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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Upcoming Events in Ouray and Ridgway, Colorado: March 2012


Believe it or not, the best time to visit Southwest Colorado for a quiet escape filled with snow is in March!

box canyon lodge winter in ourayWhen considering a winter getaway with snow covering the ground in a pristine blanket of fresh powder ripe for snow angels and ski trails, the image of Christmas trees and New Year’s resolutions may come to mind. 

Not only is March the snowiest month in Colorado, offering the most prime skiing conditions, it is also one of the most serene times to visit the hot springs! Imagine soaking in the soothing 103 to 108 degree waters as snow falls lightly all around you, draping the trees and walkways in a surreal world of steam and beauty.


mountainfilm on tour logoFriday, March 2, 2012 - Mountain Film Festival 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center

Offering the opportunity to enjoy films previewed at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival, Mountainfilm on Tour travels to over 70 locations across the globe with a selection of films sure to inspire audiences with documentaries from around the world.

Contact: dZi Foundation



Phone: 970-626-9765

More Info: 

ridgway riverfest logoFriday, March 2, 2012 - Casino Night for Riverfest 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway

Head on down to the Sherbino for an evening of Black Jack, Roulette, Texas Hold 'em and more, playing on authentic tables in a great venue! The best part is that you are helping raise funds for a great cause! 

Contact: Deidra Krois


Phone: 9703180382

More Info: 

ouray elks lodgeSaturday, March 3, 2012 - Annual Elks Chili Cook-off 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Ouray Elks Lodge

The Ouray Elks once again presents its annual Chili Cook-off! Bring your secret recipe, and enter to win the title of Best Chili, but be sure to bring a big pot, because the public votes at the dinner beginning at 5pm. Of course, it may be more fun to enjoy the sampling of all of the great food, vote for your favorites, and enjoy the Silent Auction and raffle!

$10 adults, $5 for kids 5 - 12 years, and $25 for a family of 4.

Contact: Danny Wesseling

Phone: 626-5058

More Info:

Mountainfilm-on-tour-logoSaturday, March 3, 2012 - Mountain Film Festival, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center

Day Two of Mountainfilm on Tour, travelling to over 70 locations across the globe with a selection of films sure to inspire audiences with documentaries from around the world.

Contact: dZi Foundation


Phone: 970-626-9765

More Info: 

san juan hut logoSaturday, March 10, 2012 the Sneffels Half Loop Backcountry Nordic Ski Race, All Day Event 

Backcountry Skiers meet in the morning at the Last Dollar Trailhead for this Nordic race across some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in the San Juan Mountains.


Phone: 970-626 3033


second chance logoSaturday, March 10, 2012 5th Annual Wine & Whiskers Carnival, 5:30 pm to 12:00 am at the Ouray County 4H Event Center

Dancing, fashion, food and cocktails Mardi Gras style kick off this evening of fun and frivolity sponsored by the Second Chance Humane Society, providing a safe haven for our furry friends in search of forever homes.

Contact: Kelly Goodin


Phone: 626.2273

More Info: 

roland mccookFriday, March 16, 2012 ROCC Talk: History of the Ute People, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Ridgway Community Center at Town Hall

Join Roland McCook, member of the Uncompahgre Band of the Ute Indian Tribe of Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah in a lecture on the tribal history of the Ute People.


More Info:  

Saturday, March 17, 2012 St Paddy's Day Celebration all day at O'Brien's Pub & Grill

Where else would one celebrate St Patrick's Day? Excellent Irish food, and drink specials all day, then Happy Hour starts at four. Don't have too much fun too early though, Funkdafari will be there for a night of dancing and fun!


james mcmurtryFriday, March 23, 2012 James McMurtry Live 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Wright Opera House

Enjoy an exclusive performance from renowned singer song writer James McMurtry. Tap your feet to his unique blend of Texas Rock and Country.



Nordic Ski Race in the San Juan Mountains this March!


The Sneffels Half Loop Backcountry Nordic Ski Race on the Northern flanks of the Sneffels Range.

san juan hut logoSan Juan Hut Systems is proud to present this 34.4 full course, or 23.8 mile short course race through the majestic San Juan Mountains.  On March 10, 2012, backcountry skiers of all kinds will meet at the Last Dollar Trailhead above Telluride Regional Airport for a challenging race across the challenging terrain of Colorado.

cross country skiAll AT, Ransonee and classic Nordic skiers are invited to participate in this ultimate challenge which traverses the Alder Creek/Dallas Trail system, running hut to hut and aid station to aid station to benefit the Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the educational experiences of youth in Ouray County.

cross country irontonBoth courses will begin at the Last Dollar Trailhead. The Short Course will run approximately 24 miles, ending near Ridgway at the Blue Lakes Trailhead, with a total ascent of 3,990 feet, and a descent of 5,498 feet. The Long Course will run a little over 34 miles ascending 6,630 feet, with a descent of 9,057 feet ending at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, a perfect opportunity to soak your weary bones in the healing mineral hot spring waters in Ouray.

The entry fee is $100.00 per racer. 

Register by phone with San Juan Hut Systems: 970-626-3033. For more information visit: 








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!


Hot Spring Break Ouray Colorado Style


Box Canyon LodgeOuray, Colo. — Spring break doesn’t have to be all about sand in unmentionable places, girls gone wild and sweaty bars. This spring break do something really hot – book the Hot Springs Break Special at Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in Ouray, Colo. (a.k.a. Switzerland of America).

Visitors who stay two nights in March and April get the third night for 50% off, plus two free passes to the Ouray Hot Springs Pool. That’s a great discount off the typical room rate, which starts at $99/night, and a great way to visit the second largest all natural hot springs facility in the state. Choose from any of the Box Canyon’s well-appointed rooms, which include standard rooms, small and large suites, the romantic honeymoon suite, or the spacious two-bedroom apartment suite.

cross country irontonThere are a number of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Ouray – and nearly all of them are just steps from Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs. For instance, hire a guide and spend the day learning how to scale hanging walls of glistening ice at the world-famous Ouray Ice Park. You can even “earn your turn” and venture into the backcountry for some boarding or skiing in some of the most challenging terrain in Colorado. San Juan Mountain Guides offers classes and instruction for all abilities in both disciplines. Group discounts are also available.

Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs’ four natural hot springs hot tubs are the perfect way to top off a fun-filled day in Ouray. The tubs offer spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. The hot tub temperatures range between 103 and 108 degrees, offering one of the best ways to revitalize after a full day of ice climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. (The tubs are also a great respite after a challenging day of reading, napping, and relaxing!)

box canyon hotspringsThe hot springs water in Ouray doesn’t contain any sulfur, so it is free of the unpleasant odor sometimes associated with hot springs. The hot springs water, which is rich in sodium, manganese, iron, and sulfates, is not only good for the body, it is also good for the environment.  Box Canyon Lodge uses this natural resource to heat the motel during the winter months. Thanks to this green initiative, this green hotel has been able to reduce natural gas consumption by 70-percent in the past four years.

About Box Canyon Lodge (  The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs 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.


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!



2012 Race Series in Ouray County


This year, join your fellow runners in the Ouray County Race Series!

John Ferguson, track and field coach for Ouray School, and president of the Mount Sneffels Education Foundation, has been working with the community to create a race series beginning in May, which will comprise of six seperate races which will be held in Ouray County from May through October this year. Mr. Ferguson and his fellow Board Members believe that by linking the races, a broader awareness of Southwest Colorado and the varied terrain will reach more fitness enthusiasts to the area, making each race a more competitive experience.

mtsneffelsmarathonlogoEstablished in 1992, the Mount Sneffels Education Foundation operates within Ouray County to raise funds in order to provide support to projects in and around the area which fund innovative academic, artistic or cultural educational programs for students in Ridgway and Ouray. One of the most successful events sponsored by the foundation is the Mount Sneffels Half Marathon and Full Marathon every August, which will now be the fourth race in the series. Each race covers a different area in Ouray and Ridgway, offering runners and spectators alike a diverse taste of the San Juan Mountains.

Each race is not only an accomplishment, but an opportunity to see the San Juans in a different light. Additionally, any competitor participating in all six races, or five races and acting as volunteer for one will recieve a special fleeceprovided by An Eclectic Eye gift Shop in Ouray, Colorado.

trail running ouray coMay 28, 2012 - Compassion 5K, Ouray, Colorado

Beginning in Felin Park in Ouray, Colorado, this is the second annual Compassion Run, operating in conjunction with the Compassion Weekend in June which raises funds for families in need in Ouray County.

The running course will be an out and back loop and mostly follows the flat River Trail on the north side of Ouray along the Uncompaghre River.  

June 16, 2012 -  Trail Town 10-Miler, Ridgway, Colorado

This is the first year for this 10k race, which will begin in Trailtown in Ridgway, Colorado, following a course along County Road 10, or Cow Creek Pass, a beautiful stretch of trail.

mt sneffels half marathonJuly 4, 2012 - Ourayce 10K, Ouay, Colorado

Starting at Felin Park in Ouray, Colorado, this 10k run is a fantastic journey through some of the most beautiful terrain around.


August 11, 2012 - Mt. Sneffels Marathon/Half-Marathon Run/Walk, Ouray & Ridgway, Colorado

There will be three races again this year; a half marathon, which will begin at Fellin Park in Ouray, over County Road 17 and on to Ridgway, a full marathon, beginning in Ridgway, over the same course and back to Ridgway, and a one mile Kids Fun Run .

This year our half marathon is one of seven events around Colorado that is part of the USATF Colorado Grand Prix. We are hosting the USATF Colorado State Men's Half Marathon Championship. $2000 in prize money will be awarded ($1,000 for the men's championship). Prize money will be exclusive to USATF Colorado members and US citizens.

ouray trail runSeptember 29, 2012 - Ouray Trail Run, Ouray, Colorado

The Ouray Mountain Trail Run is a 14-mile endurance trail race organized to support local Ouray youth recreational programs/events. This challenging course circumnavigates the beautiful town of Ouray, Colorado nestled in the heart of the San Juan mountains.

October 21, 2012 - Rhythm Run 10K/5K, Ridgway, CO

The final run in the six month series, this 10k run begins in Ridgway, Colorado, supporting Ridgway High School Students participating in the Colorado Ambassadors of Music Europe Tour 2012.

ouray box canyon tubs

For more information on trail running and running races in Ouray and surrounding towns see our website which contains additional information on races in the vicinity of Ouray.

At the end of each race, what better way to wind down and relax than a long soothing soak in the healing waters of Ouray Counties all natural mineral hot springs? Join us as your running headquarters!











Romantic Weekend Getaway in Ouray : Things to do for Valentine's Day


The best restaurants in Ouray, Colorado make this a special Valentines Day for all!

There will be several dining options in town on Valentines Day, from simple and easy to decadent romantic feasts:

bon ton restaurantBon Ton -

5:30 pm to close - Romance is the flavor of the day at the famous Bon Ton restaurant this Valentines Day! Enjoy a variety of fine Italian cuisine either off menu, or sample one of the culinary masterpieces of the chef off of the Specials menu!

Buen Tiempo -

5:30 pm to close - Take your sweetie out for one of the best Margaritas you'll ever enjoy, and dine on the spicy fare of this fun and festive spot!

Goldbelt - 

11 am to close - For lunch or dinner, enjoy a marvelous sandwich or wrap and an icy beer, with couple specials all day long!

Mineshaft - 

5 pm to 9 pm - Don't want to go out on Valentines Day, but want to make an impression on your sweetie? Not a problem! The Mineshaft will be delivering all night, and what better way to impress that special someone than with a heart shaped pizza (upon request only) delivered to your door?

outlaw restaurant ourayOutlaw Steakhouse - 

5:00 pm to close - Share a lavish evening of seafood and prime rib cooked to perfection, either off menu or choose one of the couples specials of the evening.

Ouray Brewery - 

11 am to 9 pm - Come on in and celebrate "Love My Beer" night at the brewery! Beer specials will be running into the evening, a great way to enjoy together time!

BOXCANYONWINTERIf you are looking for a romantic, weekend getaway in Ouray Colorado, consider the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.  The lodge has a beautiful honeymoon suite and we can add many romantic touches to create the ambiance for a delightful weekend of romance and relaxation. We are offering a spectacular Romance Package for $199.00, which runs through March, or create your own package! Our staff will gladly help you to create a magical evening of surprises from champagne and roses, to romantic adventures in the great outdoors.


Come and soak in our mineral hot springs tubs, relax and enjoy!

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