With its rich history, Halloween is a scary good time in Ouray!
Straddling the line between autumn and winter, life and death, Halloween or All Hollow’s Eve is a time of celebration and superstition.It is believed to have its origin’s in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, in the area that is now Ireland, the U. K. and parts of northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This is the day that marked the end of summer & the harvest, and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. This was a time of year that often was associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the vail between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.
On the night of October 31they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead could return to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging the crops, Celts believed that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the ever changing natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter months.
During the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday was known as All Saints’ Day, this Christian holiday incorporated many of the traditions of Samhain. The evening of October 31st became known as All Hallows’ Eve and would later evolve into what we now know as Halloween.
One of the most fun traditions in the history of Halloween are the Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on Halloween goes all the way back to the Middle Ages. Trick-or-treating most closely resembles the late medieval practice of "souling," when the poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). This tradition is believed to have originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.
Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. Originally for the ghosts and sprits of their deceased loved ones, people would set places at the dinner table, leave treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and would light candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world. Today’s Halloween ghosts are most often shown as being much more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier as well. We also tend to avoid crossing paths with black cats, in the belief that they might bring us bad luck. This idea again has its roots in the Middle Ages, when people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats.
Through the centuries, various supernatural entities — including fairies and witches — came to be associated with Halloween, and more than a century ago in Ireland, the holiday was believed to be a time when spirits of the dead could return to their old haunting grounds. Dressing up as ghosts or witches became fashionable, though as the holiday became more widespread and more commercialized, the selection of disguises for kids and adults greatly expanded beyond monsters to include everything from superheroes to princesses to politicians. All Hollow’s Eve has been known on the North American continent since colonial days, but by the middle of the twentieth century Halloween had become largely a children's holiday. Since that time, the holiday's popularity increased dramatically as schools, campuses and commercial haunted houses (such as the annual Haunted House at the Ouray Elks Lodge) have embraced the event.
Whether you be a ghost, witch, fairy or druid Halloween has become a much loved and enjoyed holiday for all ages young or old to celebrate. We here at the Box Canyon Lodge look forward to seeing all the little ghouls and goblins out haunting our streets for this year’s trick or treating. And for those older revelers a hauntingly good time can be found at the annual Halloween Ball at the Haunted Beaumont Hotel from 8pm till the witching hour of midnight.
Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help to make this Halloween a fun and safe adventure!
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.
Come in and say hello!
Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, Ouray County is a Natural Treasure.
Once central to a booming mining industry, Ouray County now relies mainly on tourism, recreation, ranching, construction and still some mining. Its two towns, Ouray and Ridgway, remain true to the best of the Western Colorado tradition - a relaxed, meaningful quality of life that many only dream about.
Ouray County is noted for some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Often refferred to as "Switzerland of America" and the "Gem of the Rockies", Ouray County offers amateur and proffessional photographers the magnificence of the San juan Mountains, waterfalls and sparkling riversd, alpine wildflowers and endlessly changing seasonal colors.
In addition, Ouray County offers a number of delightful visitor attractions:
Railroad buffs will enjoy a walk or ride along the old Denver and Rio Grande train bed, which runs paralell to the Uncompahgre River north of Ouray. Avid rock hounds can easily find specimens of pyrite, crystal and even silver and gold for those willing to try their hand at panning. the Bachelor Syracuse mine offers panning lessons and offers the equipment needed at their gift shop.
2.) Bird Watching
Bird watchers will delight in the unique varieties of birds in Ouray County. Species ranging from tiny hummingbirds to golden and bald eagles may be viewed from the town or in the mountains and meadows of the surrounding area. The Box Canyon Waterfall Park is one of just a few known nesting sites for the rare Black Swift, and the entire area has been listed by the National Audobon Society as a rare bird sanctuary.
Hikers and backpackers will find terrain and trails in the county perfect for beginners and experienced hikers alike. From an easy stroll to the base of Cascade Falls, or Portland Trail, a good first time intro to area hiking, to the challenge of the Horsethief-Bear Creek Loop Trail, Ouray County has something for all interests and abilities.
Often refferred to as the "Jeeping Capitol of the World", four-wheeling is an unqualified means of experiencing the magnificence of Ouray County. Bring along a four-wheel drive vehicle or trail bike, rent a jeep locally or enjoy the convenience of a jeep tour, with knowledgeable, experienced drivers. With access to over 500 miles of trails to explore, a four wheel drive adventure is an item easily marked off of your bucket list!
5.) Rock Climbing and Ice Climbing
Mountain climbing in the summer, and ice climbing in the winter are popular activities in Ouray County. Some of the most popular "fourteeners" are located in the area as well as other challenging peaks to conquer. Canyoneering is a sport quickly gaining popularity in Ouray County as well, combining hiking, climbing and rpelling through spectacular waterfalls. Adventure is easy to find here in Ouray County!
6.) Wildlife Viewing
Ouray County Sparkles during its long season of winter sunshine and moderate temperaturres. Ouray winters offer a quiet serene contrast to Colorado's more bustling ski areas. Deer, Elk and bighorn sheep are often seen grazing in the City Park during the winter months. One doesn't even have to travel that far from the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, as a variety of wildlife enjoy the warmth of the hot springs, and can often be spotted just a few feet away while guests enjoy a warm soothing soak.
7.) Winter Exploring
The ultimate in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can be enjoyed against a backdrop of 14,000 foot peaks, wooded trails and alpine meadows. For those less athletically inclined, a snowmobile tour can be an exciting winter adventure which can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Regardless of the season, Ouray County offers a range of activities and interesting adventures centered around the majesty of the San Juan Mountains. The county's 540 miles encompass the rich, fertile ranchlands of the Uncompahgre river valley, the gentle rolling expanse of Dallas Divide, the majestic Sneffels Range, the scenic solitude of Owl Creek, Cow Creek and the Courthouse Range, and the spectacular Million Dollar Highway.
Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help to create the mountain adventure of a lifetime for you! From arranging dinner reservations and jeep tours, to mapping out the ideal trails to explore, or just providing a quiet oasis frigors of the outside world, Ouray and the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are the perfect escape.
Fall Colors are still Awesome in the San Juan Mountains!
After posting the most recent color update from the San Juan National Forest, it seemed only reasonable to go out and see for ourselves. The weather was cooperating, and the roads calling, so, jumping in the jeep, we began our adventure.
Driving the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton was, as always, breathtakingly beautiful, even though the colors are past peak. Still, driving past groves of aspen that have lost most of their leaves is a marvelous precursor to the colors on the other side of the mountain.
Having enjoyed a leisurely lunch in Silverton, and adding a little gas to ensure a pressure free day of exploring, we headed back to the Ophir Pass entrance.
Quickly, the landscape began to change, and suddenly, we were gazing at mountaintops covered in the first blanket of snow.
At the top, one last twist in the trail offered an amazing view of reds and golds in the valley below. Standing in a sudden flurry of snow, perhaps, the pictures were taken a little quickly.
Traveling through a forest of trees shedding leaves in a surreal display, it was difficult to remember to click the camera, the rainbow of Fall surrounding us in its peaceful beauty.
Jumping on Highway 145 for just a short time, we opted to drive Last Dollar Road, and were rewarded with more spectacular scenery with every mile. Turning back at one point, the contrasts of color were a sight to behold. As we returned to the highway at the base of Dallas Divide, we still had not had enough.
Taking County Road 17 back to Ouray, once again, colors burst at every turn, and quickly, the decision was made to make the most of the daylight left to us and we turned onto Camp Bird Mine Road for yet another breathtaking display of Mother Nature.
Deer on the mountainside paused as we gasped at their magnificence, obviously taking for granted the scenery around them. Just a few miles up the road, just after a rock overhang, we decided to turn back, and found ourselves caught in a storm of leaves as the wind blew colors across the road in a dance to music we could not hear.
Traveling back toward Ouray, it was obvious that although winter is definitely gazing hungrily at the high country, there are still so many roads to explore and sights to see.
Back at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, a long soak in the soothing mineral hot springs was the perfect way to enhance our appetites for a delicious meal in one of the great restaurants on Main Street, before heading back for a movie and relaxation.
A day in Ouray County and the surrounding area is always an adventure. Whether you choose to drive the back roads, hike the Perimeter Trail, rappel through a waterfall, or climb an ice filled gorge, the adventure never stops, and the days are still long enough to enjoy many activities.
Fall Leaves Update for Southwest Colorado
It seems as if the colors on the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton have passed their peak, but that's not to say the leaves have done changing!
The lower altitudes are still vibrant with oakbrush and still some aspen - the reds and golds and faded greens blending int a rainbow of Fall.
As the colors change, so does the weather, but the jeep roads are still open, and the scenery magnificent in a whole new way.
There are still colors to be seen all around, so if you missed peak on the Million Dollar Highway, never fear!
San Juan National Forest Fall Color Report 2014 as of 10/10/2014:
Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage:
Durango to Purgatory – 90% aspens peaking
Molas Pass - past peak
Silverton/Red Mountain Pass – past peak
Pagosa –70% aspens high, 90% cottonwoods along river
Dolores to Rico – 85% peaking
Mancos – 90% peaking
Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas:
Purgatory to Durango. Williams Creek Reservoir.
North of Mancos. West Dolores
Estimated Peak Viewing Period:
High country this weekend should be getting lower. 8-9,000 feet
The slightly lower areas below 8,000 ft look good. Pagosa, Dolores, Mancos changing fast.
Viewing Suggestions / Tips:
This may be the last good weekend.
Trees That Are Currently Turning Color:
Aspens, oakbrush. Willows and cottonwoods starting.
For More Information on Fall Colors Please Contact:
San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango (970) 247-4874
Why Do Leaves Change Color?
Rocky Mountain Region Fall Color page link
National Forest Service Color Finder page link
The 4WD roads are still open as well, and there are some companies who are taking guests for a snowfall tour! This is a little shorter than the typical half day, and a little less expensive as well. Give us a call at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, and we will get your adventure arranged for you!
See You Soon!
From Ice Climbing To Canyoning, The Waterfalls in Ouray Beckon
Fall is gradually turning to winter. As the evenings become cooler, and the mornings more brisk, the land waits impatiently for the first snow. Fall colors still bloom at lower altitudes, and some leaves are clinging tenaciously in the high country, but we all know the season is about to change again.
Members of the Ice Park have begun to prepare for the cold, promising an early season as long as Mother Nature cooperates. Of course, it is still far too early to begin farming ice, but there is much to do before then.
Once the ice forms, the silence in the park is deafening, as athletes concentrate on proper placement of axe and boot, ever conscious of the spotter below. Onlookers watch in quiet amazement as climbers contort their bodies to best experience the climb. As if in defiance of gravity, the experts traverse ice as smooth and clear as glass, deep in the Uncompahgre Gorge.
January marks the 20th Annual Ouray Ice Festival. This gathering is attended by ice climbers from around the world, as well as industry sponsors, inspiring speakers, and the world’s top exhibition climbers.
So, what is an Ice Climber to do when there is no ice? Well, rock climbing is quite popular, and becoming ever more so in and around Ouray. There is also a sport that is beginning to become more and more popular with every season: Canyoning, or Canyoneering.
Combining hiking, climbing and rapelling, Canyoneering adds the element of water. Yes. Canyoneers begin by hiking to a waterfall, which they climb to the top of, then rapell through the water to the base. Not much is missing in this adrenaline pumping sport.
For the past five years, Ouray has hosted a canyoning festival each August. Steadily, the number of Canyoneers has grown, and in 2015, Ouray will host the Rendezvous International for Canyoning (RIC). We will welcome athletes from around the world as they join us and explore the amazing canyons and waterfalls in the region. The final day of the festival will be highlighted with the Annual City of Ouray Grillin & Chillin Festival in Felin Park.
Whether travelling to Ouray in the Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. From Exploring the high country by 4x4 on foot, or skis to traversing a wall of water, either frozen or flowing, the best part is being able to relax in the warm soothing waters of a natural mineral hot spring tub at the end of the day.
Experienced guide companies are standing by to take you out on the adventure of your choosing. Whether new to any given sport, or just the area, these individuals can take you and your family where you want to go in a safe, professional manner filled with breath taking fun and excitement.
Weekend adventurers and mid week getaways add a little spice to the ordinary, and although Ouray seems so far away, it is really just in your back yard, accessible year round, with access to some of the most spectacular scenery and adrenaline pumping sports around!
Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, the majesty of the San Juan Mountains is Second to None!
When the last of the snow has melted from the highest peaks, the rivers run high, and the reds blues and yellows of a world of flowers create a rainbow accross the land.
Everywhere you look, life is bursting in an explosion of color and sunshine. Wildlife bring their newest out for a first look at the world, and the sun shines bright through afternoon rain showers.
Adventurers journey through a surreal world of unparalelled beauty.
Summer arrives, and the roads are dry and inviting. Although not quite so stark, the flowers still remain and over 500 miles of four wheel drive roads beckon the adventurer.
Hikers, rock climbers and canyoneers flood the area, cameras click as everyone tries to capture the awe inspiring mountains and forests teeming with life.
Around every corner, the world is warm and bright, with cool evenings filled with more stars than you've ever seen before.
The world gradually begins to change with the leaves. the evenings become more brisk, and the landscape seems to shift. Fall has begun, and the high country sings with new colors as the aspens, oakbrush and cottonwoods compete for the most spectacular display.
The 4WD trails are still open, and the Million Dollar Highway is lined with cameras as once again, the world attemts to capture a moment in time.
Locals are beginning the job of quieter times, as jackets replace sweaters in the evening, and we begin to wonder where we put our skis and ice climbing gear. The leaves fall more quickly until suddenly, as if gasping in relief, the last leaf falls.
Winter teases and taunts with the promise of snow. The sun closes its eyes a little earlier every night, and the Ice Park begins the process of creating ice.
All along the Uncompahgre Gorge, they curious look on and marvel at the athleticism as climbers take to the ice in a ballet of axe hitting ice.
Deeper in the Gorge, instructors take a group of beginners through the process of learning the dance in the "Schoolroom" and the Kids Climbing Park.
The day ends inevitably no matter the season. As the stars dot the sky, and the sun fades away, there is still one thing to do. Soothing the worn tired muscles of a well spent adventure, the mineral hot springs provide a moment of absolute peace.
Under a blanket of stars, as the steam rises all around: Summer, so brilliant and bright, Winter, so brisk and stark. Early morning, coffee steaming, blending with the warmth of the tub, as deer graze nearby, seemingly unaware of your proximity.
The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is open 365 days a year, and welcomes travellers to the adventure of this small town with a giant heart every time of year. Whether you plan to push your body to new levels by tackling a fourteener, or by finding a one of a kind gift, created by one of the many talented artists in the area, we are here to help you. Take the first step for the adventure of a lifetime!
Four Wheel Drive Trails and Scenic Byways beckon as Fall Colors Begin in Southwest Colorado!
The new season is beginning. Everywhere you look, the aspens are beginning to turn from a vibrant green to the yellows and oranges of Fall. With just a tiny bit of snow in the high country a couple of weeks ago, it seems Mother Nature has decided to grant us a long and beautiful season of colors and adventures.
Imogene Pass, Ophir and Yankee Boy Basin are teeming with activity as explorers traverse the trails and photographers pause at every switchback for that unforgettable shot.
Black Bear Pass, one of the most difficult, is closed for the season, but with so very many other options, hardly to be missed. As the color updates begin to flood in, it looks like this is the time to check out Red Mountain Pass.
September is an amazing time to journey the passes. Wildflowers are still in bloom, complimented by the beginning transformation of the foliage as nature prepares for a long winters nap. It is almost as if the countryside is rebelling against the inevitable approach of Winter.
Like the grand finale of a fireworks display, the San Juans will enter into the time of ice climbing and skiing with a final explosion of color and life.
As the evenings become more chilly, and the mornings more brisk, the weather forcast still promises days of warm sunshine and spectacular hiking and jeeping conditions. The streets are a little more quiet in town, perfect for a liesurely evening of shopping and dining, followed by a long soak in the hsoothing waters of our all natural mineral hot spring tubs.
Of course, the best part about this time of year is how very quickly everything can change. Every day is an adventure just by being. Tomorrow could be entirely different. The weather could change and completely alter the direction the season is going. Suddenly, fall will be in full bloom, with the colors peaking in every corner of the Uncompahgres. Perhaps one of the most incredible things about the Fall season in Colorado is winning the gamble, and getting here at the right time.
As always, at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our goal is to help our guest decide when they might catch the best of the Fall colors. Every year, we scour the websites and check with our guests and take scenic drives ourselves in order to provide the most up to date information on the conditions of the four wheel drive trails, hiking trails, wildflowers and fall foliage.
The San Juan National Forest has published their first update on the colors. It looks as if Red Mountain Pass is the best bet right now to catch the beginnings of the leaves:
Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage:
Durango/Purgatory – 10% aspens, 50% oakbrush on Missionary
Molas Pass - 40%
Silverton/Red Mountain Pass – 75% aspens
Pagosa –10% aspens high, 30% cottonwoods along river
Dolores/Rico – 30%
Mancos – 20%
Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas:
Silverton area early this week before it's done.
Estimated Peak Viewing Period:
High country this week should be getting good.
The slightly lower areas should be the week after.
Viewing Suggestions / Tips:
4WD in Silverton and the alpine loop. Lake City to Creede. Ouray.
Trees That Are Currently Turning Color:
For More Information on Fall Colors Please Contact:
San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango (970) 247-4874
The Alpine loop is always a popular jeep adventure. You can do the entire loop, or just portions around Silverton to catch the best colors this weekend. Corkscrew, Animas Forks, Engineer, Cinnamon, Engineer, all promise to be spectacular this week, and even better next week.
Last Dollar Road, one of my favorites for viewing the Fall colors, will be a little later in the season, due to its lower altitude. The Million Dollar Highway should provide some awesome views as the week progresses, and is accessible all season.
Hiking in the fall is a marvelous way to catch early changes not visible from the roads and jeep trails. A short drive up Highway 550 to the Ghost Town of Ironton is a great way to see quite a bit. Take a picnic with you, and enjoy an afternoon surrounded by nature and all of her beauty as you explore the remains of this once prosperous mining town.
An excellent way to experience the San Juans with both hands and eyes free is to take advantage of a jeep tour. Each of our tour companies in and around Ouray are staffed by experienced, proffessional drivers with up to the minute knowledge of road conditions and ideal wildlife and color viewing. A tour in the high country in the fall promises you will never miss anything!
Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help to create the perfect getaway for you. From the best spots for fall colors, to up to date 4-wheel drive road conditions, to the best spot for a quiet dinner, we are here to make your stay memorable.
Food, Fun and Fiber in Ridgway Colorado September 2014.
Weehawken Creative Arts works tirelessly to provide high-quality arts education and personal growth programs and events to adults and children year-round.
A Colorado Non-Profit Organization (501-c-3), Weehawken serves Ouray, Ridgway, Colona, Silverton and Montrose.
From dance to pottery; cooking and sewing, plays and music; Weehawken embraces every form of art and presents it in programs and classes attended by a variety of individuals. Each event they offer is a potpourri of talent and a treat for every taste.
The Second Annual Sneffels Fiber Festival promises to be an eclectic mixture of art, music, food and fun. Focusing on all aspects of fiber and fiber arts, the festival will be a three day event held at the Ouray County 4H Events Center, featuring live animals, such as yaks, alpacas and maybe even a camel!
From beautiful tapestries, embroidered in rainbows of color, to wearable arts such as scarves and sweaters, the variety of fiber to be seen and purchased will entertain for hours.
This event is free, and will run as follows:
Friday, September 26, 5-7 pm Sneak Preview
Saturday, September 27, 9am-5 pm
Sunday, September 28, 11am-3pm
Free Admission on Saturday & Sunday (donations gladly accepted!)
Contact the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs for more information, or to plan your stay. Soak in the soothing mineral hot springs, hike the magnificent San Juan Mountains, and go find that special one of a kind something at the Second Annula Sneffels Fiber Festival!
See you soon!
The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is the Perfect Winter Escape!
At the Box Canyon Lodge, we love our guests. Whether you have been visiting us for years, or this is your first time to the property, every guest becomes a part of what makes us great.
Nineteen years ago, John and Barbara Uhles offered a special incentive to folks who join the "Once A Month Club". In exchange for coming to see us at least once a month from October through May, members receive incredible discounts and offers on rooms. The club took off, and the lodge has been blessed with an extended family who have visited monthly for years and years.
When Rich and Karen Avery purchased the hotel in 2006, the "Once a Month Club" was an exciting and interesting concept. What better way to learn what does and does not work than from the folks who visit so frequently? Not to mention the opportunity to meet so many of the people who have been an integral part of this amazing property! Friendships formed and continue to thrive and grow. Members come and go, some stay with the club for just one year, while many more become life long members.
The months of October through May, the city of Ouray becomes a much more quiet community. As the snow begins to fall and temperatures drop, access to the high country becomes more limited. Several businesses close for the winter, the owners taking advantage of the chance to explore the outside world, or just relax and prepare for the following summer. Nothing compares to an evening in Ouray when the streets are so quiet it is as if you are the only person in town. Snow falls gently, and the four mineral hot spring tubs in our courtyard are an intimate escape from it all.
The majority of our Once a Month Club members live fairly close to us, but we also have a number of folks from as far away as Denver, Santa Fe and Moab. A number of members have chosen to join the club with family members, friends, or through their businesses. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the benefits of the club without having to worry about whether you can commit to visiting all eight months yourself. From hospitals to families to business associations, we have a wide variety of visitors who enjoy the benefits of the Once a Month Club.
The serene beauty of the Uncompahgres is a magnificent backdrop to whatever winter activities interest you. Whether an avid skiier, snow shoer, ice climber or hot tubber, Ouray serves as a perfect base camp. Telluride is just a short drive for downhill skiing. The Box Canyon Lodge is just at the base of the Ice Park Trail, and any hiking trail becomes the perfect winter adventure for snow shoeing. Ironton Park is only a few miles up the pass for a day cross country skiing on meticulously groomed and maintained trails.
After a day of fall or winter adventuring, how nice to relax in the warm, soothing mineral hot springs!
Once a month members can take advantage of these little getaways much more often, not having to be concerned with a long drive home. Of course, there are times when the discounted rate does not apply, however, with so many other days available, it is simple to plan around.
Every year, as the summer season begins to wind down, everyone at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs begins to look forward to October with a feeling of anticipation and excitement. The Club members have started to call, and make dates for the first visit of the season, and we can't wait to start catching up on the past months.
This year, we hope to add to the family, and invite everyone to come and experience a winter in Ouray!
Check out our contract. Fill it out and send it back to us, or just bring it along on your first visit! This year, be sure to expect some great deals for the summer season as well! Every once in a while, we just miss our clubbers, and want to see them during the warm months as well. So, every once in a while, club members may receive an email from us inviting them all to come visit for a last minute getaway!
Join the Club, and become a part of our little extended family here at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs!
See You Soon.
Ouray Hotel has long provided a soothing relaxing atmosphere!
Long before the area was discovered by two miners in search of gold, the tiny canyon now known as Ouray served as a sacred spot for the Ute Indians. Some people speculate that perhaps the name "Uncompahgre", or dirty water, was given to the area to protect the secret of the hot springs.
Once gold had been discovered though, the soothing waters of the natural springs were an added perk to living in the area, offering a soothing respite from days deep in the earth searching for treasure.
In 1877, a newspaper article mentioned the vast number of bath houses in Ouray and their popularity. While several places took advantage of the warm waters for recreational purposes, it was not until the early 1900's when a facility was opened which brought to light the healing properties of the hot springs.
Rich in a variety of minerals, particularly helpful in soothing rheumatism and skin problems, the first sanitarium was developed.
Richard and Bessie Cogar purchased the land which now houses the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, as well as its neighboring hotel in 1913, with the intention of building the first sanitarium in Ouray.
In the early 1900's, the term "Radio Active" had an entirely different connotation than the post World War Two use of the word, as did the term "Sanitarium".
The Cogar's Sanitarium and "Radio-Active Baths" were incredibly successful, and men and women came fraom all over to take advantage of the treatments provided at the facility.
In 1927, after the death of her husband, Bessie had remarried and left Ouray, selling the sanitarium to Mr. C.W. Kent, of Peoria, Illinois. Mr. Kent maintained and invested in the sanitarium, which he re-named "The Sweet Skin Sanitarium", until 1946. During his residence and ownership of the hot springs, he added five cabins to the property to accommodate the growing tourism and declining mining industry.
In 1945, Mr. Kent sold the land to the Idarado Mining Company, who re-named it the "Crystal Court Bathhouses", and rented cabins to local miners.
Sometime around 1953, the original 35 acres were parceled out, and on July 9, 1959, The Ouray County Herald announced the opening of the Box Canyon Motel. Long term residents, Tommy and Della May (or Sally) Fellin had built a two story hotel with ten complete units. This building is the first of three expansions over the year, and is on the Southwest side of the property. When John Ray and Mary Joyce Scoggins purchased the property in 1964, there were fourteen completed units available for rent.
During the five years they owned the hotel, the Scoggins added another eight rooms to the property, and moved the front desk to the front of the hotel, facing the street.
Joseph and Viola Muse purchased the Box Canyon Motel in 1969, selling it again in 1972 to Kurt and Margaret Kircher. When the Kirchers sold the property to Thomas and Nancy Borman in 1975, there were twenty two rooms. During their time at the Box Canyon, the Bormans added eight more units, and built the four mineral hot spring tubs which still provide hours of relaxation and pleasure to our guests.
When John and Barbara Uhles purchased the hotel in 1986, they immediately set about making the property their own, renaming the Property "Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs", and completely refurbished the original 14 rooms. They purchased the parcel of land between the Box Canyon and its neighboring hotel, the Chief Ouray Gun Club, and added eight rooms, including the two large suites, each with a fireplace, and the Honeymoon Suite.
In May, 2007, Rich and Karen Avery purchased the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. With 39 beautifully maintained rooms, including five suites and a fully furnished two bedroom apartment, it was easy to fall in love with. The four mineral hot spring tubs still stand on the hillside. The tubs themselves have been replaced once or twice, still as cedar tubs though in order to best compliment the majesty of the views.
Every year, the Averys follow the tradition of upgrading and maintaining the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. The Averys expanded increased use of the hot springs by converting the entire property to geothermal, using the natuaral heat to warm the guest rooms and tap water. Every time a guest returns, whether it is weeks, days or even years later, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs provides the perfect escape. The love and passion put into the property from the very beginning shines through in every portion of the grounds and rooms.
Come see us soon!