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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Mother's Day in Ouray!

  
  
  

Ouray Celebrates Mom, a gift she will treasure always!

mothersdayWe all have one. She is strong and soft at the same time. Ready with soothing words for damaged egos, and ready to kiss away your hurts no matter how old you are, Mom is a steadfast presence. Constantly watching, and sometimes nagging, but always ready to catch us if we fall. Every year, we wonder what to do for her that will make her eyes shine. How to show her how much we appreciate everything she has given to us?

Why not mix it up a little? Take mom for a nice scenic drive through some of the most amazing country in Southwest Colorado for a weekend getaway in the San Juan Mountains? 

guestsatthetubsOnce you arrive at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, enjoy a soak in the healing waters of our all natural mineral hot spring tubs. Mosey over to the lobby, and peruse our extensive video library for a movie you all can enjoy before heading out for a fabulous dinner in one of the wonderful restaurants on Main Street. 

After dinner, enjoy the tranquil beauty of this tiny mining town as you watch deer graze in the field across the way, or up at the hot tubs themselves.

Sunday morning, May 11, 2014 is a day for leisurely relaxation, enjoying the company of family over a decadent Mother's Day Brunch.

waffleBack by popular demand, the Bon Ton Restaurant is reviving their famous Mother's Day Brunch! Offering favorites such as Belgian Waffles and Eggs Benedict, this champagne brunch is a decadent affair of taste bud tantalizing treats. The chefs at the Bon Ton invite you to enjoy a morning filled with fun and great food. Sure to impress mom with stellar service and a beautiful atmosphere, brunch at the Bon Ton is a great way to show her you care.

foodNestled in the middle of Main Street, Cavallo's Restaurant offers a plethora of pallet pleasing options with a Louisiana flare. Chef Sid will amaze mom with a menu offering everything from traditional to adventurous, as well as special items and a small gift for that special lady to remember her special day. Not just a brunch, but a dining experience, Cavallo's will surely make her eyes sparkle.

Why limit mom to choosing just one thing on the menu? The Ouray Elks will again be offering a buffet style brunch on Mother's Day, a savory selection of scrumptious cooking prepared by members of the Ouray Elks Lodge.

carnationIn memory of the mothers that couldn't share this Mothers Day with us in body, the Elks present a tribute to Mom, celebrating both those we have with us still, and those who have passed. A beautiful ceremony, accompanied with a single red carnation for Mom. What a lovely way to celebrate the day, and express our gratitude to the wonderful lady in our lives!

After Brunch, take a drive down to the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway and enjoy a special presentation by the Weehawken Dance Company: Dance Through the Ages. Enjoy great music and movement in this lovely historic venue!

Its a perfect day and a perfect way to celebrate the woman who made you who you are. She will remeber for years the special Mothers Day Escape with her favorite person in the world!

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help to create the getaway best suited to your Mother. Always here to help with reservations and full of recomendations for enjoying the San Juans, there is no better basecamp for your next Ouray adventure!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ridgway Event: Love Your Valley Fest

  
  
  

Festival in Southwest Colorado Celebrates Music and Family Fun!

countyroadridgwayRidgway, Colorado, founded in the 1890's to service the Rio Grande Narrow Guage Railroad, has grown up! When the railroad closed down in the late 1950's, the forecast was bleak. How would a little town built primarily for the rairoad survive? Another testament to the resilience of Southwest Colorado, when the railroad shut down, Ridgway dusted itself off, and spread its wings as it were, developing a thriving ranch community, and maintaining itself as the threshold of the San Juans.

At the base of the Uncompahgre Mountains, surrounded by magnificent mountain peaks, and boasting incredible ranch land, this little town, less than 10 miles from Ouray is as open and inviting as its landscape.

flowerLeading the way with it's Concert Series, Ridgway opened the door for Ouray to host its own Mountain Air music series in June. Celebrating its 5th year this July, Ridgway is hosting five free concerts in Hartwell Park! 

Because these concerts are free, these little towns do what they can to absorb the cost that would otherwise result in a necessary addmission fee for attendees. Often, in the spirit of Ouray County, these fund raisers are just as much fun as the events the are promoting, and surprisingly inexpensive!

ridgwayconcertThe Love Your Valley Fest brings together all of the elements of a successful event: good food, good beer, live music, and even a dog show!

Most of the attractions are free, with the proceeds from a $20.00 beer ticket (which allows you to sample a variety of local craft beers) going toward the continuation of the Concerts in the Park.

Booths offering a variety of local art and merchandise line walkways, interspered with offerings of local cuisine, and of course, libations.

dennisweaverparkMusic is central to the event, featuring live performers that put a bounce in your step as you peruse the booths, or just relax on a blanket in the grass as the little ones play on the playground. 

Prior to the start of the festival at 1:00 pm, there is a huge parking lot sale sponsored by the ROCC, at the Ridgway Library, just behind the park. One mans trash is anothers treasure, and there are so many treasures to be found at this huge sale! With the proceeds going to such a good cause, it is almost impossible not to find a few things.

The Second Chance Humane Society puts in an appearance as well, with dog contests and competitions througout the day, making this a festival for the whole family!

So make it a point to plan your next visit to the area around Saturday, May 17! The festival starts at 1:00 pm and goes until  4:30 pm, with the parking lot sale running from 8:30 am til noon. A full day of fun awaits, followed by a relaxing evening in Ouray at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.

Enjoy the scenic drive back to Ouray, and a relaxing soak in the mineral hot springs before dinner. Sounds like an excellent weekend escape to me!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray Bar Still Serving the Best to the Best After 25 Years!

  
  
  

Have a drink with the locals in Ouray's very own Saloon!

SilverEagle4Ouray, Colorado offers a variety of great things to do during the day, from hiking to shopping, to soaking in the mineral hot springs, and some wonderful dining options in the evening. Often though, there is the lingering question of what to do after dinner if you are so inclined.  Many times, we are asked where the locals go, and what kind of night life there is to be found. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, there is one spot here in Ouray that hasn't changed in over twenty five years, and will hopefully stay around for another twenty five years!

SilverEagle3The Silver Eagle Saloon is a great place to enjoy a drink and relax. This is a BAR not a restaurant, they do not serve food in fact they do not even have a kitchen. If you want to experience what it is like to chill in an old school saloon this is the place for you. You can still smoke in there, so any non smokers that have a problem with that may want to find another place to have a drink. They do not allow anyone under 21 to enter at anytime. This wonderful throw back bar is open 7 nights a week year round and usually open until 2am.

The Eagle (as the locals call it) is the only place in town with a pool table, they also have pinball, darts, and an internet jukebox.
Owned and operated by the same couple for the last 25+ years The Eagle is a a local hang out in the evenings, but be forewarned that most of the regulars don't get off work until around 10pm each night so the bar does not start to really get busy until about 11pm.
SilverEagle2The Eagle's history goes back to the late 1960's when the front and back bar where located on the other side of the building where the Ouray Glassworks shop is now. In the 1970's the original 1886 Brunswick Bar (made of Mahogany, Cherry Wood, and Zebra Oak) was moved into the newly built location where it remains to this day.
SilverEagle5Back in those days the bar was called 550 Saloon, and was renamed the Silver Eagle Saloon when Bruce and Cheryl McDaniel bought it in January, 1987. The McDaniel's had been managing and running the 550 for several years before they purchased it. This lovely old bar is a family operation, as not only do both Bruce & Cheryl still work it, but two of their four daughters have spent significant time working behind the bar over the years. You can still on occasion see one of their children appearing as a guest bartender when they are in town.
SilverEagleThe Silver Eagle Saloon is truly one of the great old bars in Colorado, it has been featured in books, magazines and websites throughout the years. Don't hesitate to go in sit down and have a cold one, and enjoy a little bit of Ouray history.
Located on Main Street, the Silver Eagle is just a short walk from the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, the perfect spot to park your car and saunter up for some after dinner cocktails! Spend a day relaxing in Ouray, and an evening with friends old and new at this great little home town bar.
About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle. Morgan is also the newest member of our front desk team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Come in and say hello! 
Ouray, southwest colorado

May 2014 Events in Ouray County

  
  
  

April Showers Bring May Flowers and so much more in Southwest Colorado!

box canyon lodge hot (1)Southwest Colorado is beginning to awaken from its long winters nap. Spring threatens at least a couple of times a week, bringing warm weather and the first blossoms are beginning to bud.

The townsfolk themselves are also stirring with a blend of festivals and frivolity, in anticipation of the summer months.

May is a perfect time to visit the area; still quiet enough so travelers can enjoy a peaceful escape, but with warm sunny days begging to be explored and enjoyed til the very last bit of sun shines.

Events in Ridgway and Ouray this May:

Thursday, April 17 through Saturday, November 15, 2014 - "How the Local Mountains Got their Names" exhibit at the Ouray Museum from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

million dollar highway crystal lakeHave you ever wondered how the peaks around Ouray got their Names? Our special exhibit answers these questions and more. See photos of the local peaks with detailed descriptions of where the names came from.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - Open Bard Series at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

deer at box canyon.2Open Bard is a monthly poetry reading/performance series at the historic Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. This month's event will feature Aaron Abeyta, of Adams State College. The doors open at 6:30 for sign-ups to read and refreshments. Starting at 7:00 pm, Aaron will take the stage. Following his reading and a short intermission will be an open reading during which audience members can read or perform their poetry. Open Bard is sponsored by the Ridgway Chautauqua Society and the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild.

Saturday, May 3, 2014 - Jazz House Concert in a Lovely Ridgway Home from 7:30 pm to end

bald eagle ouray county colorado2An evening of jazz with Ellyn Rucker, vocal and piano. Reservations by phone -- 970-626-2970 Tickets are $25 each. Cash bar.

Sunday, May 4, 2014 - Third annual Ouray Pub Night at O'Brien's Pub in Ouray from 5:00pm to 7:00pm

The new owners of O'Brien's Pub & Grill, Shawn and Robin Dill, are hosting the third-annual Pub Night fund raiser to benefit the Ouray Library's book purchases and programs. This year's event will feature prizes given away throughout the evening, including library book bags, adult and junior fiction, and an e-reader.

The Library raised more than $700 at last year's event and hopes to top $750 this year. Whether you come by for a meal or a beer, Library staff and board members will be on hand to serve you . . . and to collect your donations.

Sunday, May 11, 2014 - Weehawken Dance Presents Dance Through the Ages at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway

faith.yaksWeehawken Dance offers a variety of classes through Weehawken Creative Arts, offering lessons in movement through a variety of genres. join the students as they display their talent in a concert that spans the ages.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - Ridgway Moonwalk from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

This month's Ridgway MoonWalk will feature a studio tour of creativity in the Solar Ranch neighborhood, just to the south of Ridgway. Get to know Ridgway's hidden secrets.

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - ArtBar at the Sherbino: Beaded Jewelry with Jill Rikkers from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

jeep.ourayJoin us for a cocktail while Jill leads you through the creation of one of a kind beaded jewelry that includes gorgeous pearls, metals, beads and more! Class price includes a beverage, materials and an evening of fun. Additional items available for purchase. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged but not required.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - ROCC Parking Lot Sale Behind the Ridgway Public Library from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

hiking boxcanyonHuge annual ROCC Parking Lot Sale. Buy or sell antiques, jewelry, furniture, clothing, sports equipment and more. $10 per space to sellers, pay on day of sale. Free to nonprofits and buyers. Questions, e-mail evebeckerdoyle@icloudcom.

Saturday, May 17 through Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Autumn in Ouray County- Special Photo Exhibit at the Ouray Museum from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

last dollar scenic drive.4An exhibit of 16 Ouray County Photographers who attended the John Fielder Photo Workshop inn September 2013. Each photographer will have one 10 x 15 photo exhibited.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - Love Your Valley Festival in Ridgway Town Park from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

ironton ghost town18th Annual - in Ridgway Town Park. Free event ; live music by Funkdafari; micro brew tasting from regional breweries $20. All proceeds benefit the free Ridgway Concert Series. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - Reception for Photographers in the Autumn in Ouray County Show at the Ouray County Museum from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Come and meet the photographers whose works are displayed in the Autumn In Ouray County Special Exhibit. Refreshments served.

Monday, May 26, 2014 - Compassion Weekend 5K Run/Walk starts at Fellin Park in Ouray from 7:30am to 10:00am

owl creekRace beings the Running Season in Ouray County. It is held in Fellin Park in Ouray. This year we are planning to add a best costume category to the winners. Come enjoy Memorial morning with us and support a great cause.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 - RACC San Juan Shuffle in Ridgway from 2:00pm to 9:00pm

Gourmet's delight!
Visit a selection of Ridgway restaurants and bars to sample our culinary specialties.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 - Hayes Carll at the Wright Opera House in Ouray from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

jeep.ouray.2Hayes Carll is an odd mix. Wildly literate, utterly slackerly, impossibly romantic, absolutely a slave to the music, the 36-year old Texan is completely committed to the truth and unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and small-minded thinking. Come enjoy an evening of great music and entertainment at the Wright Opera House!

 

May in the San Juans heralds the beginning of a season filled with colorful adventures in Southwest Colorado. Jeep trails are beginning to open up, offering a variety of exciting days exploring the high country in this beautiful area.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs create the ideal getaway for you and your family and friends. With our four mineral hot spring tubs tiered on the hillside in our courtyard, soak in the brisk early morning with a cup of Exotic Earth Coffee as you absorb the San Juans and prepare for a day of excitement.

See you Soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 









Five Must Haves to Drive The Million Dollar Highway Any Time of Year

  
  
  

Driving the Scenic Highways of Southwest Colorado is not as scary as you think.

red mountain.2The 76 miles of US Highway 550 between Durango and Ouray, Colorado, often referred to as the Million Dollar Highway, is a combination of three (3) mountain passes accross some of the most breathtaking scenery the country has to offer. One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our guests is whether the road will be open when they are planning to visit.

Our answer, regardless of the time of year is almost always YES. Because it is a State highway, and the only means of accessing the town of Silverton, nestled between Molas and Red Mountain Passes, the highway is maintained as a priority by CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation). 

million dollar hwy winterOf course, given where we live, and the fact that the summit of Red Mountain Pass is at over 11,000 feet, there are obviously times the road may have to be closed due to Mother Nature, who often likes to throw little "road blocks" at us. Of course, she doesn't take into consideration the tenacity of our amazing road crews. Typically, if the road has to be closed, it is only for a couple of hours while snow is cleared, or maintenance is performed. Whenever possible, maintenance is done during the wee hours of night so as to disrupt the least amount of travelers. 

Frankly, who would want to drive this road at night anyway? With its dramatic drops and breathtaking views, this is a drive to be experienced in the full light of day! Regardless of the season, driving in Colorado is an adventure and a feast for the senses. All you need are a few things to make the drive safe and fun no matter what Mother Nature throws at you:

1. Camera

driving in swcoloradoBelieve me when I say, your camera will be your best friend on Highway 550! Whether you live here, or this is your first visit, there are so many sights to see and capture. Around each bend, your breath will catch at an entirely new view. Every season is rife with opportunities to exercise your photographic abilities, and you don't have to be a professional because it is close to impossible to take a bad picture here! Driving along the Million Dollar Highway, panoramic views are all there are. From following the curves of the road behind you, to wildlife who seem to be waiting for you to get their best angle, your camera is your best friend as you traverse every curve.

2. Good Tires

million dollar highway.2It doesn't matter where you are traveling, good tires should always be foremost in your mind. First of all, a good all season tire gives traction and control to the driver that may contribute significantly to the amount of enjoyment you get from the drive. Winter travelers might consider more specialized tires, designed for snow travel, but this is often an unnesesary expence if you are visiting for just a couple of days, then heading back to Phoenix. Surprisingly, snow chains are moderately affordable, and will provide any additional traction and security for traversing the high mountain passes in wintry weather. Another thing to remember is that good tires actually help increase gas mileage and decrease wear and tear on your engine.

3. Front Wheel Drive

million dollar harley.3Believe it or not, everyone in Colorado does not own a four wheel drive vehicle. Front wheel drive cars are usually more than adequate for travel any time of year along scenic highways. Granted, four wheel drive or even all wheel drive vehicles are great to have, and will add to your confidence in extreme weather conditions, but honestly, adverse weather in Colorado doesn't actually last all that long. There is a saying in Southwest Colorado, "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes, or drive ten miles." It couldn't be more true! Highway 550 is also an extremely popular scenic byway for motorcycle enthusiasts in the summer months. With its twisting, well graded meandering, it is an ideal adventure for any driver!

4. Windshield Washer Fluid

rainbow (1)Sounds silly, but trust me. There is nothing worse than running out of windshield washer fluid as you are following along a string of cars on a rainy day. Almost instantly, the back splash from the car in front of you has mixed with highway dust, and created close to no visibility. Make is a point to top off before getting on the road, and always have an extra gallon in the trunk.

 

5. Common Sense

million dollar highway crystal lakeThis is not meant to be insulting, nor to discount that sometimes accidents just happen. But, you wouldn't put your head in a tigers mouth(unless you are Siegfried or Roy), so consequently, when the sign says 15 miles an hour with a drawing of what looks like a pretzel, go ahead and slow down. I once asked a police officer, and he told me the largest number of accidents that occur on the Million Dollar Highway involved locals who have taken the road for granted, and forgotten how deceivingly beautiful it is. The fact is, just around any blind corner, there is always the possibility of some surprise waiting for you. Now, when approached at the specified speed limit, you will have more time to react to the Bambi convention at the summit by slowing down without a screeching of locked brakes and smoking tires.

bcl tbsThe Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, nestled in the southwest corner of Ouray, is the perfect resting place after a day of exploring the outstanding beauty of the San Juan Mountains! let us be your home away from home, as you soak away the open road in our all natural mineral hot spring tubs, then stuggle up in your room to enjoy a movie or two chosen from out video library. Let our helpful front desk staff assist you in planning the perfect escape in this remarkable mountain town! 

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray County Welcomes Jeff Solon Jazz Trio!

  
  
  

Wright Opera House and Sherbino Theater Present Jazz Concert in Southwest Colorado!

ouray coloradoOuray County boasts a variety of exciting and fun events throughout the year, and this year is starting off with a bang!

The Wright Opera House, located in Ouray, has teamed up with the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado, to bring the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio to Ouray County this April 13, 2014 at 7:30pm in Ridgway!

The Wright Opera House has worked to bring music to Ouray County for the past few years, parenting the Wrighteous Jazz Series, which brings musicians from all over to the historic venue in Southwest Colorado. 

sherbino 2The Sherbino Theater has also made it their goal to share a love of the arts in an historic setting that virtually sings by itself.

As these two venues work ever harder to not only present performances that are memorable, they also work to continuously improve the buildings themselves, restoring them to the splendor they once were in the days of the railroad and mining prosperity in the west.

For the past couple of months, with work on the Wright Opera House in full swing, the two venues have joined forces to keep the music alive!

Based out of Durango, Colorado, a scenic drive over the Million Dollar Highway, Jeff Solon travels the west, sharing his talent and love of jazz wherever he lands!

He has performed on mountaintops and in concert halls - mesmerizing music lovers whether they are new to the genre, or jazz is their first love.

Regardless of personal preferences, talented artists such Jeff Solon and his associates seem to infect others with their own passion for the song, and the experience creates a memory not soon forgotten.

solon webJeff performs both as a solo artist and in groups based on the interests of the venue. 

The performance at the Sherbino in April will feature Jeff Solon himself, complimented by renowned bass guitarist Elizabeth Riordan and classical pianist Jack Maynes.

Elizabeth Riordan has performed around the world. After a near fatal car accident, her passion for Jazz and the bass was increased tenfold, as demonstrated with her determination to not only overcome but to outdo herself as an artist. Since moving to Southwest Colorado, elizabeth has worked primarily with Jeff to create a sound and mood that emphasize their profound love of jazz.

wrightlogo2;Since he was a child, Jack Maynes has had a powerful love of music and the classical piano. After having completed his degree in 2011, Jack has travelled the Southwest, sharing his love of music in a variety of genres, always bringing his own special combination of sensitivity and passion to the music.

The first show in the upcoming series, the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio is the perfect appetizer to a summer of spectacular shows.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan the perfect getaway and concert experience. Always avid supporters of the arts, we are genuinely excited to share this next season of musical expression with our guests.

See You Soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

 

 

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