Spring is in the air, and everyone is ready to be outside enjoying some sunshine.
The world begins to wake from its winter nap, new leaves are bursting from the aspens, and the fields are dotted with baby calves, there is a sense of lightness and renewal in the air. The Ouray City Pool is in it's final stages, and May looks to be an awesome month for visitors and locals alike! April has been absolutely beautiful, with just the right amount of showers as the days get longer and the sun shines more warmly.
According to the Ouray County Road & Bridge site, crews will be starting to clear jeep roads on May 1, 2017. Earlier this week, I drove up Camp Bird Road to the gate, and, with several others of the same mind, did a little 'road walking', just to be outside. It was beautiful, and I am inclined to believe the forecast that Crew #1 will be able to clear all the way to the outhouses on that first day, while Crew #2 opens Red Mountain Town to the Main Loop.
Silverton did get a significant amount more snow than Ouray this year, and quite a bit is still blanketing the mountains. By the time crews are ready to begin work on roads at a higher altitude, as long as Mother Nature cooperates, there is little doubt that all of them will be open by July 4. Traditionally, the last to open are Black Bear and Imogene and Poughkeepsie - usually right around the Fourth of July.
Now, just because we can't get all the way into the high country is not to say that there aren't plenty of back roads open right now for a taste of what is to come! Taking a drive up Owl Creek, you can get all the way up to Vista Point, with spectacular views and some great trails to explore. Driving up County Road 14, toward Dexter Creek, the road is clear all the way to the bridge, with plenty of views and trails to walk. Last Dollar road is also open almost to the top. Please remember however, that in early spring road conditions can change quickly and dramatically, so if it looks sketchy, there is no shame in turning around to find a safer adventure.
As always, once the crews start working, the staff at theBox Canyon Lodge will be paying close attention and providing the most up to date information in regards to road conditions. We monitor all of the county websites and Facebook pages, keep in close contact with our local jeep tour companies, and depend on our guests as well for the best possible information sharing.