Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Ouray Colorado boasts a variety of neighbors!

Posted by Faith Parry on Wed, Sep 06, 2017 @01:48 PM
If you even have a commute it might only be a few minutes, but often includes traffic jams of Big Horn Sheep coming down from higher elevations to lick the salt off the roads. These beautiful animals are avid climbers, if one or two are on Highway 550 , look up and you can pick out several more sheep of varying sizes perched on the rocks and outcrops above the road. You can tell the difference between males and females by the size and shape of their horns. Male Big Horn Sheep have larger horns with bigger curls whereas females have smaller horns with not much of a curl.
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Tags: bighorn sheep, scenic drives, ouray, wildlife viewing

Wildlife Abounds Near Ouray All Year

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Fri, Apr 01, 2016 @11:12 AM

Wildlife share Ouray with us in exchange for the occasional glimpse.


deeratthetubsYou don’t have to look very far to see wildlife in Ouray and the surrounding area.There are very few places that remind guests not to feed the animals outside your hotel room door, or to watch the hills as you travel north so as to catch a glimpse of the Bighorn Sheep (more likely, you will wind up sitting in the highway for quite some time as they pose for photos) For a long time, there was an old ewe living in the park, but after several relocation efforts, she and her family finally decided that the grass actually is greener about a mile outside of town off of county road 14. 
mooseA few fortunate people have caught sight of moose as they travelled different four wheel drive trails in the summer, and Silverton actually has frequent updates on Moose sightings around the area. Elk do not come into town as often as they once did, but just a few miles north can still be seen in small numbers grazing in the open fields by the cemetery. And of course, the photo of the elk standing on the steps of the Elks Lodge years ago is not a hoax, but was once a common occurrence. 
elk-23The town deer seem to have figured out that they are safest here in the city limits, especially during hunting season. Jack is a huge buck who has made a backyard on Second Street his home for at least six years. He majestically swaggers about town with a full sense of entitlement, safe in the knowledge that no one will harm him. The old floppy eared doe that frequents Second Street is battle scarred and bold. I know we shouldn’t have favorites, but she impresses me. Over the years, she has raised a couple of sets of twins in the field across the street from the Box Canyon Lodge. 
red_fox_scanningThe little red fox who lives by the hot springs tubs is quite a bit more shy, but in the evenings can be seen scurrying from here to there, and I have even seen him running across the street with a field mouse or rabbit in his mouth. There is a Lynx living on the north side of town that has been glimpsed a few times, but it is almost as shy as the mountain lions and wolves in the area.
The black bear living somewhere near the Box Canyon Park has wandered into town a few times. bearsShe and a couple of other young bear made Ouray their personal playground a couple of summers ago, and it almost became the norm to see them at least a few times a week lumbering down the side streets and alleys. Not as often over the past couple of years, thanks to stricter rules regarding garbage disposal, and a more conscious town as a whole.
It’s not that we don’t cherish every time we catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, but part of sharing the land with them is respecting that first of all, these are wild animals; it is not unheard of for even a deer to attack if it feels threatened. Bear have a two strike rule; the second time they are caught in an area inhabited by people, they are put down. Mountain lions have three strikes, and so on. Not to mention, people food is bad for animals. They cannot digest the preservatives we put in our treats; it stays in their stomachs, taking up space, and blocking real food and nutrients from doing their jobs. Even if we aren’t personally feeding them scraps, leaving garbage where it is easily accessible also teaches animals they do not have to work for their food, and reduces their natural fear of us. No one wants to be even partially responsible for one of these beautiful creatures being destroyed. 
blackswift-2Birds of every variety make Southwest Colorado home; Jays, Eagles, Swallows, Owls, and the list go on and on. The Box Canyon Waterfall Park is one of the few known nesting sites for the Black Tailed Swift. Flocks of Wild Turkeys can be spotted in fields all over the area, often close to the highway. Bald Eagles nest outside of Ridgway, around the reservoir, and can be seen surveying their territory either on the wing, or still as statues in tree tops close to the water. At a distance, you might mistake one for a falcon or hawk diving from the sky to capture small prey below. Wild geese and ducks form V’s across the skies, and Woodpeckers join the melee of sound with their own recognizable efforts. 
baldeagleSummer at the Box Canyon Lodge is a frenzy of activity as the hummingbirds arrive and feast at the many feeders positioned around the property. A virtual rainbow of wings and crests surround the front office as Black Chinned, Magnificent and Broad Tailed hummingbirds vie for treats. Everywhere you look in and around Ouray, there are creatures beside and above us. And if you don’t happen to actually see something, you can be sure that they are there, just on the other side of that tree or hillside. 
Evenings and early mornings, a soak in our all natural hot spring tubs are often shared with at least on or two deer, as they graze and enjoy the warm moist ground near the hot springs.
Ouray, southwest colorado
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Tags: wildlife viewing, ouray colorado

Spring Fever Hits the San Juan Mountains!

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @06:04 PM

Warm Weather and April Showers Bring Promise of a Spectacular Season in Ouray County!

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Tags: southwest colorado, ouray, wildlife viewing, ouray colorado, san juan mountains, box canyon lodge & hot springs

Ouray Colorado is Calling all Birders

Posted by Karen Avery on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 @08:57 AM
Switzerland of America, also known as Ouray Colorado wants everyone to know about the arrival of the Black Swifts.

These are very elusive birds and it wasn't until they strapped on micro backpacks with geo locators did they learn that the Black Swifts in Ouray winter in Brazil, a 4300 mile journey to the lowland rainforest on the Amazon River.  Researchers finally tracked the birds and the story is outlined in the Denver Post by writer Nancy Lofholm.  These high flying creatures can't even purch on a branch or sit on a wire.  They are only able to make their homes on the small crags of vertical canyon walls near very large waterfalls.

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Tags: wildlife viewing, box canyon falls, ouray birding

Four Wheel Drive Updates for 2013 in Ouray County

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Wed, Jun 05, 2013 @12:17 PM

Jeep Trails are opening up in the high country. Head on up to Ouray today!

Ouray Coun ty has had a beautiful Spring! With the snow almost gone, it is time to head out to the high country and enjoy the amazing scenery of the San Juan Mountain range. Wildflowers are blooming everywhere. It's just a question of where you want to go to see the full effect of blankets of color over green grass.

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Tags: scenic drives, ouray, wildlife viewing, 4WD, day trips from Ouray, scenic jeep tour, ouray colorado, san juan mountains, box canyon lodge & hot springs

Ouray Colorado boasts a variety of neighbors!

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 @10:06 AM

Life in Southwest Colorado is a little different than a lot of the world.

If you even have a commute it might only be a few minutes, but often includes traffic jams of Big Horn Sheep coming down from higher elevations to lick the salt off the roads. These beautiful animals are avid climbers, if one or two are on Highway 550, look up and you can pick out several more sheep of varying sizes perched on the rocks and outcrops above the road. You can tell the difference between males and females by the size and shape of their horns. Male Big Horn Sheep have larger horns with bigger curls whereas females have smaller horns with not much of a curl.

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Tags: bighorn sheep, scenic drives, southwest colorado, box canyon lodge & hot springs colorado, wildlife viewing, ouray colorado, san juan mountains

Yankee Boy Basin Near Ouray Colorado Wildflower Update

Posted by Karen Avery on Sat, Jul 02, 2011 @09:28 AM

Colorado Wildflower Update 2011: Southwest Colorado Near Ouray

July 31, 2011

Pictures of flowers near Twin Falls from July 31, 2011, show that the flowers are still in full bloom.  The basin near Twin Falls has numerous flowers that are out and there are many that still have buds too.  The flowers will be fantastic for many more days.  Remember wildflower etiquette:  Do not pick the flowers and try not to walk on them either so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of the basin!

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Tags: colorado wildflower update, photography in ouray, wildlife viewing, scenic jeep tours

Ouray CO: 'Snow' Much Fun for Spring Break: March 2011 Events

Posted by Karen Avery on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 @02:39 PM


Ouray Colo packs a punch this spring break.  Wildlife viewing abounds and you can enjoy various winter activities while in Ouray or Ridgway; ice climbing is still safe and accessible at the Ouray Ice Park and ice climbing instruction is available through San Juan Mountain Guides.  You can also check out these things to do during your stay as March 2011 dishes up several fun events.  Contact us at our hotel in SW Colorado and we can be sure to have your tickets waiting for your arrival at our establishment in the San Juan Mountains.  We are delighted to help you arrange things to do in Ouray or Ridgway in advance.

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Tags: things to do in ouray colorado, things to do in southwest colorado, wildlife viewing, St. Patricks Day, ouray event, discount hotel rooms, things to do in ridgway colo

3 Ways Ouray Colorado Differs from your Home Town

Posted by Karen Avery on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 @09:06 AM
Ouray is a very picturesque village in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado.  Ouray boasts 900 year round residents, the worlds first "Ice Park" as well as a rich and varied history in hard rock mining.   Through it all, however, Ouray has flourished as an incredible town for more than 100 years.  In my opinion, more than likely, Ouray is quite different from your town. Three ways that Ouray differs from your home town are traffic jams, waterfights, and hot water.
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Tags: things to do in ouray colorado, southwest colorado, wildlife viewing, natural hot springs, san juan mountains, things to do in ouray

Ouray CO: Wildlife Viewing in January

Posted by Karen Avery on Sat, Jan 01, 2011 @11:21 AM

Ouray Colorado, the "Switzerland of America", is a quaint Victorian town in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado.  It is located on the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway, an incredibly scenic area.  In winter, it is quiet and serene on most any day and it is an excellent location for some wildlife viewing.  

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Tags: bighorn sheep, places to visit in colorado, things to do in ouray colorado, southwest colorado, ouray, wildlife viewing, natural hot springs, things to do in ridgway colo