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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason in Ouray and Ridgway


After a scenic drive this fall, enjoy a visit with one of Colorados most celebrated authors!

David Mason Colorado Poet LaureateIn conjunction with Weehawkin Performing Arts, Ouray and Ridgway Schools and Ouray County Performing Arts, the Ouray County Library is proud to present Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason.

 Mason is an accomplished poet and co-director of the creative writing program at Colorado College. He is the newest Poet Laureate for Colorado, and plans on sharing his love of literature across the state. Each year, one many celebrated authors is awarded the station of Poet Laureate, to function as an advocate for poetry, and to present readings at the openings of many government conventions.

The Poet Laureate will be giving presentations in the morning and afternoon at the Ouray and Ridgway Schools on Friday, October 14, 2011, with a free evening reception from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Ridgway Library for an informal meet and greet and to discuss his work.

fall foliage ironton parkOctober 15, 2011 there will be a morning workshop through Weehawken Creative arts,  from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., entitled “Killer Openings: How to Get into a Poem,”. There will be a limited number of spaces available at the reduced rate of $25.00. Please call 970-318-0150 to sign up. The weekend will conclude with an evening poetry reading for the public sponsored by the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild and Ouray Public Library at Venue Roscoe Fox from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, at which Mason will read from his writings. Copies of his book will be available for purchase, and Mr. Mason will be signing copies.

What better way to celebrate a Fall getaway in Ouray, Colorado than with an evening enjoying the literary charm of poetry?


Events in Ouray and Ridgway Colorado: October, 2011


Ouray County Vacation Guide and trip planning information October, 2011.


ouray mountains in octoberWinter begins to show signs of visiting in earnest as the leaves continue to fall. All Hallows Eve is almost upon us with the promise of snow if we haven't seen it already here in Ouray. What better place to usher in a blanket of winter and to enjoy the final days of Fall than soaking in the hot springs after an evening of Haunted fun? Although the town may appear to be preparing for a long rest, this is far from true. Events in Ouray and Ridgway for the month of October are listed below:

August 19 through November 19, 2011: "A century of Ouray County Farming and Ranching: 1875-1975", Special Exhibit

The Ouray County Historical Society presents it's special exhibit of the 2011 season at the Ouray County Museum. A Century of Ouray County Ranching: 1875-1975 runs from April 15th to July 5th and August 19 to November 19. Learn about the various types of ranching and farming that took place in Ouray County during the counties first 100 years. 

Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and October 2: 2nd Annual Chief Ouray Gun Club Gun Show.

Vendors from around the state at the Ridgway 4H Events Center. Buy, Sell, Trade, Browse guns and accessories.  Door fee is $5

oktoberfest ouray coloradoSaturday, October 8, 2011: Oktoberfest

Enjoy an evening of German food, music, dancing, door prizes and of course the jeep drawing at the annual Ouray Oktoberfest. Sponsored by the Ouray Chamber resort Association, celebration is at the Ouray Community Center from 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Tuesday, October 11, 2011: Free Ultimate Frisbee

If you like running and having fun, join us a Fellin Park from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

Friday, October 14, 2011: Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason Presentations, Receptions, and Readings

Morning and afternoon presentations at the Ouray School and the Ridgway School.  Evening reception and conversation at the Ridgway Library.  Morning workshop through Weehawken Creative Arts. Afternoon reception and conversation at the Ouray Library.  Evening poetry reading for the public sponsored by the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild.  This is a community-wide event with several organizations involved (including Ouray and Ridgway Libraries, Ouray and Ridgway Schools, Weehawken, and Ouray County Performing Arts Guild).

October ouray 2010Saturday, October 15, 2011: Mt. Sneffels Live/Silent Auction

Live Silent Auction/ Food at the Ridgway 4H Event Center from 5:30pm to 9:00pm. Hundreds of wonderful items to bid on from Exotic Vacations, Dining, Lodging, guided tours, golf, clothing, art, books, jewelry, massage, yoga and many more! Fund Raiser to support educational projects for the youth of Ouray County.

Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, 2011: Rocky Horror Picture Show

Act out the cult classic movie at the Wright Opera House on Main Street at 9:00pm Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday, October 21, 2011: Jazz Home Salon, Featuring The Michelle Wilkinson Trio

Enjoy the jazz stylings of this popular local trio as you a variety of snacks and beverages in the intimate setting of a Home Salon presented by Ouray County Performing Arts Guild (OCPAG). Tickets are $25.00 per person. Call soon for reservations! 970-626-2970


Saturday, October 22, 2011: Concert in the Park in Ridgway

The Ridgway Town Park will host a final farewell to summer with a free concert in the park at 3pm until dusk.  Whiskey in the Morning will play and there will be plenty of beer available.  There will also be a Children’s Autumn Festival with carnival games and prizes for those too young to drink the beer.

Saturday, October 22, 2011: Ouray Elks Annual Haunted Dinner and Costume Ball

Enjoy dinner, karaoke, costume contests and a silent auction to name just a few at the Ouray Elks Lodge on Saturday, October 21 from 6:30 pm through the night.

Friday, October 28, 2011: Hound of the Baskervilles Radio Show

Friday night at the Wright Opera House on Main Street at 7:30pm

Friday, October 28, 2011: Wicked Weehawkens A Nightmare on Cora Street 

Friday night from 9:00pm to 1:00am at 630 N. Cora St. in Ridgway. Wicked Weehawken Halloween Party for Adults only this time! Cash bar, Costume contest, live music and more!  $5 Cover with Costume or $10 without Costume

Saturday, October 29, 2011: Ouray Elks Haunted House

The Ouray Elks Club presents Costume contest and prizes with a Halloween goodie bag for each child. Open to the public at the Ouray Elks Lodge from 6:00pm to 8:30pm



Don Harrington Memorial Charity Horseback Ride - in Ouray 9/24/2011


Spend the day experiencing the beauty of fall in the San Juans on horseback while supporting a local charity! 

elks charity ride.2The Ouray Elks Lodge would like to announce their upcoming 26th Annual “Ride for Charity.”  The Ouray Elks Lodge “Ride for Charity” was originated by Don Harrington and Bob Wilson kept the tradition going for years.  The ride is now referred to as the Don Harrington Memorial Charity Horseback Ride.  This year’s horseback ride will be a 3+ hour event on September 24th sponsored by Sherry Petersen doing business as Ouray Livery.  We will begin approximately six (6) miles north of Ouray, head straight up the mountain, turn left and travel through some of Colorado’s most beautiful country using the old railroad grade.  Lunch will be served after the ride back at the Ouray Elks Lodge #492 historical building located on Main Street.   


elks charity ride.3All charity pledges raised by our riders are used exclusively for our Youth Programs in the form of College Scholarships, Youth Drug Awareness Program, Easter Egg Hunt, Santa Claus Program, Haunted House, in addition to our Building Fund and local charity account.  Among other things, our Charity Account assists local youth with special needs, i.e., glasses, verbal therapy, emergency dental work or medical assistance.

What you should know:

  • ·Information - for more information contact Manette Steele at (970) 325-0095.  Rental horses are available.
  • ·Registration - all participants must pre-register to participate and get the packet of information
  • ·Elks - you do not have to be an Elk member to participate
  • ·Awards will be presented to qualified riders once they have handed in their pledges
    • Minimum of $100 donation is requested but not required from all riders

elks charity ride* “I Survived the 26th Annual Charity Horseback Ride” T-shirt awarded to those that bring in $100+ in donations

 For a fun-filled day in the saddle and a chance to make new friends, consider joining this 26 Year Tradition on the Elks Charity Ride.


 Happy trails and we look forward to having you join us.

Manette Steele lives and works in Ouray, Colorado.  Not only is she a devoted member of the Ouray Elks Lodge #492 she has also served as Exalted Ruler twice and held the position of District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler for Southwest Colorado.

Southwest Colorado Fall Foliage Scenic Drives 2011


Current Status of Southwest Colorado Fall Foliage Near Ouray

The San Juan Skyway is an incredible Colorado Fall Foliage tour and typically drivers enjoy spectacular fall foliage from the middle of September until the middle of October.  Aspen trees, glistening in bright yellow flank the roadway for most of the route. Pastoral ranchland with large baled hay, incredible fencelines and scrub oak add to the pristine appearance of the majority of this Scenic Drive.

For information on great Colorado Fall Foliage Scenic Drives and photos check out these other articles:

October 2, 2011
Fall foliage in SW Colorado is getting close to peaking but there is still so much left to change.  As long as the weather holds, fall will go on for another couple of weeks, especially if you keep to lower elevations.
Ouray County Rd. 9 - 40% yellow with tons of green leaves
box factory park ouray county small
Ouray County Rd. 14A - 50% yellow with tons of green leaves
cutler creek fall foliage small
Owl Creek Pass area - 50% yellow with tons of green
Million Dollar Highway south of Ouray - Nearly all yellow
Pictures from this weekend are posted on our Facebook page and on Picasa Web Albums:
September 25, 2011
Drove south on the Million Dollar Highway (US 550) and detoured on Ouray County Rd 31 (4WD only) into Red Mountain Mining District (east side of the highway, higher up the mountain side but sharing the same foliage and views).  The foliage along this section of Red Mountain pass is stunning right now.
  • Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton (40% changed), 
  • Ophir Pass-4WD Road (between Silverton and Telluride, 20% changed - will peak next weekend), 
  • Dallas Divide (between Ridgway and Telluride, 10%, will be beautiful 1st week in October).
Overlooking the Yankee Girl Headframe in Red Mountain Mining District 8-10 miles south of Ouray on US 550
along san juan skyway small
US 550 8 miles south of Ouray
colorado scenic fall foliage drive small
About 2 miles from US 550 off of Ouray County Rd 31 (4WD necessary) overlooking the Guston Mine relics
guston mine ruins near ouray colorado small
US 550 (San Juan Skyway) between Ouray and Silverton
silverton san juan skyway small
If you would like to see more pictures in the loop that included Ophir Pass (4WD road), please see our facebook photo album.

September 22, 2011
The fall foliage in Southwest Colorado is finally starting to change along the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton.  Near Ironton, it won't peak for several days.  Here are some pictures taken today between Ouray and the Summit of Red Mountain Pass.
between ouray and silverton fall foliage
red mountain pass fall foliage
ironton fall foliage southwest colorado
south of ouray colorado fall foliage

September 19, 2011

The fall foliage on Owl Creek Pass near the Cimarron Mountains still had not begun to turn.  Owl Creek Pass is slightly higher than 10,000 ft. and about 14 miles east of Ridgway in Ouray County.  We did find some signs of blight but, for the most part, the trees looked healthy.  They just are a little late just like our summer flowers were in the San Juan high country.


Owl Creek Pass Sign

September 11, 2011

The fall foliage between Ouray, Ridgway and Telluride has not really begun to change.   Along the San Juan Skyway between these two incredibly scenic towns aspen red rock canyons and aspen trees provide beautiful scenery and grand vistas especially in the fall.  In 2011, the summer started a bit late and the fall seems to be following suit.

The Dallas Divide was still green, aspens along Colorado 145 between Placerville and Telluride were still green.  The only place where we detected any change in color was just beyond Mountain Village on the way to Ophir but nearly all the trees were green.  Here are some photos:

Forest Service Road to Alta Lakes - Just the smallest little bit of leaf change and practically not noticeable.


aspens near telluride alta lakes

colorado fall foliage


Looking towards Mt. Wilson from the Scenic Overlook just before Ophir - These mountain vistas are covered with aspen trees and beautiful green coniferous trees and everything is  perfectly green!  Fall is approaching but it is a seemingly a late season this year.

telluride aspen trees




mt wilson telluride aspen trees

If you love photography, it isn't too late to sign up for a professional course taking place in about three weeks.  You won't believe your eyes!



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mountain flowers