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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Free Fun for the Whole Family in Southwest Colorado August, 2014!

  
  
  

Weehawken Creative Arts Invites All to Attend the 30th Annual Ridgway Rendezvous Arts & Crafts Festival This August 9 and 10, 2014 in Ouray County!

ridgwayrendezvous2014logoYet again, Weehawken has outdone itself with the upcoming Ridgway Rendezvous. Artists from all over Colorado and beyond will gather to share their creativity at the event in Ridgways Hartwell Park.

From amazing paintings and ceramics, to jewelry and culinary explosions of talent, the event will focus around the incredible creativity of our local artists.

ridgwayrendezvous4Live music provides a perfect background, as young and old wander each booth exploring a world of creativity and expression.

A perfect time to get started purchasing the perfect gift for a special someone, or yourself, hand crafted jewelry, candles and beauuty products, and embroidery compliment awesome photography, paintings, glassworks and more talent than can possibly be described in one sentence.

ridgwayrendezvousFamilies bring blankets to recline on the grass while young ones gather in joyful comaraderie and dance to the music of local performers and parents and friends reconnect over a microbrew from one of the food booths, indulging the kids with cotton candy and hot dogS.

Often reffered to as "The Gateway to the Rockies", Ridgway sits at the junction of Highway 550 and 62, just ten miles north of Ouray. With the magnificent San Juans serving as a backdrop to the festival, the Ridgway Rendezvous is considered one of the most picturesque  locations for booth set-up and for shoppers in our spacious town park and for successful sales for our vendors.  The Rendezvous is a juried show with a commitment to quality.

ridgwayrendezvous3Several thousand patrons visit the show every year, finding treasures sure to please any person on their shopping lists, as well as original decor not found anywhere else. 

For thirty years, the Ridgway Rendezvous has continued to grow in popularity and  vendors. With the backdrop of this beautiful small town serving to increase its popularity, it is exciting to once again welcome guests to enjoy a weekend of art and talent.

The MoonWalk begins Friday, August 8, 2014 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, Its theme is Celebration of the Harvest, and the Ridgway Community Garden will participate. Plan to check out the art in the garden just for this event!! Plus garden-related refreshments!

box canyon lodge hot (1)The Ridgway Rendezvous opens to the public from 9:00 am til 5:00 pm on Saturday, August 9, and again from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 10 at Ridgways Hartwell Park.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs serve as your Basecamp to the Arts! Join us Friday noght, and wander the streets of Ridgway for the Ridgway MoonWalk, sampling a small amount if the crafters who will be displaying their work in the Park on Saturday, August 9 and Sunday, August 10. This is a weekend to enjoy art in all of its forms while visiting one of the most beautiful palces in the country.

See you soon!

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

 

 

Whats Happening in Ouray and Ridgway this August 2014

  
  
  

Southwest Colorado is Bursting with Excitement this August!

red mountainnSummer is here in the high country! Flowers are still blooming, and the grass is green and inviting. Hiking trails are abundant with life and energy as four wheel drive enthusiasts play in the Jeeping Capital of the World.

ouray main streetRestaurants and shops on Main Street offer a variety of interesting and original gift ideas and meals that are second to none. The museums are a perfect place to cool off and enjoy a moment travelling abck in time to a Ouray unlike the one before you, and yet similar enough to take your breath away.

wrightoperahouseLive music and plays at the Wright Opera House draw visitors to one of the most spectacular historic venues around, and the staff at the Box canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are here to make every moment exciting and memorable.

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

seaesonal waterfall red mountain pass.3Have 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.

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

box canyon rainbow2An exhibit of 16 Ouray County Photographers who attended the John Fielder Photo Workshop in September 2013. Each photographer will have one 10 x 15 photo exhibited.

Every Saturday and Sunday for the Month of July - Brand Exhibit - Learning About Branding from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Ouray County Ranch History Museum

Board member Tim Force has put together an amazing new museum exhibit, educating all on brands and branding in Ouray County and surrounding area. Highlights include some of the oldest brands of the county branded to fence rails surrounding the exhibit and informative posters.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - Evening of Hisory at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

viewBrad Wallis will speak on "The History of the Sherbino Famil and the Sherbino Thearter"

Wednseday, August 6, 2014 - "A Short History of Decay", Movie at the Wright Opera House from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

When Nathan Fisher, a thirty-something Brooklyn writer with a stalled career, is dumped by his ambitious girlfriend, he doesn't know where to turn. Suddenly, he gets a call telling him his father has been hospitalized and races down to Florida to help. His short visit turns into an extended stay, during which he discovers that his aging parents are in much better control of their lives than he is. He also meets a woman, the polar opposite of his ex, who may be exactly what he is looking for. Starring Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, Kathleen Rose Perkinsm and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

Friday, August 8, 2014 - Ridgway MoonWalk from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

jeepJoin the Ridgway Creative District, Weehawken Creative Arts, and Ridgway's galleries with special guests for the Ridgway MoonWalk with a Harvest theme. Celebrate local talent! A brochure with map of participating locations can be picked up at Resource Art, 540 Sherman St. Demonstrations and refreshments provided.

Saturday, August 9, 2014 - Ridgway Arts & Crafts Rendezvous from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Ridgway Town Park

bald eagle ouray county colorado2Weehawken Creative Arts is proud to sponsor this event for it's 30th year running. Featuring a variety of local artists from painters and jewelers to glass blowers and fiber artists, this festival brings together a variety of craftsmen from all over. Open to the publis all day on Saturday and Sunday, August 9-10, what a marvelous opportunity to do some early shopping for an original gift to anyone on your list!

Saturday, August 9, 2014 - Shawn Mullins at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

wrightlogo2;Since we last heard from Shawn Mullins on 2008’s Honeydew, the Atlanta-based singer/songwriter and band leader has undergone a series of trans-formative experiences, leading to a second coming for the veteran artist. Evidence of Mullins’ new found level of musical and lyrical ambition courses comes through with Light You Up (Vanguard Records, October 12). This captivating new song cycle will likely be viewed as a flat-out revelation even by Mullins’ most fervent fans.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 - Ridgway Arts & Crafts Rendezvous from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Ridgway Town Park

high country basinWeehawken Creative Arts is proud to sponsor this event for it's 30th year running. Featuring a variety of local artists from painters and jewelers to glass blowers and fiber artists, this festival brings together a variety of craftsmen from all over. Open to the publis all day on Saturday and Sunday, August 9-10, what a marvelous opportunity to do some early shopping for an original gift to anyone on your list!

Friday, August 15, 2014 - "Much Ado About Nothing - No Holds Bard" - Play at the Wright Opera House from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

top of corkscrewThe course of true love sure does not run smoothly in this romantic comedy. Beatrice and Benedicke, who hate each other, are tricked into love, while Hero and Claudio, who adore each other, are tricked out of love. Will Benedicke kill his best friend Claudio for the sake of his new love? Only the most ingenious of plot twists can save the day. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Corkscrew Turntable Hike - from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm hikers meet at Ouray County Museum

abandoned mineCorkscrew Railroad Bed and Turntable Hike (guided, $10 cost) - Sponsored by the Ridgway Railroad Museum and OCHS. Call 970-325-4576 to preregister. Hikers will meet at the Ouray County Museum at 9:00 am and return to the museum between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. In case of inclement weather call Don Paulson at 325-0931 before 8 am to ascertain the hike status.

Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Guided Cemetery Walking Tour - At Cedar Hill Cemetery from 9:00 am to 11:00 am

alpine tundra overlooking million dollar highway red mtn (1)Guided Cemetery walking tour by a museum docent. Learn about the famous people buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Meet at Cedar Hill Cemetery at 9 am. Pre-register at 970-325-4576.

Saturday, August 16, 2014 - "Much Ado About Nothing - No Holds Bard" - Play at the Wright Opera House from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The course of true love sure does not run smoothly in this romantic comedy. Beatrice and Benedicke, who hate each other, are tricked into love, while Hero and Claudio, who adore each other, are tricked out of love. Will Benedicke kill his best friend Claudio for the sake of his new love? Only the most ingenious of plot twists can save the day. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - San Juan Chamber Music Fest - Classical Cafe at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center from 7:30 pm to end

last dollar scenic drive.3The annual MusicFest features a small group of musicians of international renown, under the artistic direction of pianist Max Levinson, producing a number of concerts and events throughout Ouray County. The San Juan Chamber MusicFest kicks off with this delightful informal concert at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center. Gather around cafe tables with your friends, sip wine and enjoy appetizers while listening to “Music from Around the World,” including Beethoven’s “Eyeglasses” Duo and Mozart G minor Piano Quartet, Chopin’s famous “Military” Polonaise and a solo guitar piece from Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos.

Friday, August 22, 2014 - San Juan Chamber Music Fest - Concert at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to end

foals.3The annual MusicFest features a small group of musicians of international renown, under the artistic direction of pianist Max Levinson, producing a number of concerts and events throughout Ouray County. Join the San Juan Chamber MusicFest musicians for a concert at the newly renovated Wright Opera House. The program is titled “Slavic Soul: Music from Eastern Europe.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - Guided Walk of Ouray's Historic District - from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm starting from Ouray County Museum 

Guided walk of Ouray's historic Main Street led by a museum docent. Meet at the Museum at 3 pm. $10 per person. Pre-register at 970-325-4576

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - San Juan Chamber Music Fest - Family Concert at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to end

scenicdriveThe annual MusicFest features a small group of musicians of international renown, under the artistic direction of pianist Max Levinson, producing a number of concerts and events throughout Ouray County. Join the San Juan Chamber MusicFest musicians for a concert at the newly renovated Wright Opera House. Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry returns to delight children young and old at this delightful informal afternoon concert at the Wright Opera House. Entry is by donation.

Tuesday August 26 through Saturday, October 11, 2014 - Annual OCHS Quilt Show at the Ouray County Museum daily 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

silverjack owlcreek.2Ouray County Historical Society sponsors this event with a presentation of quilts all dated prior to 1960. Each of these works of art are stories in and of themselves, on loan from local families. A fascinating journey into the history of Ouray County.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Axel Project Bicycle Classic from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm

A breathtaking 48 or 80 mile charity ride over Dallas Divide into Placerville or Telluride and back. One of the most spectacular journeys you can take on a bike with up to 5,000 ft. of total climbing, thin air, and epic beauty. All proceeds benefit the Axel Project and their mission to introduce bicycles and a healthy lifestyle to kids and families.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Peter Bradley Adams at the Wright Opera House from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

ouray ridgway flowersPeter Bradley Adams was formerly one half of the duo, Eastmountainsouth, signed by Robbie Robertson (of The Band) to DreamWorks Records in 2002. Since then, Peter has released four solo records as well as an EP with his side project, "Down Like Silver".

Often on the weekends, spur of the moment music is playing at one of the restaurants or bars in town in addtion to the events set out above. There is always something to do in Ouray, and the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs look forward to making your visit memorable.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Wildflower Season in The San Juan Mountains

  
  
  

The High Country of Southwest Colorado is in Bloom!

alpine tundra overlooking million dollar highway red mtn (1)When people talk of the majesty of the Uncompahgres, images of a blanket of color draped across fields of green often fill our minds.
Not to say the idea of the snow capped mountain peaks of winter, or the fantastic reds and yellows of Fall aren't equally breathtaking, there is something idyllic about a cool meadow filled with a rainbow of color.
high country wildflowers.2The first glimpse of a field high above timberline, covered in flowers, with a panoramic view of the world can be mind altering. Perhaps it is the thinner air, but that wouldn't translate so clearly into photographs.
Mid July through August, the flowers begin to peak in meadows and valleys in the high country, so now is the time to jump in your four wheel drive, and visit! 

Thanks to the input from our guests, the National Forest Service and county websites, the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has an up to date listing of where the best flowers can be found:

National Forest Service Information:


black bear pass wildflowers (1)A few of our popular viewing areas and hiking trails-

  • Hope Lake - 6 miles out and back, south of  Telluride
  • US Basin - east side of  Red Mountain Pass near Ouray
  • Lizard Head - Wilson Meadows - 5 miles out and back, trailhead at Lizard Head Pass parking lot, south of Telluride
  • Bilk Creek Upper Falls - 7 miles out and back,  trailhead is off Sunshine Mesa Road, near Telluride.
  • Bear Creek Falls - 4.5 miles out and back , south on Pine Street in Telluride
  • Lower Blue Lake - 6.6 miles out and back, trailhead at the end of Dallas Creek Road (CR 7/FR 851 ) west of Ridgway on CO 62. 
  • Wetterhorn Basin Trail from West Fork Cimarron River - 6.2 miles out and back, US 550 near Ridgway- take Owl Creek Pass Road,  turn right (south) on West Fork Cimarron Rd (FR 860)   
  • Copper Creek - trailhead north of Crested Butte and Gothic off (FR 317)
  • Rustlers Gulch - trailhead north of Crested Butte and Gothic off (FR 317) 
  • Oh-Be Joyful Trail (#836) - off  FR 754 from CR 734, north of Crested Butte  
flowersHere are a few of our more popular 4 wheel drive routes:
  • Yankee Boy Basin
  • Ophir Pass
  • Imogene
  • Black Bear Pass
  • Cinnamon Pass
  • American Basin
A more personal point of view is provided to us by the marvelous folks at the Silverton Chamber:
silverjack owlcreekJuly 11th, 2014: In and Around Prospect GulchBelow Timberline
  • Arnica: Broad leaf and Heart Leaf are peaking
  • Avens: Very Prevalent & Pretty!
  • Columbine: Past Prime
  • Jacob’s Ladder: Very Prevalent
  • Paintbrush: Barely Started
Above Timberline
  • high country wildflowers.2Bluebells: Just Starting to Peak
  • Larkspur: Just Starting to Peak
  • Lovage: Peaking
  • Old Main of the Mountain: Peaking
  • Sky Pilot: Beautiful and Blooming
  • Yarrow: Peaking
According to guests, the flowers up at Yankee Boy are not quite at peak, so perhaps in the next week or two, they will be at full peak.
Summer is in full swing in the rest of the world, but when you travel to 7800 feet and above, it is a cool breath of fresh air. Once the sun begins to set, and stars dot the clear skies, nothing quite compares to a long soak in the soothing waters of our four natural hot spring tbs at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, truly an oasis from the rest of the world!
Join Us at The Box Canyon LodgeA Rainbow of ExcitementAnd Color Await!

Ghost Towns of the San Juans - Animas Forks

  
  
  

Over 500 Miles of Four Wheel Drive Trails Provide a Glimpse into the History of Southwest Colorado Mining History.

animasforks2It is hard to believe as we put our jeep into four low and ascend the side of a mountain, high above timberline that once hardy men and women made this journey in the dead of winter an foot and with mule carts heavily laden with gold, silver, and other precious metals.

riversnowDriving along the narrow trails and gazing to the side of a 200 foot drop, a jeep tour driver will share stories of how these tough men and women would have to choose between the team of animals or the wagon they were pulling. Sadly, the gold won out much more often than the hardworking donkeys.

animasforkssign.2At an elevation of over 11,000 feet, the tiny town of Animas Forks began with just one small cabin in 1873, and within three years, boasted over 450 residents. With a post office, jail, general store hotel, and of course, a saloon, the town prospered for a few years during the mining boom. In 1997 and 1998, a grant to San Juan County served to preserve and stabilize the last few buildings of the once bountiful town. Now part of the Alpine Loop scenic byway, Animas Forks is a small window into life in the San Juans in the early 1900's.

view from gustavsonhouseParking at the base of the remaining buildings, one is somewhat haunted by the overwhelming beauty of the area. Only the foundation remains of what was once a boarding house that served as a resting place to over 150 miners. Gazing out of what must have been a basement window, the spectacular views almost make up for the harsh life they must have had.

The Gustavson House was once lauded for its indoor toilet (a glorified outhouse connected by a hallway). The family lived here year round, unlike many of their neighbors who left to winter in Silverton at the first signs of snow.

duncanhousebaywindowThe Duncan House was built in 1879, and is often mistakenly referred to as the Walsh House, although Tom Walsh never lived there. Its beautiful bay windows look across to the river and the Columbus Mine which sits the the fork of the Animas River.

With work always in progress to maintain the stability of these buildings, one can wander through these old homes and marvel at the tiny rooms, narrow staircases, the incredible views and the "modern conveniences". Glass still covers the windows, and it is easy to be taken away to a different time, as you imagine the hustle and bustle of the streets below less than a hundred years ago.

animasbunkhouse4Animas Forks can be reached either by traveling the Alpine Loop, accessing the town either by Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass or California Pass. If you are not looking to spend the day on the jeep trails, you can get there by taking County Road 2 out of Silverton. The first half of the drive is along a well maintained dirt road, eventually becoming a bit more rough. Although I did see some two wheel drive vehicles on the trail, something with a little more clearance might feel more comfortable, and allow for more exploring on the numerous little side trails.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to map out your next adventure in the high country! A perfect base camp for all of your four wheel drive fantasies, our knowledgeable staff will male sure you get everything and more from your visit, not to mention the inviting natural hot spring tubs just outside your door to soak away the dust of the road.

 

Contact Us!Let the Box Canyon Help YouExperience the Jeep Capital of the World Today!

July 2014 Jeeping Update for Ouray County

  
  
  

Most of the Jeep Trails are Open, and Beckoning in and around Ouray!


jeepJune was beautiful! A perfect combination of moisture and sunshine, culminating in a Fourth of July Gala Event in Ouray that folks will be talking about for months and months.

bclfireworks.3Nothing quite compares to a sky filled with dancing lights and bone jarring booms as explosions echo off of the canyon walls!

Unless of course it follows a day of parades and insane water fights.

Now that the excitement of the holiday is over, there is time to consider what you will be doing today. And tomorrow. And the next, if you are so inclined....With over 500 miles of four wheel drive trails literally outside your door, the possibilities are endless!

viewWhen last I updated everyone on the jeep trails, there were still a couple not quite ready for adventurers to try their nerves.

With the help of the Ouray, Silverton and Telluride websites, information from jeep tour drivers, and last but not least, input from our guests, I am happy to report that now Imogene Pass is open and waiting for you to stand at the top of the world, (a little over 13,000 feet at the summit any way).

There are still a couple of roads not quite ready:

Poughkeepsie - closed

Black Bear is open to the top on the Silverton/Ouray side

Clear Lake - closed

As always, safety and consideration of other travellers is very important. the weather changes very quickly in the high country, so layers are very important, or at least bring a light jacket.

riverbldgIt is easy to get dehydrated so always bring water. Cell phones don't work about 90% of the time, so bring a map, and let someone know where you plan on exploring. Of course, this time of year, there is quite a bit of traffic, so remember to pay it forward. If you see someone in distress, stop and offer a hand. Who knows, they may help you change a tire on the next switchback!

animashomeRemember your cameras! The high country is a veritable fantasy land for photographers, but also remember to stop in places where you can get off of the road and safely get out of your vehicles.

Above all, have fun! Take trails that you feel comfortable with. There are so many unbelievable sights to see, and so many miles of jeep trails out there, it is impossible not to find a new favorite spot at every curve. 

Let The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to map out the perfect trip for you and yours. Whether you plan on driving yourself or taking advantage of one of our wonderful tour companies, the knowledgeable staff at the front desk can help you to pick the adventure best suited to your needs.

Contact Us!Let the Box Canyon Help YouExperience the Jeep Capital of the World Today!

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mountain flowers