Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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

Southwest Colorado Snowpack

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Sun, Mar 27, 2016 @06:24 PM

What is 'snow pack' and what does it mean to Ouray and the San Juan Mountains?

Snow Pack refers to the accumulation of snow and ice on the ground in the high mountains. Mainly occuring during the winter months, the amount of snow in the high country directly affects not only our little valley, but many surrounding areas as well. By January, 2016, the San Juan Mountains were at 118%, a significant amount above last years average. 

Read More

Tags: ouray, colorado scenery

Things to do in Ouray this April

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Wed, Mar 23, 2016 @09:57 AM

April in Ouray is a time of Peaceful Preparation.

Winter clings to the San Juans as Spring begins to awaken. Little snow showers are interspersed with flashes of green, as the new season struggles to the surface.  Shops and restaurants begin the process of cleaning out the taste of Winter, and anticipation is in the air. 

Read More

Tags: ouray, colorado, box canyon lodge & hot springs, colorado scenery

Ouray Colorado Hot Springs Historic Pictures from Ouray Museum

Posted by Karen Avery on Wed, Mar 16, 2016 @03:02 PM

The Ouray Museum is a glorious treasure filled to the brim with artifacts from earlier times.  All three floors of the former St. Joseph's Miner's Hospital are filled with artifacts, clothing, domestic appliances, books, newspaper articles, medical equipment, pictures, displays, and small diaramas seeking to explain the history of Southwest Colorado and specifically of Ouray and Ridgway.  

Read More

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