Book Now
Contact Us

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Follow Me

Browse by Tag

Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Best Five Snowshoeing Areas Around Ouray, Colorado

  
  
  

Snowshoeing in the San Juan Mountains - An Adventure Not to be Missed!

snowshoeing2So often when one thinks on winter activities, the mind travels to downhill skiing, ice climbing and snow mobiling. Speed and adrenaline rule the day! Snow shoeing and cross country skiing are often overlooked by many a winter enthusiast.

Whether you have never tried snow shoeing, or are a seasoned hiker, nothing can compare to traveling across fields of untouched snow; a sense of oneness with the forest around you. Granted the sport is a work out, but the beauty is that you can set your own pace, taking time to breathe in the phenomenal sights and awe inspiring silences of winter in the San Juans.

snowshoeing3Possibly the best thing about snow shoeing is that you can go virtually anywhere (within reason) that you might hike to in the summer months. As with hiking the back country in the summer though, it is very important to never snow shoe alone, have the proper equipment, be aware of the weather conditions and plan accordingly. If you did not bring all of the gear necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, you can always rent or purchase needed supplies here in Ouray at Ouray Mountain Sports on Main Street.

Once you and your friends have all of your gear, it is time to pick a trail. Ouray County boasts a large number of spectacular trails, however, it is important to base your final decision on your level of experience, snow and weather conditions, and the length of time you would like to spend on your adventure. Always remember that when you travel into the back country, you are entering possible avalanche areas. Be sure to check the snow and weather status before heading out, and remember it is always safer to go earlier in the day before the sun has had a chance to soften the snow too much.

It is hard to list just a few trails to explore, however after trying a few and speaking to some real snow shoeing enthusiasts, here are the top five trails ranging in difficulty that are highly reccommended:

1.) Uncompahgre River Trail - Easy

snowshoeing4 iceparkApproximately two miles round trip, this easy, extremely level trail is located right in Ouray and travels along the river. You will be sure to encounter fellow hikers and cross country skiers (proper snow pack provided), as this trail is great for beginners or for a quick stretch for the more seasoned snowshoer. This trail can be accessed either at the Ouray City Park or off of Oak Street on the other side of the river.

2.) Ice Park Trail - Easy to Moderate

Still in town, but a bit more challenging, the Ice Park Trail  is accessed off of Campbird Mine Road and offers breathtaking views of the Uncompahgre Gorge. You may be able to get a true bird's eye view of ice climbers below as you traverse the canyon above. The climb is not too extreme, but steep enough in spots to take your breath away. Offering a little of everything, the Ice Park Trail is a great adventure right out your front door.

3.) Ironton Park - Easy to Moderate

snowshoeing5Ironton Park is located about nine miles north of Ouray off of Highway 550 or the Million Dollar Highway. Known more for its beautifully groomed cross country ski trails, this is also an amazing spot for snow shoeing as well. Just remember the best way to give yourself a bad name as a snow shoer is to trample or otherwise alter the groomed tracks on a ski trail. Offering a variety of trail options, the easiest being the Townsite Loop. About 2 miles long, this trail takes you to some of the old buildings of the town of Ironton, where you can explore this old ghost town and imagine the lives of those who once called this area home.

Accessed off of the Townsite Loop are the Saratoga and Brooklyn Bash trail heads.

A short ways on the main loop will bring you to the trail head for Saratoga and Iron Fen. Although the mine is no longer visible, this trail takes you through a flat valley with views of the surrounding forest before taking you into the woods in a path leading back to the beginning junction. Along the way, the trail head to the Brooklyn Bash takes adventurers through a grove of aspens as you climb to the mine through thick bushes and a small creek, which may vary in difficulty depending on snow depth. Once past the mine and creek, the trail takes you back down to the Saratoga intersection.

4.) Yankee Girl - Moderate

Accessed off of County Road 31, a couple of miles north of Ironton Park off of the Million Dollar Highway, parking is a bit off the road, and may need a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to the trail head, but, believe me, its worth it! Climb up County Road 31 past the head structure of the once booming Yankee Girl Mine to the former site of Red Mountain Town, once home to over 1000 year round residents before looping back around for an easier descent. This 4 mile trail is a true adventure in history and scenic photo ops.

5.) Amphitheater Basin/Portland Mine - Moderate to Difficult

snowshoeingJust above Ouray to the south, the Amphitheater Basin offers some of the most talked about snow shoeing trails in the San Juans. At the entrance to the Amphitheater Campground, just before the bridge you will find the Portland Trail. Travel south up the road (it is steep) for about ten or fifteen minutes to the Portland Trailhead. Follow this trail past a serene meadow and unparalelled views of the Ampitheater until you eventually find yourself on a back jeep road leading to the Ouray Mine. this is an incredibly rewarding trail offering scenery well worth the climb.

ouray winterThis is just a small taste of the many opportunities to explore Ouray County in the winter. Literature abounds on snow shoeing and cross country ski trails, and please take advantage of the knowledge of the Ouray County Nordic Council, whose collective knowledge is responsible for the mapping and grooming of so many fantastic trails. The staff at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs are happy to connect you with the best possible guidance to ensure the safest and most pleasant adventure on your next snow shoeing expedition, and of course, what better way to finish off a day in the back country than to come home to the Box Canyon and enjoy a long soothing soak in our natural mineral hot spring tubs?

See you soon!

Events this February in Ouray and Ridgway, Colorado

  
  
  

Enjoy a New Adventure in Southwest Colorado this February!

mt.abrams6February. The shortest month of the year. With only 28 days in the month, the activities are filling the calendar for Ouray and Ridgway. At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, every day is Valentines Day, what with our awesome cedar tubs on the hillside, and our fantastic location, The Box Canyon is a perfect romantic escape, and this year, the month offers plenty of entertainment for couples and family alike!
From exciting performances at the Wright Opera House, to figure skating workshops at Rotary Park just outside of town, to karaoke, there is something for everyone in Ouray County this month!

Friday, February 1, 2013 - dZi Foundation presents Mountain Film on Tour

dzi logo6:30 pm to 10:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray, Co
The dZi Foundation, a non- profit program out of Ridgway, Co is pleased to present hand selected films from the Telluride International Film Festival at the Wright Opera House on Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2, 2013. Different films will be played each night. This is definitely a film festival to see!
Tickets are $10.00 per night

Friday, February 1, 2013 - Chris Knight plays Trail Town Still

9:30 pm to ?? At the Trail Town Still 240 Palomino Trail, Ridgway, CO
With his fun and unique music, an evening with Ridgways own Chris Knight is sure to be great fun!

Saturday, February 2, 2013 - ZIKR Masters Class

zikr.dance.25:30 pm to 7:00 pm at Weehawken Ridgway, 630 N. Cora St, Ridgway, CO
Join fellow experienced dancers in class with the ZIKR Dance Ensemble, a dance company rich in cultural dance as well as original and contemporary pieces.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 - dZi Foundation presents Mountain Film on Tour

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray, Co
The dZi Foundation, a non-profit program out of Ridgway, Co is pleased to present hand selected films from the Telluride International Film Festival at the Wright Opera House on Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2, 2013. Different films will be played each night. This is definitely a film festival to see!
Tickets are $10.00 per night

Sunday, February 3, 2013 - Super Bowl at the Sherbino

football4:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Co
Watch the big game in style on the giant screen at this Super Bowl Party!


Sunday, February 3, 2013 - ZIKR Dance Ensemble

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Wright Opera House Ouray, Colorado
Enjoy a spectacular show as this highly acclaimed dance ensemble perform a variety of dances ranging from historic rituals to modern original works. Celebrate the beauty of dance and music when combined to capture the true nature of the art of dance.
Adults: $15.00, Students $5.00

Sunday, February 3, 2013 - ZIKR Dance Ensemble

zikr.dance7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House Ouray, Colorado
Enjoy a spectacular show as this highly acclaimed dance ensemble perform a variety of dances ranging from historic rituals to modern original works. Celebrate the beauty of dance and music when combined to capture the true nature of the art of dance.
Adults: $15.00, Students $5.00

Monday February 4, 2013 - Ouray Library Book Event: Blazing Ice with Author John H. Wright

5:30 pm to 9:00 pm in the San Juan Room at the Ouray Community Center, Ouray, Co
The Ouray City Council and the Ouray Public Library are pleased to sponsor this evening with author John H. Wright as he discusses his book “Blazing Ice: Pioneering the Twenty-First Century’s Road to the South Pole”.

Friday, February 8, 2013 - Movies at the Wright Opera House

7:30 pm to end at the Wright Opera House, Ouray, CO
Enjoy a new film in this beautiful historic theatre.

Saturday, February 9, 2013 - Jayme Stone “Room of Wonders”

jaymestonewithmamasissoko7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray, CO
Join two-time Juno Award winning performer Jayme Stone for a night of his latest music from around the world!
Tickets are $15.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Students, or take advantage of our Wright Opera House Special!

Saturday, February 9, 2013 - Mardi Gras at the Sherb with Joint Point

8:00 pm to 12:00 am at the Sherbino Theater, Ridgway, Colorado
Head down to the Sherbino and dance the night away with this amazing jam band based out of Telluride!
Cover Charge is $5.00 per person.

Friday, February 15, 2013 - Movies at the Wright Opera House

7:30 pm to end at the Wright Opera House, Ouray, CO
Enjoy a new film in this beautiful historic theatre.

Saturday, February 16, 2013 - Mountain Air Music Series Fundraiser

mountainair.logo7:00 pm to 11:00 pm at O’Brien’s Pub & Grill in Ouray, Co
Support the Mountain Air Music Series at this benefit hosted by the Ouray Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - Ouray Elks Chili Cookoff

4:00 pm at the Ouray Elks Lodge, Ouray, Co
Enter for free to win the coveted prize of Best Chili, or just come and sample the many taste bud pleasing creations. Dinner and judging by the public is at 5:00 pm, with a silent auction and cash raffle later in the evening.
Entry is free, Dinner/Judging is Adults $10.00, Children 5-10 $5.00, or $25.00 for a family of four.

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - ROCC Spaghetti feed Dinner

* spaghetti6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center in Ouray, Co
Join guest speaker: NPR commentator Craig Childs for a talk focusing on Natural Science, Archaeology and journeys into the wilderness as you enjoy a fantastic spaghetti dinner.

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - Live Music at O’Brien’s Pub

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm at O’Brien’s Pub & Grill in Ouray, Co
An evening of toe tapping fun listening to the talented Rob Webster play the night away.

So come to Ouray County and enjoy the soothing mineral hot springs after a day of fun! Whether you are planning a romantic getaway, a winter sports extravaganza or a peaceful escape, let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you plan your ideal Colorado Vacation this February!

 

Wright Opera House Welcomes Jayme Stone to Ouray this February!

  
  
  

Jayme Stone's "Room of Wonders" February 9, 2013 at the Wright Opera House in Southwest Colorado!

Jayme StoneIt is easy to see the resemblance of the original banjo in more modern stringed instruments, each of which has a truly distinctive sound.

Dating back hundreds of years, the first banjo is a prime example of the evolution of modern music. The first record of similar instruments dates back to West Africa, and slowly spread across all of Africa into the Far East and the Middle East as early as the 17th century.

Following the journey of the banjo through the ages and all of the folk music in which the instrument is so prevalent, Jayme Stone has captured the sound in a remarkable way. Stating once in an interview that his music is the kind you learn from people, not from books, Mr. Stone has traveled the path of the banjo, finding his inspiration in every aspect of the folk traditions from Brazil to Norway to his most recent collaboration with singer and kora maestro Mansa Sissoko in West Africa.

banjoThe end result is an auditory feast of music unlike anything you may expect when you hear the word ’banjo’. The two-time Juno Award winning artist will be joining us at the Wright Opera House in Ouray, Colorado this February 9, 2013 for a performance sure to please.
Built in the 1800’s by the Wright family in the hopes of bringing more cultured entertainment to the wild mining town, then falling into disrepair in the late 1980’s, the Friends of the Wright are re establishing the dream, and continue to bring such talented artists as Jayme Stone to perform at the Wright Opera House. 

tub.soakingSpend the weekend in Ouray, and let us help you create a perfect escape from the day to day. Winter sports and activities in Ouray County and the surrounding area abound, followed by a soothing soak in our mineral hot spring tubs. A short trip up to Main Street offers a plethora of shopping opportunities, and dining options sure to please any palette. Then the evening really kick off as you head to the Wright Opera House to enjoy an exciting and fun concert! The concessions at the Wright offers not only soda and popcorn, but also wine and beer to enjoy as you tap your feet to the timeless music of Jayme Stone.

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is offering a special rate of $125.00, which includes one night for two in one of our guest rooms and two tickets to see Jayme Stone on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Doors open at 5:30pm and the show begins at 7:30pm....Plenty of time to enjoy dinner in Ouray then get settled for the show.

See You Soon!

Ouray Welcomes Climbers to the Best Ice Festival Ever!

  
  
  

Whether competing, or just ready for some icy climbing action from the sidelines, The 18th Annual Ouray Ice festival is the place to be this January!

iceclimberIt is hard to believe that just a few short years (well, 22 to be exact) ago, a few industrius adventurers gathered at the Uncompahgre Gorge with sprinkler heads and PVC pipes to flow water over the sides of the gorge and ‘farm’ ice. Today, The Ouray Ice Park boasts over 200 climbs, and plays host to one of the most widely attended Ice Festivals in the world. Atheletes from all over make the journey to Ouray every January to compete with the best of the best on Ouray’s ice and mixed terrain.

Every year since its conception, the Ouray Ice Park has grown to suit the ever changing skills and tastes of the athletes who choose this grueling sport. And this year is no exception.
In addition to a new 25 foot overhanging tower erected for the end of the elite mixed climbing comp route, and over $16,000.00 worth of prize money, Lowa will be sponsoring the Hari Berger Speed Climbing competition, sure to be an exciting event!
The schedule of Events for the 18th Annual Ouray Ice festival is as follows:

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

icefestcompetitorsMain Street Theater: (630 Main Street) 6:30pm to 9:00pm
• Presentation by Sam Elias, Beer provided by the Colorado Boy Brewery, $15
Beaumont Grill: (505 Main Street) 9:00pm to 11:30pm

Join us at the Historic Beaumont Hotel for the Annual Ouray Ice Festival Kick-off Party, hosted by the American Alpine Club, beer, food,
and prizes, FREE! Come get your Ice Fest psych on!

Ice Park: 9:00am to 3:00pm
• Outdoor Gear Expo; 9:00am-3:00pm, free gear demos, ask info booth about gear card!
• Interactive Clinics; 9:00am & 12:30pm, sign up online.
• Walk-up Climbing; sponsored by La Sportiva; It’s your turn to climb! 10:00am-3:00pm, Ages 18+, Free
• Zip Line – sponsored by Caldera Resources; Enjoy the Thrill! 12:00pm-3:00pm, Ages 6+, Free
Ouray Community Center (340 6th Ave) 5:00pm to 8:30pm
• Dinner, New Belgium Beer, $20
• Indoor Gear Expo; Check out the latest climbing gear! Mingle with the athletes.
• Silent Auction; Come bid on great gear!
Main Street Theater (630 Main Street) 8:30pm to 10:00pm
• Ines Papert presents “Rock and Ice“, Beer provdied by the Ourayle House Brewery, $15
Wright Opera House (472 Main Street) 9:00pm to 11:00pm

Film Tour – The Incan Odyssey, presented by Marmot, beer provided by the Ouray Brewery, $10 - free commemorative pint glass!

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

icefestIce Park: 9:00am to 3:00pm
• Outdoor Gear Expo; 9:00am-3:00pm, newest gear! Ask info booth about gear card!
• Interactive Clinics; 9:00am & 12:30pm, sign up online.
• Elite Mixed Ice Climbing Competition; 9:00am -3:00pm
• Kid’s Climbing College; sponsored by Caldera Resources and the Woman’s Club of Ouray, 10:00am-3:00pm, Ages
8-17, Free
• Walk-up Climbing; sponsored by La Sportiva; It’s your turn to climb! 10:00am-3:00pm, Ages 18+, Free
• Zip Line – sponsored by Caldera Resources and Khristopher’s Culinaire; Enjoy the Thrill! 10:00am-3:00pm,
Ages 6+, Free
Ouray Community Center (340 6th Ave) 7:00pm to 10:00pm
• Multi-media presentation Hayden Kennedy, Beer by Ska Brewing, $10 - free commemorative pint glass!
• Live Auction; Exciting climbing gear, artwork, and collectibles!
Wright Opera House (472 Main Street) 8:00pm to 10:00pm - Adventure Film
• Cory Richards / The North Face Beer provided by the Ouray Brewery, $15 - free commemorative pint glass!
Ouray Community Center (340 6th Ave) 10:30pm to 1:00am
• Petzl / Arc’teryx Lost in Space Party, $10

iceparklogoIce Park: 9:00am to 2:00pm
• Ouray Ice Festival Hari Berger Speed Comp, sponsored by Lowa; 10:00am.
• Interactive Clinics; 9:00am, sign up online.
• Outdoor Gear Expo; 10:00am-2:00pm, newest gear! Ask info booth about gear card!
• Kid’s Climbing College; sponsored by Caldera Resources and the Woman’s Club of Ouray, 10:00am-2:00pm,
Ages 8-17, Free
• Walk-up Climbing; sponsored by La Sportiva; It’s your turn to climb! 10:00am-2:00pm, Ages 18+, Free
• Zip Line sponsored by Caldera Resources; Enjoy the Thrill! 10:00am-2:00pm, Ages 6+, Free
• ASOLO Awards Ceremony, at the Outdoor Gear Expo; 2:00pm.

Sunday, January 13th, 2013


Kids WallIce Park: 9:00am to 2:00pm
• Ouray Ice Festival Hari Berger Speed Comp, sponsored by Lowa; 10:00am.
• Interactive Clinics; 9:00am, sign up online.
• Outdoor Gear Expo; 10:00am-2:00pm, newest gear! Ask info booth about gear card!
• Kid’s Climbing College; sponsored by Caldera Resources and the Woman’s Club of Ouray, 10:00am-2:00pm,
Ages 8-17, Free
• Walk-up Climbing; sponsored by La Sportiva; It’s your turn to climb! 10:00am-2:00pm, Ages 18+, Free
• Zip Line sponsored by Caldera Resources; Enjoy the Thrill! 10:00am-2:00pm, Ages 6+, Free
• ASOLO Awards Ceremony, at the Outdoor Gear

Since the first Ice festival organized by Jeff Lowe in 1996, The Ouray Ice Park and its founders and volunteers have worked tirelessly to grow while maintaining the original concept of a free park for everyone, from the most seasoned to the newest climber on the ice.

Make it a point to show your support while experiencing one of the most fascinating extreme sports around this winter!

 


 


All Posts
mountain flowers