Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Official Press Release: Continuing Education Class Comes to Wright Thanks to Local Geologist

Posted by The Wright Opera House on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 @11:56 AM


Local geologist Larry Meckel is bringing 'Our Restless Earth', a 5-week continuing education class to the Wright Opera House as a benefit to help raise funds for the restoration of the facility. 

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Third Annual Fiber Festival in Ridgway this September

Posted by Sandy Kern on Sat, Aug 22, 2015 @03:10 PM

Weehawken Creative Arts Presents Third Annual Fiber Festival!

2015 is the third year of the Sneffels Fiber Festival held at the Ouray County 4-H Center south of Ridgway.  The event will be open on Saturday, September 26(from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, September 27 (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The festival features six fee classes in felting, knitting, and Tunisian crochet and free demonstrations on these and other topics, such as weaving, throughout the show.  There are over twenty vendors featuring everything from roving to unique finished products that involve fiber in some form.  A display of beautiful art quilts from The Raven Mavens of Grand Junction will decorate the walls and delight and excite the eyes. 

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Tags: things to do in ridgway colo

San Juan Skyway - an Amazing Scenic Drive

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 @02:12 PM

Start in Ouray, and Finish in Ouray, this drive encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado!

Whether you are travelling in a vehicle, or on your motorcycle, a trip on the San Juan Mountain Skyway is a great way to tour Southwest Colorado.

Because it is a circular route, you can virtually start anywhere along the way. A favorite starting point for me, of course, is Ouray. Travelling south on Highway 550, The Million Dollar Highway, the trip begins with drastic views as it follows along the Uncompahgre Gorge. 

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Tags: san juan skyway, southwest colorado

Wildlife Abounds Near Ouray All Year

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Sat, Aug 15, 2015 @02:45 PM

Wildlife share Ouray with us in exchange for the occasional glimpse.

deeratthetubsYou don’t have to look very far or hard to see wildlife in Ouray. It certainly isn’t common to be warned not to feed the animals outside your hotel room door, or to watch the hills as you travel north so as to catch a glimpse of the Bighorn Sheep (more likely, you will wind up sitting in the highway for quite some time as they pose for photos) For a long time, there was an old ewe living in the park, but after several relocation efforts, she and her family finally decided that the grass actually is greener about a mile outside of town off of county road 14. 
mooseA few fortunate people have caught sight of moose as they travelled different four wheel drive trails in the summer, and Silverton actually has frequent updates on Moose sightings around the area. Elk do not come into town as often as they once did, but just a few miles north can still be seen in small numbers grazing in the open fields by the cemetery. And of course, the photo of the elk standing on the steps of the Elks Lodge years ago is not a hoax, but was once a common occurrence. 
elk-23The town deer seem to have figured out that they are safest here in the city limits, especially during hunting season. Jack is a huge buck who has made a backyard on Second Street his home for at least six years. He majestically swaggers about town with a full sense of entitlement, safe in the knowledge that no one will harm him. The old floppy eared doe that frequents Second Street is battle scarred and bold. I know we shouldn’t have favorites, but she impresses me. Over the years, she has raised a couple of sets of twins in the field across the street from the Box Canyon. 
red_fox_scanningThe little red fox who lives by the hot springs tubs is somewhat more shy, but in the evenings can be seen scurrying from here to there, and I have even seen him running across the street with a field mouse or rabbit in his mouth. There is a Lynx living on the north side of town that has been glimpsed a few times, but it is almost as shy as the mountain lions and wolves in the area.
The black bear living somewhere near the Box Canyon Park has wandered into town a few times. bearsShe and a couple of other young bear made Ouray their personal playground a couple of summers ago, and it almost became the norm to see them at least a few times a week lumbering down the side streets and alleys. Not as often this year, thanks to stricter rules regarding garbage disposal, and a more conscious town as a whole.
It’s not that we don’t cherish every time we catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, but part of sharing the land with them is respecting that first of all, these are in fact wild animals; it is not unheard of for even a deer to attack if it feels threatened. Bear have a two strike rule; the second time they are caught in an area inhabited by people, they are put down. Mountain lions have three strikes, and so on. Not to mention, people food is bad for animals. They cannot digest the preservatives we put in our treats; it stays in their stomachs, taking up space, and blocking real food and nutrients from doing their jobs. Even if we aren’t personally feeding them scraps, leaving garbage where it is easily accessible also teaches animals they do not have to work for their food, and lessens their natural fear of us. No one wants to be even partially responsible for one of these beautiful creatures being destroyed. 
blackswift-2Birds of every variety make Southwest Colorado home; Jays, Eagles, Swallows, Owls, and the list go on and on. The Box Canyon Waterfall Park is one of the few known nesting sites for the Black Tailed Swift. Flocks of Wild Turkeys can be spotted in fields all over the area, often close to the highway. Bald Eagles nest outside of Ridgway, around the reservoir, and can be seen surveying their territory either on the wing, or still as statues in tree tops close to the water. At a distance, you might mistake one for a falcon or hawk diving from the sky to capture small prey below. Wild geese and ducks form V’s across the skies, and Woodpeckers join the melee of sound with their own recognizable efforts. 
baldeagleSummer at the Box Canyon Lodge is a frenzy of activity as the hummingbirds arrive and feast at the many feeders positioned around the property. A virtual rainbow of wings and crests surround the front office as Black Chinned, Magnificent and Broad Tailed hummingbirds vie for treats. Everywhere you look in and around Ouray, there are creatures beside and above us. And if you don’t happen to actually see something, you can be sure that they are there, just on the other side of that tree or hillside. 
Evenings and early mornings, a soak in our all natural hot spring tubs are often shared with at least on or two deer, as they graze and enjoy the warm moist ground near the hot springs.
Ouray, southwest colorado
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Tags: wildlife viewing, ouray colorado

Ouray County Ranch Rodeo this September!

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Mon, Aug 10, 2015 @05:07 PM

Celebrate over 90 Years of Ranching History in Ouray County this Labor Day Weekend!

In September of 1920, the Ouray Cattlemans Association announced The Cattleman's Day Celebration and Old Timers Picnic outside of Ridgway. In addition to bucking broncos and horse races, there was an airplane exhibit and a giant barbecue at the town park, followed by a dance in the evening. The event has changed some, now drawing people from across the states to celebrate a good old fashioned Rodeo!

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Tags: ouray, ridgway event

Ouray County Museums Offer History and Fun

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Sat, Aug 08, 2015 @11:49 AM

Mining, Ranching and Railroads! Ouray County is filled with stories!

oldmineAlthough the images of miners are prevalent, the history of Ouray County extends far beyond. Originally develpoed as a junction for the Denver Rio Grande Railroad, Ridgway soon turned to ranching and farming to become a prosperous community despite the closure of the rails.

Movies like True Grit were filmed in Ouray County, highlighting the splendor and beauty of the San Juan Mountains. Many a famous traveller has passed through our little county, leaving their mark in our history books. 

Did you know that Ouray was one of the first cities to boast electricity in our homes and businesses? Or that Ouray is home to the largest collection of Mesker Brothers facades?

Learn more about this amazing area in our variety of Museums!

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Tags: things to do in ouray colorado, ouray museum, things to do in ridgway colo

Official Press Release - Ridgway Capitalizes on its True Grit Connection

Posted by Eve Becker-Doyle on Mon, Aug 03, 2015 @09:42 AM

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in the new True Grit Walking Walking Tour in Ridgway.

We met at the visitors center by the Railroad Museum, a testament to the history of the railroad and how it influenced the conception of the town.

Fridays in Ridgway are also when the Farmers Market is in the park, so the pleasure of walking through town is accentuated by the sounds of live music wafting through the air.

Even those who are not familiar with the film, or perhaps not avid fans, would not be able to help feeling caught up in the genuine excitement and interest of the guides. A smattering of history is also part of the tour, and Southwest Colorado is filled with fascinating and exciting stories from our not so distant past.

The following press release from the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce highlights quite a bit of information:

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Tags: southwest colorado, things to do in ridgway colorado

Official Press Release - Mt. Sneffels Marathon and Half Marathon

Posted by Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation Press Release on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 @03:15 PM


Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation

Race Contact:

John Ferguson (970) 325-0228

Sponsorship Contact:

Heather Anderson (970) 318-8432

 July 27, 2015


 Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation Hosts Full and Half-Marathon; 

U.S. Olympic Runner Set to Defend Her Title

mtsneffelslogo2-1Ouray, CO – With an anticipated record number 800 runners from across the country, including two returning champions and course record holders, the Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation (MSEF) is hosting its fifteenth annual half-marathon and its fifth-annual full marathon on Saturday, August 8, 2015. In addition to being MSEF’s largest races ever, they could also be the fastest ever, thanks to a new course route that has eliminated significant hills. 

Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team (10,000 meter) and current MSEF half-marathon women’s champion, is returning this year to defend her title. Cherobon-Bawcom also holds the current U.S. 10-mile record. John Ferguson, past MSEF president and current race organizer, says, “Janet is one of the most talented runners our race has seen. We’re thrilled she’s returning to Ouray County to compete again!”

Other elite runners competing in this year’s races include men’s defending half-marathon champion and course record holder Mario Macias, 2-timer Colfax Marathon winner Heather Utrata, Jordan Chipigama (1:02 at this year’s San Diego Half-Marathon), and Ridgway’s own Angie Sandy, who boasts a 2:48 best marathon time.

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Tags: ouray event, southwest colorado races, marathons

San Juan Chamber Music Festival Returns to Ouray County

Posted by Faith Parry on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 @04:59 PM

Ouray County Performing Arts Guild (OCPAG) is a non profit organization, bringing quality events in music, dance, theater and other genres to Ouray and Ridgway.

Each year, The San Juan Chamber Music Festival boasts a variety of talented musicians both performing and sharing classical music knowledge. Music lovers can look forward to another year of amazing concerts at this year's San Juan Chamber Music Fest!


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6th Annual Ouray Canyon Fest this August 9-15, 2015

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 @06:07 PM

Ouray Canyon Fest to be Held in Conjunction with the 14th Annual Rendezvous International for Canyoneering.

Ouray is the perfect location for outdoor adventures. locals and visitors alike enjoy hiking and backpacking, exploring over 500 miles of four wheel drive trails, as well as rock climbing, ice climbing, back country skiing, and generally anything that involves getting outside and experiencing the amazing place in which we live. Most recently, enthusiasts have discovered the wonders of Canyoneering, a combination of climbing, rapelling, hiking, and often, swimming.

What's not to love about this challenging sport?

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Tags: canyoneering, ouray event