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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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39th Annual Imogene Pass Run from Ouray to Telluride


September 8, 2012, Athletes from Across the Country Continue a Years Old Tradition in Southwest Colorado.

ricktrujilloIn 1974, Rick Trujillo, a local working at the Campbird Mine, decided to finish his day off with a quick run over to Telluride. He was training for the Pikes Peak Marathon, and thought this would be a great run. The competitive nature of Southwest Colorado miners took over, and less than a month later, six men participated in the first annual "Imogene Pass Mountain Marathon".

Imogene Pass Run is a 17.1 mile course beginning in the center of Ouray, and travelling over a mountain pass which most people these days will only travel by four-wheel drive vehicles about three or four months out of the year. It is impossible to not admire the hardiness of the athletes who decide to run each year, averaging a time of two to three hours to run a trail that peaks at an elevation of 13,120 ft, an altitude most people find difficult to breath at just walking! Of course, this is also one of the most scenic races in Colorado. As racers traverse the steep terrain, they cannot help but take in the absolute majesty of the San Juan Mountain Range, climbing above timberline, and confronted with the sense of being on top of the world, surrounded by blue skies and mountain peaks as far as the eye can see.

imogene pass runSeptember is an interesting time in the high country of the Rocky Mountains. You never know exactly what the weather is going to do - and often it will change numerous times as you travel higher. Regardless of whether it is a beautiful sunny day down here at 7800 ft, runners may experience every type of change as they climb the rugged peaks, and descend down into Telluride, a mere 8820 ft. It is not unheard of for the race to be cancelled due to snow (granted this doesn't happen often), and people have been treated for hypothermia (not since 2002 though). Because of the safety issues when runners are not properly prepared, the rules have been changed a bit since that first little race to accommodate the approximate 1500 runners who now compete in this demanding run.

imogene pass run volunteersThe race of course is not only made up of runners. Every year, volunteers organize to provide food and water to competitors as they traverse the mountains. Six aid stations are scattered along the trail, and generous people bundle up against whatever the weather may offer, waiting to ensure a safe and exciting run.

The Box Canyon Lodge is an active supporter for the Imogene Pass Run, and is a perfect location for athletes participating in the race. Centrally located to some of the best trails in town, and convenient to the starting point of the Imogen Run, the Box Canyon also boasts four natural mineral hot spring tubs, a great place for runners to recover after the race.
Buses transport runners back to Ouray from Telluride for free until 2:30 on the day of the race, and registration began on June 1, 2012. For more information on how you can participate, go to:

imogene pass run logo

See you there!



Ridgway Colorado: Loghill Lungbuster Challenge - Bicycling Event


Bicycle Time Trial in Ouray County Colorado

Calling all Bicyclists!

Bicyclists of all ages, sizes and tire preferences should start training now for the first-ever Log Hill Lungbuster Challenge, a time trial and fund raiser for the Ouray County Historical Society.

loghill lungbuster logoThe event is slated for Sunday, September 16.  This is a new kind of fundraiser for OCHS, one that capitalizes on the growing number of outdoor enthusiasts who both live and visit Southwest Colorado. The Ouray County Historical Society has long worked to uphold its Mission Statement: "Dedicated to preserve, protect, procure, exhibit, and interpret whatever relates to the natural, social, and cultural history of Ouray County and the adjacent San Juan Mountain Region of Colorado." The Lungbuster Challenge is yet another step in history, as locals are more and more involved in outdoor recreation. It is the hope of OCHS to make this an annual event, bringing people to Ouray County to compete year after year.

loghill lungbuster mapThe competition route starts at the Old Schoolhouse Emporium on West Sherman Street in Ridgway, then follows a 15 mile course west out of town on Highway 62 and CR 24A.  At CR 1, bikers will follow the road's steep serpentine ascent up Log Hill escarpment, ride around the various subdivisions of Log Hill, and finish at the Divide Ranch and Country Club.

Both mountain biking (fat tires) and road cycling (skinny tires) are popular in the area so they will both be welcome.

The Ridgway Lungbuster Challenge will be in the form of a time trial, in which contestants start at intervals of about one minute apart. Then each rider races against the clock.  Best time awards will be given in both fat tire and skinny tire divisions and there will be subcategories for gender and ages.

loghill lungbuster posterParticipants will receive a custom pair of wicking bicycling socks as well as a very colorful  t-shirt with the Lungbuster logo on the front.  This is in addition to the energy drinks, water and nourishment offered at the one supported "rest stop" at mile 6 as well as the fun and festivities at the finish line near the Divide Ranch and Club on Loghill Mesa.

While you are in Ouray County, be sure to check out some of the many other activities, shops and restaurants the area has to offer! From driving the Million Dollar Highway, to taking a tour of the sets of the original John Wayne film 'True Grit', hiking, jeeping, mountain biking, and long soothing soaks in the mineral hot springs scattered throughout the county, the list of fun goes on and on.

The race's $40 registration fee will benefit the Ouray County Historical Society.  For further information and to register for the event, contact the Historical Society at (970) 325-4576 or visit their website at



Grillin n Chillin in Ouray ends with Fireworks!


Free live music in the park is always awesome. When the Majestic San Juan Mountains provide a backdrop, the experience is even more splendid.

grillin n chillinThis year, the Annual Grillin n Chillin Festival is proud to present yet another great line-up of talented musicians for a day filled with fun and adventure Southwest Colorado. Join us this August 25 from 2:00 pm to 8:00pm for a day of fun and festivity in the mountains!

david.srarr.bandWith a unique blend of Blues, Folk Rock and Rock, the David Starr Band will sweep you away in a toe tapping combination of covers and original works. Having opened for such musical greats as Travis Tritt and Clint Black, The David Starr Band is sure to be a great performance.

kyle.jenningsKyle Jennings hit the music scene running in 2004 with his first album "Shine". With his honest and sincere lyrics, and dynamic production, Kyle Jennings consistently plays sold out venues across the United States. His unpredictable, high energy performances will bring out the dancer in anyone.

humming.houseHailing from all over the country, the band Humming House personifies the gypsy spirit of gypsy-jazz, a mingling of swing, rockabilly, and Irish music, along with clanging electric guitars and surprising lush layers and harmonies. Playing a variety of instruments and high spirited lyrics, Humming House is sure to bring the house down this year at the Grillin and Chillin festival.

ouray breweryColorado boasts over 50 microbreweries. Each town it seems has discovered the fun and interest in creating its own 'flavor' if you will. Each brewery has a distinct taste, and beer connoisseurs can sample a range this year. Breweries from all over the Western Slope will be at Fellin Park at the festival, and for only $25.00, you can wander from brewery to brewery, sampling some of their most popular microbrews.

Several local restaurants as well as independent grillers are invited to yet again participate in the barbecue contest going on all day. Be sure to bring your appetite as you taste a variety of fabulous treats from some of the best grill masters in Ouray County!

fireworks in ouray coAs everyone knows, this year we did not have our Fourth of July fireworks display due to dry weather. Ironically, it started to rain on the Fourth of July. Southwest Colorado has been extremely fortunate the past couple of months; with beautiful days full of sunshine, followed by evening showers to keep everything green. In 'light' of that, the Ouray Volunteer Fire Department has decided to help the town celebrate by setting off a fireworks display this weekend for the Grillin n Chillin Festival! Each evening at dark, look to the skies for a spectacular fireworks display. The perfect way to end a perfect weekend!

Of course, this is a family event, and the town has not forgotten the kids. A zip-line will be set up for the kids to enjoy in addition to a plethora of activities geared toward family fun. Not to mention, the city pool is right at the park, and what could be more fun than a soak and swim with the sounds of great music in the background?

The Grillin-n-ChillinFestival will be held at Fellin Park next to the City Hot Springs Pool on Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. See you there!

Annual Rodeo and Fair Returns to Ouray County!


Recapture a feel for the Old West in Southwest Colorado this year at the Ouray County 4-H Fair & Rodeo!

This year, the Ouray County Fair theme is "Living the Dream, the Ouray County Way", and that is just what participants are going to do this year!

classic apple pieWhether you are a full blown city dweller, or a complete outdoor enthusiast, most likely you played "Cowboys and Indians" at least once in your childhood. Something about a rodeo seems to recapture the excitement and innocence of a new country beginning to stand on its own two feet, something as American as Baseball and apple pie, which reminds me, don't miss the Pie Baking competition!

ouraycountyfairshowKids from all over Ouray County bring animals from rabbits and chickens to pigs and steers, which they have raised and trained themselves, for judging and ultimately to sell at a livestock auction held on the last day. Having participated myself in 4-H, it is fun to see the club still running strong and teaching kids the importance of responsibility and hard work. At the end of the competitions, there is a Livestock Sale, which can be quite fun to watch, as the auctioneer entices the audience to bid higher. There are several classes of livestock to be judged, from market animals, to breeders, to horsemanship. There is also a dog show at 8:00am on Saturday, August 4, 2012.

ridgway.rodeoThere is a lot of debate as to where the first rodeo was held in the United States. Cities from Pecos, Texas to Deer Trail, Colorado vie for the distinction of home to the Rodeo. Regardless of where the event was first held, Rodeos across the country can all take pride in upholding the tradition and history of the American West. Ridgway does not try to pretend it was the first, only that it is one of the longest running and most famous. For decades, cowboys have travelled from all over the country to compete in this world class event.

hotdogsandbeerouraycountyBooths offering everything from hot dogs and beer to that special piece of memorabilia to commemorate a great weekend are scattered about the fair grounds, as well as fun activities for the kids, and animals every where! Watch the bull riding event, and enjoy the antics of the Rodeo Clowns as they work to keep competitors safe, and the crowds cheering.

The final schedule of events for this years rodeo has not yet been released, however it should be similar if not identical to the 2011 schedule. Keep checking in for an update, but for reference, 2011 events are below.

Aug. 31: Booth Set-Up, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sept. 1: Booth Set-Up, 10 a.m. to 12 noon., Horse Show, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fair Entries Open Class, 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Judging Begins at Exhibit Hall, 1 p.m. Tractor Pull, 6 p.m.

Sept. 2: Exhibit Hall Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Livestock Entries and Weigh-in, 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Poultry and Rabbit Judging, 12:30 p.m. Goats, Yaks and Bucket Calf Judging, 2 p.m. Swine Show, 5 p.m. Sheep Lead, 6 p.m. Livestock Carcass Contest Measuring, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Carcass Educational Seminar, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 3: Exhibit Hall Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sheep and Beef Judging Begins, 9 a.m. Round Robin Showmanship and Best Fitted, 1:30 p.m. Parade of Champions, 3:15 p.m.

Livestock Sale (terms: cash), 3:30 p.m.

Contact: Susan Long
Phone: 970-626-3306

Location Details

4-H Event Center
22739 Hwy 550
Ridgway Colorado 81432 Ouray





2012 Summer Concert Series in Ouray, Colorado is huge success!


The Wright Opera House has surpassed itself yet again, with stellar performers in Southwest Colorado.

wright opera house logoThe Friends of the Wright Opera House began with a mission: to purchase and restore this historic venue back into the vibrant active center for art, culture and education while still maintaining the Wright’s historic heritage and charm.

wright opera house ouray coloradoEd and Leticia Wright contracted the construction of the Wright Opera House in the early 1880's. They wanted to provide an option to the people of Ouray for entertainment from the saloons and dance halls that were predominant in Ouray at the time. Once the building was completed in 1888, it only took a couple of years for the building to achieve the goal of the Wright family by becoming an integral part of the community until well into the 20th century.

At some point, activities at the venue began to decrease, until finally, after several years of relative non-use, the building began to fall into disrepair. In 2005, the Friends of the Wright swooped in and rescued this gem of Colorado History, and are well on their way to realizing their Mission statement.

Singer Songwriter Summer Series PosterThe 2012 Summer Concert Series is the result of hours of diligent work donated by a number of people dedicated to the goals set for the Wright. We have watched the successful presentation of a number of talented artist perfoming to sold out audiences in the intimate setting of this historic venue, in addition to the weekly melodrama, and several other fantastic presentations this summer.


Now, as we welcome Fall this September, and the weather begins to drift toward cooler times, the Wright Opera House proudly presents the final performer in this groundbreaking series.

David Wilcox has been performing for over 20 years. Each performance holds his listeners rapt with his sweet voice full of insightful lyrics and smooth guitar. With his songs performed by the likes of k.d. lang, Mr. Wilcox has been praised by many as an incredible songwriter with a  "fearless ability to mine the depths of human emotions of joy, sorrow and everything in between, and all tempered by a quick and wry wit."

Honored in 2008 by Acoustic Guitar with a silver award in the singer/songwriter category, David Wilcox has released 16 albums, and is planning to share some of his knowledge with guests on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at an exclusive Songwriter Workshop at 1pm, in addition to his show at 7:30pm Saturday, September 1, 2012.

david wilcoxConsidered a ‘songwriter’s songwriter’, in addition to his writing prowess, his skills as a performer and storyteller are unmatched.

Tickets to David’s performance in the 2012 Summer Music Series are $20.00 for his evening show at 7:30pm and $45.00 for his Songwriter Workshop at 1pm on Sunday September 2, 2012. Tickets are available until sold out.  Seating is limited to 220 so get your tickets now!



Ridgway Arts & Crafts Rendezvous in the San Juan Mountains!


Magic, Music and Art make for Family Fun in Southwest Colorado this August!

Ridgway AandCThe fun just keeps going in Southwest Colorado, with live music, bike races and marathons all culminating at the Park!

Weehawken Creative Arts Centers of Ouray County is a colorado Non-Profit organization dedicated to providing a broad variety of arts to the residents and visitors of Ouray County throughout the year. Offering classes in the arts ranging from the traditional to the unusual, Weehawken works within the community creating a broader awareness of the value of art in all forms.

ridgwayrendezvoustrainforkidsWeehawken Creative Arts proudly presents the 28th Annual Ridgway Arts & Crafts Rendezvous August 11 and 12, 2012 at Hartwell Parkl in Ridgway, Colorado. With the splendor of the San Juans in the back ground, The Ridgway Rendezvous Arts and Crafts Festival is one of the funnest events in August.

ridgwayrendesvouscrowdThis year, with the Mount Sneffels Marathon and Half Marathon both ending in Ridgway on August 11, 2012, the Arts and Crafts festival should be one of the best yet. Every year, thousands of people visit the booths of talented crafters and artists, enjoying a full day of live music, great food and childrens activities.

ridgway arts lineupThe bands begin at 9:00 am on Sturday, and the music continues into each evening with a variety of genres sure to please every musical taste. Each day, the field is full of kids enjoying train rides, face painting and sand art, just to mention a couple of the fun activities for the little ones! One of a kind treasures are everywhere, as over 100 artisits including George Coll and Mountain Mosaics display the best of their works in a juried art show. From hand crafted jewelry to one of a kind stoneware, to incredible paintings, you are sure to find something for that hard to shop for person in your life....and perhaps one or two things for yourself as well!
Every day of the Festival, don't miss the Magic Show on the live music stage by the True Grit restaurant from noon to 1:00pm, with toe tapping music both before and after. Gather at 2:00pm on Saturday to congratulate the winners of the Mt Sneffels Marathon, then off with the little ones for a big ball of cotton candy as more live music ensues.

The Festival is two days of great fun, but of course, there is so much to do and see in Ouray and Ridgway, don't feel tied down to this free event. Take a break from the festivities in the park for a soak in the mineral hot springs, a quick hike by the river, or a four wheel drive adventure! Then come on back for more of the celebratory feel of Art in so many forms in one of the most beautiful places in the country!


September Events in Ouray and Ridgway


From Bronco Bustin to Live Music, Ouray County has what you are looking for this September!

Fall Colors SeptemberSeptember heralds the beginning of Fall in the San Juans. As the weather begins to cool, the leaves turn from brilliant green to an assortment of colors, from golden yellows and oranges to an assortment of reds. depending on when we get our first frost, most if not all of the four wheel drive roads are still open, offering a photographers dream of colors and scenery.

A soak in the mineral hot springs either before or after a day of adventuring or an evening of great dining and an assortment of evening entertainment is just the peak of the perfect September getaway!

September Events are as follows:

million dollar highway scenic drivesFriday, August 17, 2012 through November 17, 2012 - OCHS Otto Mears Exhibit

Visit the Ouray History Museum any time between 10:00 am to 4:30 pm to learn about the builder of the Million Dollar Highway, to name just one of the accomplishments of thiss historical figure.

Tuesday, August 21 through September 28, 2012 - OCHS Quilt Show

The annual Ouray County Historical Society Quilt show runs from August 21st to September 28th. The show features more than three dozen quilts which were either stiched or quilted prior to 1966.

ridgway.rodeoSaturday, September 1, 2012 - Ouray County 4H Fair and Rodeo at the 4-HEvent Center, Ridgway, Co.

Come on out and support the 4-H Members and our great community!!!!

2012 Ouray County Fair Schedule TBD. 


david wilcoxSaturday, September 1, 2012 - Summer Music Series at the Wright: David Wilcox from 7:30pm to 9:30pm

The last in the summer Music Series, this is definitely not a show to be missed!

Sunday, September 2, 2012 - Live Music-Acoustic Sunday on the Patio at O'Brien's Pub from 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Enjoy a fabulous Happy Hour and listen to great music by some of our most talented local musicians.

farmer market logoFriday, September 7, 2012 - Ridgway Farmers Market at Hartwell Park, Downtown Ridgway from 11am to 4pm

Discover Fresh, Local, Naturally Grown Produce - Ridgway Farmer's Market is a small, sustainable operation which supplies high-quality, specialty vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs from local farms, as well as a diverse assortment of arts and crafts, baked goods and other prepared foods.

Friday, September 7, 2012 - Montrose Celebration of Art & Culture Downtown Montrose, Colorado from 5pm to 9pm

This event is held in Montrose but will feature Visual, culinary and performing arts from all over western Colorado

ourayceSaturday, September 8, 2012 - Imogene Pass Race Ouray to Telluride from 7am to 8am

Whether you are a seasoned marathon runner, or prefer to cheer these incredible athletes, The Imogene Pass Run is a true endurance race beginning in Ouray, and heading over Imogene Pass to Telluride for 27 miles of grueling terrain in one of the most beautiful settings in Colorado.

divide ranch logoSaturday, September 8, 2012 - GOLF SCRAMBLE at the Divide Ranch Club from 8am to 3pm

4 Person Golf Scramble. Join the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce for their Annual Golf Tournament at the Divide Ranch and Club. The 4 person "Golf Scramble" will begin with a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start. Check in will start at 8:00 a.m. 

Cost: $65 per person or $260 per team. 

Lunch will be hosted at the Clubhouse. 

jeff solonSunday, September 9, 2012 - Wrighteous Jazz--Jeff Solon's 12 piece swing band with vocalist Joyce Simpson at the Wright Opera House in Ouray from 2pm to 5pm

Tap your feet and share the fun at the Wright as we welcome the Wright Opera House Jazz Season!

jeep jamboree logoThursday, September 13, 2012 through Saturday, September 15, 2012 - Jeep Jamboree

Annual Jeep Event. Bring your own Jeep and explore the high country 4 wheel drive trails of the San Juan Mountains with experienced guides and fellow Jeep enthusiasts.

ridgway farmers marketFriday, September 14, 2012 - Ridgway Farmers Market at Hartwell Park, Downtown Ridgway from 11am to 4pm

Discover Fresh, Local, Naturally Grown Produce - Ridgway Farmer's Market is a small, sustainable operation which supplies high-quality, specialty vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs from local farms, as well as a diverse assortment of arts and crafts, baked goods and other prepared foods.

Saturday, September 15, 2012 - David Baker and Friends at the Wright Opera House Main Street Ouray

Enjoy another talented artist in one of the most amazing historic venues in Colorado.

loghill lungbuster logoSunday, September 16, 2012 - OCHS Lungbuster Log Hill Bike Challenge from 12pm to 4pm

The Ouray County Historical Societies First Annual Log Hill Lungbuster Bike Challenge. A 15 mile time trial race starting in the town of Ridgway and ending near the Divide Ranch and Country Club on Log Hill. Registration and entry fee of $40 

Sunday, September 16, 2012 - ROCC Talk - History of the Utes from 7pm to 8pm at the Ridgway Community Center at Town Hall

Free ROCC Talk: HISTORY OF THE UTE PEOPLE - Roland McCook will speak about the history of the Ute People. He is a member of the Uncompahgre Band of the Ute Indian Tribe of Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah. 

ridgway railroad museumThursday, September 20, 2012 through Saturday, September 22, 2012 Ouray County Railroad Days 

Ouray County Railroad Days presents two days of hiking on the Silverton Railroad right-of-way on Thursday September 20th and Friday Sept 21st. Then on Saturday Sept 22nd we have rides on RGS Motor No 1 and RGS Goose No 4. There is a symposium of 30 minute talks on Saturday afternoon along with a major address on Saturday night. The symposium ends with Car Pool tours of the RGS from Ridgway to Lizard Head Pass and a car pool tour of the D&RGW Ouray Branch from Ridgway to Ouray. See the Ridgway Railroad Museum web site for more details:

ridgway farmers marketFriday, September 21, 2012 - Ridgway Farmers Market at Hartwell Park, Downtown Ridgway from 11am to 4pm

Discover Fresh, Local, Naturally Grown Produce - Ridgway Farmer's Market is a small, sustainable operation which supplies high-quality, specialty vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs from local farms, as well as a diverse assortment of arts and crafts, baked goods and other prepared foods.

gabriel gladstarFriday, September 21, 2012 - Gabriel Gladstar in Concert at the Wright Opera House 472 Main Street Ouray Co 7:30pm to 9:00pm

weehawken logoSaturday, September 22, 2012 - Weehawken Big Fundraising Event from 6pm to 10pm


Friday, September 28, 2012 - Ridgway Farmers Market at Hartwell Park, Downtown Ridgway from 11am to 4pm

 Discover Fresh, Local, Naturally Grown Produce - Ridgway Farmer's Market is a small, sustainable operation which supplies high-quality, specialty vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs from local farms, as well as a diverse assortment of arts and crafts, baked goods and other prepared foods.

tea hatsFriday, September 28, 2012 - Quilter's Tea from 3pm to 5pm at Venue Roscoe Fox, 539 Main Street.

Victorian theme, “hats admired but not required.” Refreshments served $5 admission. The drawing for this year's Quilt Raffle will take place.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 - Ouray Trail Run from 10am to 2pm

mt sneffels educaation foundation logo2Saturday, September 29, 2012 - Mt Sneffels Auction@4H Center from 6pm to 9pm

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