We received an update from the USFS in Montrose today and the conditions are not surprising if you live in Ouray Colorado but might shock those that have heard of epic snowstorms in the Colorado high country. Ouray CO has had plenty of moisture but unfortunately, it has been too warm so it comes to us in the form of rain. But, on a positive note, today's weather is mostly a frozen margarita or a slushy as the rain is beginning to turn to snow. We still may have a white Christmas at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs after all!
The following information is from the USFS Ouray Ranger District:
For holiday recreation, here is the snow report... In a nutshell, conditions are generally very poor.
- Dave Wood XC Ski Area: Not enough snow to ski.
- Ironton Park XC Ski Area: Enough snow for skiing designated trails, and good quality. Not yet being groomed. Off-trail skiing not recommended.
- Miller Mesa: Not enough snow to ski. You would have to walk a couple of miles up CR 5 to reach good snow. Do not attempt to drive it beyond the winter parking area -- the road is very, very icy (I learned this first hand).
- Red Mountain Pass: Enough snow for backcountry skiing, but rock skis are recommended as there is no base yet. Check avalanche and weather reports before visiting this area -- avalanche danger has been very high!!!
- Uncompahgre Plateau Snowmobile Routes: Enough snow for snowmobiling on unplowed roads, but not enough for cross-country travel (where permitted). Leaving the road is inadvisable, as there is not enough snow to allow passage over surface obstacles. As of Tuesday, snowmobile trails were not yet being groomed. Dave Wood access is good. Other access points are unknown.
- Owl Creek Pass Snowmobile Route: Not yet being groomed and not recommended. Access is very poor due to warm, wet conditions. You must travel a long way on muddy, icy roads on either side of the pass to reach adequate snow.
Try these websites for more information:
Colorado Avalance Information Center: http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php.
National Weather Service: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/gjt/.
NRCS SNOTEL: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snotel/Colorado/colorado.html.
The good news is that the natural hot springs in Ouray are warm as ever and we welcome everyone to come down for a great soak.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone from all of us at the hotel.