins. 

tony rosario.2Local musical talents including Tony Rosario, the North Fork Flyers, and Funkdafari, featured at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, have played this little Ouray venue, in the traditional laid back Ouray atmosphere of dancing and entertainment.

til willisLocal singer and song writer, Til Willis often plays the Pub as a headliner, or with some of our many talented local artists. Either way, it is always a pleasure to hear him play.

funkdafariJen Greenholt, owner of O'Brien's, has made it her goal to offer consistently good food, service and fun at this Ouray hot spot. "Poor and Hungry" Mondays offers burger specials for those on a budget, All You Can Eat Fish every Friday and Happy Hour every day combined with a friendly staff makes your dining experience extremely enjoyable. til willis yony rosarioThe menu includes a wide variety of homemade food, including fresh spinach salads, homemade soups and irish egg rolls, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. And you always get a perfect pint!

Don't forget St. Pattys Day! This is an Irish pub, and they make it a point to celebrate in true Irish style!

obriens pub ouray3So be sure to visit O'Brien's Pub & Grill during your time in Ouray for a truly original experience in a restaurant filled with friends!



February Events for Ouray and Ridgway Colorado


February is a great time to visit Ouray County.

ouray sleddingThe snow is soft and perfect for sledding, the ice is excellent for climbing, and the evenings are such a peaceful time for soaking in the mineral hot springs and enjoying a quiet relaxing getaway. The Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs continually strives to be not only your favorite choice for lodging in Ouray, but also your most cherished home away from home.  

Bring your true love to see us this month for a wonderful Romantic night away, or bring the kids for a weekend of ice climbing, sledding and ice skating, followed by a soothing soak in our mineral hot springs tubs.  Winter activities abound!

tony rosarioSaturday, February 4, 2012 – 10:00 pm to 1:00 am - Live Music at O’Brien’s Pub & Grill

After a fantastic meal of Fried Pickles and Shepherd’s Pie, dance the night away to the soulful sounds of Tony Rosario and the Blue Heelers!

Friday, February 10, 2012 – 1 pm to 7 pm – Winter Arts & Crafts Festival at the Ouray Community Center

Spend an afternoon or an entire weekend enjoying this three day event featuring the talents of local artists. Admission is free, with a Silent Auction at which to bid on your favorite pieces!

Saturday, February 11, 2012 – 10:00 am to 7:00 pm - Winter Arts & Crafts Festival at the Ouray Community Center

Spend an afternoon or an entire weekend enjoying this three day event featuring the talents of local artists. Admission is free, with a Silent Auction at which to bid on your favorite pieces!

obriens pub ouraySaturday, February 11, 2012 – 10:00pm to 1:00 am – Live Music at O’Brien’s Pub & Grill

Saturday nights are definitely a great time at O’Brien’s! After dinner, get ready to dance away those calories to the musical mixes of DJ Sunday Smith!

Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:00 am to 3:00 pm - Winter Arts & Crafts Festival at the Ouray Community Center

Spend an afternoon or an entire weekend enjoying this three day event featuring the talents of local artists. Admission is free, with a Silent Auction at which to bid on your favorite pieces!

rodeo and julietTuesday, February 14, 2012 – 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm – Valentine’s Day Rodeo & Juliet at the Wright Opera House

Take your sweetie out for an evening of music and fun at the Wright Opera House! Enjoy the sweet soul harmonies of Rodeo and Juliet at this Valentine’s Day concert sure to be a night to remember.

Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 10:00pm to 1:00 am – Live Music at O’Brien’s Pub & Grill

Join the O’Brien’s crew for another awesome Saturday night of frivolity, dancing away to the musical styling of local favorite Funkdafari!

Don’t forget! Valentine’s Day can be every day in Ouray! Celebrate the month of romance in one of the most picturesque places on earth! Let us help you create an adventure to last a lifetime!valentine=candy


Welcome winter at the 3rd Annual Wine & Chocolate Fest in Ouray!


End a great Yule Night with a sampling of decadent goodies and live music at the Ouray Community Center!

ouray wine chocolate fest decadent candyOnce the parade is over, and the christmas lights on Main Streets are lit, head on down to the Ouray Community Center this December 10, 2011 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm for a fun filled evening enjoying local wines, chocolates and other decadent delights! The change of venue can now accomodate live music and dancing, as well as being handicap accessible! For the first time, the event will feature live music from local quartet, the Chameleon Ensemble who will be paying Celtic and Chamber music.

Dress up for a chance to win a grand prize as the "Most Festive" when judges decide who has truly represented the Woodland Winter Wonderland theme of the evening! Anne LaSala will have a festive portrait studio set up to take professional portraits of couples and groups available for purchase.

ouray wine chocolate fest awardsShop local vendors as they vie for Awards for "Most Decadent", "Most Creative", "Wine Taster’s Award", "Chocolatier’s Award", "Foodie Award" and "People’s Choice" for wine, chocolate and cheese. Find your favorites while taking the opportunity to support local businesses such as Liliputian Winery, Cottonwood Cellars, Black Bridge Winery and 5680' Vineyards, Mountain View Winery, Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese from Longmont, MouCo Cheese Co from Fort Collins, Mouse's Chocolates, Ouray Candy, Ray's Good Stuff, Crossroads Wine and Spirits, and MorningSong B&B. Logs of cheese, boxes of chocolates and bottles of wine will be available for purchase. It is the perfect place to buy delicious gift basket goodies!

ouray wine chocolate fest tasty treatsCelebrate the season this Yule Night at the Ouray Community Center with beautiful music, fantastic food, wine, and pleasant conversations, while finishing up your Christmas Shopping!
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets can be found in Ouray at Buckskin Booksellers, Khristopher's Culinaire, Mouse's Chocolates; in Ridgway at Cimarron Books; in Montrose at Around the Corner Gallery and Coffee Trader; in Telluride at Wizard Entertainment; in Durango at Maria’s Bookshop; and in Grand Junction at Pro Powder Coating and Crossroads Wine and Spirits.



Ouray, Colorado's Box Canyon Lodge & Ice Climbing – A Perfect Match


-Book Box Canyon Lodge’s Ice Climbing Getaway for just $450-

iceclimber5.0There are many benefits to getting away with friends.  Expenses are split, enjoyment is shared and memories are made.  If you and your buddies are ready for a getaway as unique as your friendship is, head to Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in beautiful Ouray, Colo., (a.k.a. ‘Switzerland of America’) to try your hand – or pick! – at the sport of ice climbing. 

Ice climbing novices and gurus alike will appreciate the Box Canyon Lodge’s Ice Climbing Package.  It includes a half-day ice climbing lesson for two (including ice climbing equipment) and two nights lodging in a standard room for $450 plus tax.  The offer is good  all winter long from mid-December until late-March, special events excluded. Call (800) 327-5080 to book. 

 The Ouray Ice Park – the world’s first park dedicated exclusively to the sport of ice climbing – is just two blocks from Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.  The park is located in the Uncompahgre River Gorge and was built and is operated entirely on a volunteer/donations basis.  It’s free to enter and climb in the park.  Local guides and instructors, as well as rental equipment are available.


ouray ice park 2011The 17th Annual Ouray Ice Festival, ‘the X Games of the ice climbing world,’ is January 5-8, 2012, and features elite ice climbers from around the world.  The schedule includes films, auctions, demonstrations, clinics and, of course, lots of ice climbing  for beginners and experts alike.  

After a day in the Ice Park, warm up with a revitalizing soak in one of Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs’ four natural hot springs hot tubs. The redwood tubs offer stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. Open 365 days a year, and for the exclusive use of Box Canyon Lodge guests, the tubs provide the perfect setting to connect with your best friends and swap tales about proudly scaling vertical ice walls, no matter how tall (the tales or the walls!).

The beautiful town of Ouray provides a scenic and peaceful backdrop for strengthening the bonds of friendship. Take a stroll among the shops, socialize over a great meal, and catch up at a local watering hole. All the while, soak in the fresh mountain air and capture a few postcard-worthy snapshots with your buddies in front of the vibrant landscapes. Complement your ice-climbing adventure with any one of Ouray’s other outdoor activities including backcountry skiing and boarding, ice skating, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. 


Events in Ouray and Ridgway Colorado: November and December 2011


Celebrate the Holiday Season in Southwest Colorado!

fall snow ourayAs Fall fades into winter and all of the leaves have created a blanket on the forest floors in preparation for snow, November and December offer the weary traveller a perfect getaway for a peaceful visit enjoying the spectacular beauty around you. See Ouray and meet its townspeople when the hustle and bustle of summer is over, and the focus turns to winter recreation and family fun. 

August 19 through November 19, 2011:

"A century of Ouray County Farming and Ranching: 1875-1975", Special Exhibit

The Ouray County Historical Society presents it's special exhibit of the 2011 season at theOuray County Museum. A Century of Ouray County Ranching: 1875-1975 runs from April 15th to July 5th and August 19 to November 19. Learn about the various types of ranching and farming that took place in Ouray County during the counties first 100 years. 



Saturday, November 5, 2011, 5:30pm

Karaoke Contest at the Ouray Elks Lodge

Contest entry fee will be $10 with 1st, 2nd, 3rd place prizes a percentage of the pot.Taco Dinner starts at 5:30, with contestants beginning at 6:00pm

lees ski hillTuesday, November 8, 2011, 6:00pm

Ouray County Nordic Council Banquet at the Ouray Community Center

Annual fundraiser and membership dinner to benefit the Ouray County Nordic Council and trail maintenance.



Saturday, November 12, 2011 , 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Friends of the Library Christmas Carol Luncheon and fashion Show at the Ouray Community Center

Support the public library at a fun filled luncheon and fashion show!

box canyon hot springsSaturday, November 12, 2011, 5:30 pm

Veterans Dinner, Turkey Bingo and Cash Raffle at the Ouray Elks Lodge

Annual Veterans' recognition dinner and turkey bingo, open to the public. Dinner and bingo proceeds go directly to VA hospital in Grand Junction. In addition, drawing for annual cash raffle to assist lodge with insurance


Sunday, November 13, 2011, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Friends of the Library Afternoon Delight at the Ouray Community Center

Join the Friends of the Ouray Library for a parent-child event.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, all day

Ouray School Library fundraiser at the Ouray Brewery

Enjoy lunch or dinner at the Ouray Brewery, and help out the kids at Ouray School on Wednesday! Ouray Brewery’s monthly non-profit day will donate 10% of all sales to the Ouray School Library, so eat drink and enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

Open Mic at the True Grit in Ridgway

Share your talent, or just come and enjoy an eveniing of music and fun at the True Grit!


Saturday, November 19, 2011, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Fourth Annual Ouray County Non-Profit Holiday Bazaar at the Ouray County 4H Event Center

Bring the kids to see Santa as you peruse the assortment of gift ideas presented by a number of local merchants and non profit organizations in Ouray County. Santa Paws, sponsored by the Second Chance Humane society, will be on hand to take pictures of Santa with kids and pets alike!

Thursday, November 24, 2011, 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Beaumont Hotel

Traditional American style Thanksgiving buffet. $29.95 for adults, $16.95 children

thanksgiving turkeyThanksgiving Dinner at the Bon Ton

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, or order off of a limited menu of ulinary delights! Thanksgiving dinner is $21.95 for adults, $13.95 children

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Outlaw Restauraunt

Traditional American style Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday, December 4, 2011 All Day

Ouray Elks Lodge Memorial Day Ceremony

Open to the public

wine and chocolateFriday, December 9, 2011, 7:30 pm

Christmas Jazz Conert at the Wright Opera House

The North Fork Flyers return to the Opera House for Christmas Jazz.

Saturday, December 10, 2011, 5:00 pm

Ouray Annual Yule Night Celebration, Main Street, Ouray

Be sure to dress warmy, and get a good spot on Main Street when Santa arrives, leading a parade through Main Street. After the parade, wander through the shops on Main Street, to find a number of treasures for your loved ones this Christmas! Santa Paws will be at the Wright Opera House, and The Ouray Elks Lodge will be having a great dinner with Santa in attendance!

Saturday, December 10, 2011, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Fest at the Wright Opera House

Third annual festival celebrating Western Slope Wineries and local chocolate creations. Taste the fantastic wines, chocolates and appetizers, then take some home with you for your holiday celebrations!

Sunday, December 11, 2011, 7:00 

Ouray County Chorale Chistmas Concert at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center

Enjoy a wonderful evening of carols and fun at the annual Christmas Concert presented by the Ouray County Chorale Group.

Sunday, December 18, 2011, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Winter Sing Concert at the Wright Opera House

Winter concert presented by the Telluride Choral Society.Tickets are $10 for Adults & $5 for Students (16 & under). Tickets are available, and at the following locations mid-November: Ouray - Buckskin Booksellers & Mouse's Chocolates, Ridgway - Cimarron Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Montrose - The Coffee Trader.

santa in ouraySaturdayDecember 24, 2011, All day

Santa Delivers!

Be sure to contact the Ouray Elks to have Santa visit your home or room throughout Ouray County!

Saturday, December 31, 2011, non timed event

Ouray Elks Lodge New Years Eve Party

Ouray Elks Lodge New Year's Eve Party with karaoke is open to the public.

Saturday, December 31, 2011, Midnight

fireworks in ouray coFireworks!

Celebrate New Years Eve with a spectacular fireworks display put on by the Ouray Fire Department and sponsored by the city of Ouray! 






Ouray County Snowshoe and Mining District Tour

It's not too late to snag a spot in this weekend's Ouray County Winter Mine Tour. Just make your reservation by Friday, February 25 at 12 noon!

We will meet at the Ouray Visitor Center at 10am on Saturday, February 26 and return at 2pm. We will carpool to the lower end of CR 31 where it connects to Hwy. 550. Your minimum donation of $25 includes a catered lunch plus a hot toddy/tea and coffee! Please bring cash or check payable to the OCHS at the day of the event.

MINES TO BE VISITED: Guston, Robinson, Genesse-Vanderbilt, Yankee Girl, and discussion of the Mtn King, Barstow, and the Idarado. The tour will be by skis or snowshoes on the lower end of CR 31


Your expert guides will be:

Don Paulson, curator of the Ouray Museum: He will address the cultural and historical aspects of each site.

Rachel Boothby of the Uncompaghre Watershed Project (UWP). She will speak about reclamation needs and options.

CONTACT: More info/questions: Don Paulson, 325-0931;

RSVP: Rachel Boothby,


One of the more dramatic instances of point and counterpoint in Ouray County is the need to preserve the long silent historical mining structures of an era gone by and the modern-day need to remediate some of these mining sites to improve the health of our watershed. Many tourists come to Ouray County to explore mine sites and sift through the waste dumps for a shiny mineral or two. However, these structures are disappearing due to collectors’ uninformed intentions, simple neglect and the passage of time, and the fact there isn’t enough money to preserve them. Similarly, it has been documented that some of these same mine sites continue to have a negative impact on our watershed through their acidic mine drainage effluent containing harmful contaminants.

This is a fundraiser for the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) and the Ouray County Historical Society (OCHS) – to draw attention to the need for both historical preservation and remediation of mine sites. 

Proceeds are divided evenly between the two groups.

Southwest Colorado: Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad Winter Train

Enjoy the San Juan mountains in Southwest Colorado by riding the train!  The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has extended its Local Appreciation fares to ride the Cascade Canyon Winter Train on selected days in February.

This offer is available to residents in Colorado counties: Archuleta, Dolores, San Juan, La Plata, San Miguel, Ouray, and Montezuma; San Juan County in New Mexico and Utah; and Teec Nos Pos, Arizona.  Standard-Class coach seating is $20* for adults and $15* for children (ages 4 -11); Premium-Class seating is available for $45* for adults and $30* for children.   

The Cascade Canyon Winter Train departs at 10:00 a.m. and returns at 3:00 p.m.  The trip includes an approximate 45-minute break by the Animas River, deep in the heart of the San Juan National Forest. Tickets must be paid for at the time of booking. Proof of residence is required. Special fares may not be combined with any other offer or discount. Tickets are non-refundable and change fees do apply. *Fares subject to 4% Historic Preservation Fee.

Details on the Cascade Canyon Winter Train are available at Reservations for Local Appreciation fares must be made by phone at 970-247-2733 or at the depot.

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