Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Four Wheel Drive Conditions This October, 2015

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Mon, Oct 05, 2015 @07:16 PM

We have had the most glorious Fall.

The leaves still cling to trees all over the area, and despite the construction on the Million Dollar Highway, visitors have enjoyed the changing of the aspens in the high country for weeks now.

As the days get shorter, the weather in the high country is beginning to turn. Just the other day, news arrived that there was snow falling at the top of Red Mountin Pass.

The four-wheel drive trails have had a phenomenal season of great weather and have stayed open for quite a while, however, as the snow begins to cover the mountain tops, so must the passes begin to close.....

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

Million Dollar Highway Perfect for Colors Despite Road Construction

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Fri, Oct 02, 2015 @12:57 PM

The Million Dollar Highway has been lauded in countless articles around the world for its scenery and breath taking twists and turns. Travellers far and wide are humbled by the drastic views and non-existent shoulders. The lack of guard rails may seem like some adrenaline junkies idea of a funny joke, but is in fact more for safety. Guard rails in the winter would result in heavier pileup of snow and black ice, which would make the pass impassable.

With several Projects in progress on Red Mountain Pass, one might think to avoid this scenic byway, but it is still open for travellers at select times.

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Tags: fall foliage, scenic drives, ouray, fall colors

Fall Foliage Update - September 2015

Posted by Faith Parry on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 @12:57 PM
Fall is here, and the Colors are Magnificent!
I have done some adventuring in the past few days and it is a definite must to get out there and enjoy the beautiful warm fall days and the amazing splendor of color. Yankee Boy Basin is beautiful! Red Mountain Pass is in full flame of color! Last Dollar Road and Dallas Divide is spectacular! The weather is perfect! The sun is shining! Get out there and enjoy our amazing surroundings!
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Tags: ouray, fall colors, jeeping

Three Favorite Scenic Drives This Fall in and Around Ouray!

Posted by Hannah Hollenbeck on Mon, Sep 14, 2015 @10:05 AM

The fall season has begun in Ouray County! Cooler temperatures bring a spectacular array of golden

yellows, stunning orange and vibrant red colors to Ouray County’s already majestic scenery. Fall is the

perfect time to visit Ouray to enjoy warm afternoon hikes and crisp fall evenings in our natural mineral

hot springs.

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Tags: fall foliage, ouray, colorado, 4WD

Central City Opera Returns to the Wright This September 19, 2015

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @01:32 PM

Enjoy an evening at the Wright for a Special Presentation of "Smooth Operator" Presented by the Central City Opera Company!

Opera. Combining the ringing sopranos and deep tenors of the human voice with musical scores only made more magnificent in harmony, is an excursion into a world that is filled with the beauty of sound. Each score tells a tale of love and loss and triumph. There are no spoken words, the entire tale of a true opera is completely in song. The melody dances in your ears, creating images that only serve to intensify the performers on stage. A true and complete excursion into the power of the voice. Whether a seasoned participant or new to the art form, it is impossible not to appreciate the talent and grace of the performers.

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Tags: ouray event, things to do in ouray

Ouray Colorado boasts a variety of neighbors!

Posted by Faith Parry on Sat, Sep 05, 2015 @02:22 PM
If you even have a commute it might only be a few minutes, but often includes traffic jams of Big Horn Sheep coming down from higher elevations to lick the salt off the roads. These beautiful animals are avid climbers, if one or two are on Highway 550, look up and you can pick out several more sheep of varying sizes perched on the rocks and outcrops above the road. You can tell the difference between males and females by the size and shape of their horns. Male Big Horn Sheep have larger horns with bigger curls whereas females have smaller horns with not much of a curl.
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Tags: bighorn sheep, scenic drives, ouray, wildlife viewing

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