Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

San Juan Skyway - an Amazing Scenic Drive

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Sat, May 28, 2016 @09:13 AM

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. 

Read More

Tags: san juan skyway, southwest colorado

4WD Road Conditions Around Ouray, May 2016

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Sat, May 21, 2016 @07:59 AM

Adventures in the High Country are Starting to Open Despite the Damp Spring


 True to the old addage, "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes, or drive ten miles", Mother Nature has definitely kept us on our toes this Spring! April and May have brought much needed moisture to the high country, and the weather has been an adventure in and of itself!

As we all know, if it's raining in Ouray, it's most likely snowing just a short ways up the road. This is great for the snowpack, but not so much for our dedicated road crews as they work to clear high country trails for avid explorers.

Due to snow last week, county crews were forced to delay snow removal on some of the higher passes, beginning again on Monday, May 16. It has been slow going, but our guys will perservere, and currently forcast most should be open by the first part of June.

Some trails are already open, if not all the way, at least far enough for adventurers to get a tast of the season to come. The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs work to keep up to the minute information regarding jeep trail conditions.

Read More

Tags: ouray, 4WD, jeeping

Mountain Air Music Series Returns to Ouray this June!

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Tue, May 17, 2016 @04:03 PM

Ouray, Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Nestled in a tiny box canyon, the mountains loom on all sides, providing majestic views in every direction. A day at Fellin Park is a wonderful way to spend some quality family time any day, but Thursdays in June are extra special. The Ouray Mountain Air Music Series is just about to begin again, with an amazing collection of talented artisits performing free concerts!

Friends and family gather to enjoy fun activities, great food and local beer, all to the toe tapping talent of two new bands each week!This year, the line-up has been announced, and if you haven’t already set aside the dates, now is the time to do so!

Read More

Tags: things to do with kids, ouray music, ouray, ouray event, Ouray Mountain Air Music Festival

Love Your Valley Fest Celebrates 125th Birthday of the Town of Ridgway!

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Tue, May 03, 2016 @04:07 PM

coldrivercity.jpgFeaturing the band 'Cold River City' out of Boulder, this years Love your Valley Fest will be held on Saturday, May 21st,  from 1pm to 6 pm in Ridgways Town Park.

Ridgways Annual Love Your Valley Fest is a free event, with $20.00 tickets available for beer tasting from over 20 Colorado Breweries. All proceeds from the event are to benefit the Ridgway Concert Series, free concerts in the park held every Thursday in July!

Read More

Tags: things to do in ridgway, ridgway event

Women in Ouray History

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sun, May 01, 2016 @12:29 PM

Although the written history of Ouray County primarily relates the stories of men, numerous women made important contributions to the early development of Ouray County.  Una Whinnerah, Kitty Heit, Helen Croft, and Cora Orendorf, all born in the 19th century, may not immediately come to mind when the history of Ouray is discussed but they made very important contributions.

Read More

Tags: ouray, history of ouray colorado

Cascade Falls in Ouray, Colorado

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 @03:15 PM

bcmwaterfall.jpgWith the sun shining on a lovely spring morning, it was without hesitation an invitation to go for a walk was accepted.  Sauntering out from the seclusion of the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, we looked at the Cascade falls, and decided to wander in that direction.

Cascade Falls can be seen from almost everywhere in town. From the Box Canyon Lodge, the waterfall can be seen flowing down the canyon wall beyond the sign. As the snow begins to melt in the high country, the waterfall is even more prominent, as the water roars into a stream, whch has been routed to a flume which directs the flow into the Uncompahgre River on its route through Ouray. Cascade Falls is easily reached by going straight up 8th Avenue. Once the road ends, there is a little parking area, and it is a short hike to the base of the waterfall.

Read More

Tags: ouray, hiking trails

Ouray: Waterfall Viewing in Colorado Peaks in May and Early June

Posted by Karen Avery on Sat, Apr 16, 2016 @12:53 PM

Southwest Colorado Waterfalls


Waterfall viewing in the late Spring and early Summer is delightful.  The thunderous roar of the water as it falls back to the ground amazes even the coolest teenager.  Ouray is home to three great year round falls that should not be missed, but, the springtime runoff proves exceptionally awe inspiring.

Read More

Tags: places to visit in colorado, things to do in ouray colorado, things to do in southwest colorado, things to do in ouray

Four Seasons in Southwest Colorado

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @06:11 PM

Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, the majesty of the San Juan Mountains is Second to None!


When the last of the snow has melted from the highest peaks, the rivers run high, and the reds blues and yellows of a world of flowers create a rainbow accross the land.

Read More

Tags: things to do in southwest colorado, colorado vacation, southwest colorado, ouray, "hot springs colorado", 4WD, san juan mountains

Scenic Drives in Ouray County this April

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Tue, Apr 05, 2016 @05:21 PM

Exploring Southwest Colorado Back Roads in April

It was another beautiful day in Ouray. With the sun shining and deep blue skies, the desire to go outside and enjoy Southwest Colorado was overwhelming. There was no other option but to jump in the car and see what there was to see. Heading North toward Ridgway, we decided to see if we could make it all the way to Cow Creek, on County Road 12. Although we weren't able to go further than a couple of miles, what beautiful drive it was!

Read More

Tags: scenic drives, ouray, 4WD, jeeping, san juan mountains

Wildlife Abounds Near Ouray All Year

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Fri, Apr 01, 2016 @11:12 AM

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


deeratthetubsYou don’t have to look very far to see wildlife in Ouray and the surrounding area.There are very few places that remind guests 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 Lodge. 
red_fox_scanningThe little red fox who lives by the hot springs tubs is quite a bit 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 over the past couple of years, 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 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 reduces 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
Read More

Tags: wildlife viewing, ouray colorado