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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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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! 






A Place for History and Culture: Ouray Colorado


Hard Rock Miner Statue in Ouray ColoradoOuray Colorado: National Historic District Maintains Character in Colorado Mountains

Take a step back in time and experience Ouray's turn-of-the-century heritage through legends, ghost towns, and our distinctive mining town charm. As Fall begins to fade into early winter, a sense of the past in Ouray County seems a bit more profound. 
  • whinnerah houseSaunter through the quiet streets and appreciate the Victorian architechture, restored historic buildings, friendly locals and peaceful atmosphere. Enjoy the walking tour of Ouray, strolling past homes and buildings virtually unchanged since they were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s when the town was first founded. 
  • Visit with Ouray's numerous artisans and galleries. Explore history through the art and antiques of the area. Local talent is immense, and encompasses every taste.
  • Enjoy live music and partake in the area's numerous concerts, festivals, and theater productions. From ballets and plays at the Wright Opera House to rock and roll at one of our local pubs, Ouray is rich with cultural experiences.
  • ouray county museum evelyn walsh mccleane roomLearn about the area's mining, ranching, and railroad heritage through museums and tours. Once the local hospital, the Ouray museum is itself an historic exhibit. The Ridgway Railroad Museum is dedicated to the preservation of railroad equipment, artifacts, historical data, books and photographs of Ouray County and the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Take a journey back in time and experience the history these museums have to offer!
  • Participate in the many visual and cultural art workshops. Photography, painting and wood working classes just to name a few of the opportunities to expand your knowledge and appreciation of the area abound! Weehawkin Creative Arts is one facility offering a range of classes and lectures. 
  • ouray ice park trailTake a tranquil hike and self-discover the area's multitude of historic 1800's era cultural sites. Regardless of the time of year, there are always trails to explore in and around Ouray. Each will travel over spectacular terrain in a journey to the past, with nothing but scenery and perhaps an old mine to explore.
  • Stroll Main Street and enjoy over 50 shops and restaurants with unique arts, crafts, fashion boutiques and culinary delights.
    gator emporium ouray colorado shopping2With the holidays fast approaching, visiting the shops and galleries is ideal to find the perfect gift for that special person.
The brisk weather carries a memory of times gone by, when miners would retreat from the hunt for treasure to warm themselves in town at one of the saloons or in the therapeutic mineral hot springs.


This Fall enjoy a haunted getaway in Southwest Colorado


Halloween in the San Juan Mountains is filled with spooky fun for all ages!

Not sure where to find the best haunted adventure this month? Look no further than Ouray and the surrounding area!

Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Rocky Horror Picture Show 02Prepare to be scared at the Rocky Horror Picture Show playing at the Wright Opera House in Ouray at 9:00 pm each evening..... Well, you may not be scared by the movie, but the cult classic will be played out in its traditional fashion, with local actors performing the film lives onstage. Don't forget your props or the words to the Time Warp, as you follow the misadventures of Brad and Janet singing their way through an evening with the mad Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his bevy of unusual friends. This film is explicit, and not for children.

Also on Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22, 2011, as well as the weekend prior, October 15 and 16, 2011, Ride the Pumpkin Patch Express out of Durango, Colorado and join the Peanuts gang on an adventure through the Pumpkin Patch, with games, entertainment and a plethora of great family fun. Trains depart each day at about 3:00pm and the entire trip is about three hours long. Remember to wear your costumes, and take part in Trick or Treating before you get your picture taken with your favorite Peanuts character!

halloween-pumkinIf you don't feel like going all the way to Durango, have no fear! On Saturday, October 22, 2011, head on down to the Ridgway town park for the Childrens Harvest Festival. Featuring carnival games for the kids and vendors selling all types of local beers enjoy an afternoon of fun and entertainment as the band Whiskey in the Morning plays a free concert from 3:00pm till dusk.

After the concert in Ridgway, head on back to Ouray October 22, 2011 for the Ouray Elks Annual Haunted Dinner and Costume Ball from 6:30 pm on. Wear your costume for a chance to win door prizes and best costume prizes, as you enjoy such culinary delights as Eye Ball Soup and Tombstone Cake. Get yourself something special at the silent auction, and sing your heart out to live Karaoke.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Hound of the Baskervilles clip image001Head on over to the Wright Opera House Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. to solve one of Sherlock Holmes most terrifying mysteries at the Ouray county Players presentation of The Hound of the Baskervilles Live Radio Show. This is a onetime only presentation, so be sure to get your tickets early.

After the play, put on your costume and grab a designated driver to head on down to Ridgway; Friday, October 28 from 9:00 p.m. till 1:00 a.m. for the Wicked Weehawken presentation of a Nightmare on Cora Street at the new Ridgway location on Cora Street. Dance the night away to live music performed by Ash Cloud, and take advantage of a half price cover charge if you wear your costume!

Cover with costume- $5.00, without costume - $10.00.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

trick or treatStart the evening off with the kids Saturday October 29, from 6:00 until 8:30 pm at the Ouray Elks Haunted House, themed after the film Cowboys and Aliens. A costume contest and scary adventure await kids of all ages as you tour through the Lodge with thrills and chills at every turn.

Keep your costume on for a chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate for staffs’ choice of Best Costume, which will be presented at 9:00 pm at the Ouray Brewery. Indulge in a Growlette as you enjoy live music performed by Andrew Wynne from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spend Sunday October 30, 2011 exploring the beautiful scenery of Southwest Colorado and rest up for the festivities to come. Soak in the Mineral Hot Springs, or shop the Main Street Stores for treasures that cannot be found anywhere else.ouray mountains in october

Monday, October 31, 2011

skeletonHappy Halloween! Monday October 31, take the little ones downtown in their costumes for the Ouray Main Street Halloween celebration. From 3:00 pm til dark, around 6:00 pm, Trick or Treat in a safe environment as you go from shop to shop for Halloween goodies and warm cheer.

After the kids have had a chance to rummage through their goodies, brushed their teeth and gone to bed, head on over to O'Brien's Pub and Grill for the Fifth Annual Halloween Costume Bash. Monday, October 31 celebrate All Hallows Eve to live music and dancing with prizes for the best costume to be won. There is no cover charge, and the parety starts at 9:00 pm.



Ouray’s Wine Country ~ Delta County is about to “Wine-Down”.


As temperatures drop in Southwest Colorado, winemakers are scrambling to share a few more bottles of wine before they close for the season.

There are still some opportunities to take a trip, spend a quiet fall day in the area and enjoy a tasting or two. 


Red, Whites, and Blues:

dinner in the vineyard ourayStone Cottage Cellars of Paonia, Colorado, is celebrating local wine, local food and local music on Saturday, October 15, from 4-7 pm.  Join us at the cellar door for wood-fired pizza, a glass of red, a glass of white and a relaxing evening of Blues and Jazz, all overlooking the ripening vineyard with Mount Lamborn in the distance.  Talented local musician, Mike Gwinn, just back from a reunion tour of Southern California, will lend his guitar and vocal artistry to an evening of Blues and Jazz.  The tang of wood smoke and the crisp, fall mountain air invite you to enjoy a slice or two of pizza and a glass or two of award-winning Stone Cottage Cellars wine while watching the sun slide beneath the horizon.   As part of its long-standing commitment to music in the North Fork Valley, Stone Cottage Cellars will donate 10% of all sales on Saturday, October 15 to the Paonia High School Music program.  Come on out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather, grab a slice of pizza and a glass of wine, pick up your wine for the holidays and help support music in our local schools, all while immersed in some of the smoothest Blues and Jazz on the Western Slope.

 For more information contact Stone Cottage Cellars at or 970-527-3444. Stone Cottage Cellars, 41716 Reds Rd. Paonia, CO  81428

 Ladies Night at Black Bridge Winery:

wine and chocolateLadies, this will be a very fun night so save the date.  October 2oth, we are going to throw one last Chocolate night grand finale with yet more delicious chocolate from our friend Ann Dennison as well as a special showing of the movie Chocolate with super cutie Johnny Depp.  Enjoy an evening of Johnny, chocolate beverages, chocolate drizzled popcorn, chocolate dipped apples, wine (of course!) and more.   Cost is $10 pp and includes tasting, movie and lots of fun.  It’s getting chilly so don’t forget to bring a sweater.  Call 527-6838 to make your “resy” today!

If you need to consider lodging try: Fresh and Wyld Farmhouse Inn, A Simpler Time B&B, The Bross Hotel; or in Hotchkiss, Hanson Mesa B&B.

 Wine-Down Fridays:

ourays wine countryBlack Bridge Winery will host 3 more Wine-Down Fridays, the 14th, 21st and 28th of October. From 5-7 they will have a wine happy hour.  Enjoy light snacks and an excellent selection of wines for $5 a glass, also available by the bottle.  Check out their selection of artisan bread and cheese for a light dinner or feel free to bring a picnic and dine alfresco down by the river. The brick oven pizzas will be available too! 

It’s getting chilly so don’t forget to bring a sweater.  Call 527-6838 to make your “resy” today!

If you need to consider lodging try: Fresh and Wyld Farmhouse Inn, A Simpler Time B&B, The Bross Hotel; or in Hotchkiss, Hanson Mesa B&B.

Come on into Ouray’s Wine Country down in Delta County and take a tour before the winemakers head for the cellars to create some wonderful wines. Maps for Tours can be found at Hardins Natural Foods/Liliputian Winery, right on Hwy 92 a few miles before you reach Hotchkiss. Look for the big yellow sun sign. Delicious Orchards also has maps and a tasting room. They can be found on Hwy 133 just outside of Paonia. Watch for the big apple sign or the noticeable “Wine Tasting – Yarn” signs on top of the building. 

fall-foliage-owl-creek-passThere are only a few more days to enjoy the tours and the beautiful fall days. Grab some wine; order an organic turkey and other wonderful local products for your winter pantry. Then settle into a scenic Ouray winter. Enjoy the holiday festivals, ice climbers and local favorites. Sip some wine, savor some chocolate and share with friends.


About the author:  Kelli Hepler is a graphic artist and tourism professional that creates brochures, ads, pamphlets for her tourism clients with her company, Graphox Design and Advertising.  She makes her home in Delta, Colorado where she lives with her pet rabbit. contact-us

Solve a mystery this Halloween weekend in Ouray!


Enjoy a live radio show at the Wright Opera House!

Wondering what to do this Halloween weekend in Ouray? After a day full of scenic drives and downtown shopping, take in a play at the Wright Opera House, home of a rich history, and superb talent!

Possibly one of the most popular of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles is a shining example of true story telling.

wright opera house ouray coloradoThe Ouray County Players annual radio show will be filled with the intrigue and suspense of this fantastic tale, perfect for the season, combining a classic who-done-it with a supernatural twist. Director Mike Hockersmith, of the Ouray County Players has adapted the play into a live radio performance, which will feature Terry Kiser as Sherlock Holmes and Bryan Hall as Dr. Watson.  Thrill to the musical direction of Nancy Ziglar and sound effects of Nancy Nixon as you watch Mr. Holmes unravel the mystery of a centuries old curse on the Baskerville family.

Hired by James Mortimer, Holmes and Watson find themselves investigating the death of Sir Charles Baskerville, and threats made to his next of kin, Sir Henry Baskerville. Set on the moors of Devonshire, Watson and Holmes must unravel a plethora of mysteries that plague the Baskerville Estate. Originally published in the early 1900’s, The Hound of the Baskervilles consistently draws new generations of fans eager to read the spine tingling tale of the Baskerville ghost, a demonic hell-hound.

Tickets are available at Kristopher’s Culinaire, Wright Opera House, Mouse’s Chocolates, The Blue Pear and Buckskin Booksellers here in Ouray, Cimarron Coffee and Books in Ridgway, or The Ouray Silversmith in Montrose. Prices are $15.00 per person, or $30.00 per person.

Don’t miss this one time only performance on Friday, October 28, 2011.


Colorado Hot Springs Special this Fall: Ouray for Relaxation!


Box Canyon Lodge Offers Relaxation, Respite Between School Scramble & Holiday Hubbub

-Take advantage of discounted rates and recharge at Ouray’s Box Canyon Lodge Hot Springs Resort this fall-

relax this fall and winter in ouray coloradoYou’ve survived the back-to-school frenzy – pencils are sharpened, lunches are packed and the kids are settling into their new teachers and friends. Looking at your calendar it seems the holidays are just around the corner. But, there is just enough time before the holiday rush for a relaxing getaway to Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs in Ouray, Colo., dubbed “Switzerland of America.”

Bring the entire family or just your special-someone for an invigorating break from the frantic demands of everyday life. Book a room between Oct. 4-Dec. 25 to take advantage of Box Canyon’s off-peak rates, which offer up to $120 off per night. Box Canyon’s selection of accommodations includes standard rooms, small and large suites, a classic honeymoon suite with a balcony, and a spacious two-bedroom apartment suite with a full kitchen.

Just steps away from Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs, the town of Ouray provides a scenic and peaceful arena for unwinding and refreshing your spirits. Take a stroll among the shops and restaurants or picnic under the beautiful autumn foliage. Capture the vibrant landscapes and abundant wildlife in photographs, all the while soaking in the fresh mountain air.

If your vacation self craves a bit more adventure, Ouray will not disappoint. The endless list of outdoor activities includes hiking, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, Jeeping and rock-climbing. In wintertime attention turns to activities such as ice climbing, backcountry skiing and boarding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

natural hot springsSoak up the sensation of relaxation in one of Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs’ four natural hot springs hot tubs. These redwood tubs offer stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. Open every day of the year and for the exclusive use of Box Canyon guests, the hot springs are the perfect antidote to a hectic school/work/holiday schedule.

About Box Canyon Lodge

The Box Canyon Lodge is located in beautiful Ouray, Colo., nicknamed “Switzerland of America.” Box Canyon Lodge, a hot springs motel boasting four, all natural hot springs tubs, offers a peaceful location, clean, comfortable and nicely decorated rooms, meticulously-maintained grounds and warm, personal service. The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has been recognized by a variety of publications, receiving the “Award of Excellence” by the Colorado Connoisseur and Travel Holiday magazine and listed as one of Sunset magazine’s “Best of the West.” Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs has also earned the four key rating from Green Key, a well-known eco-rating program.



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