3 Perfect Days in Ouray Colorado During the Summer

There is Always a New Adventure in Ouray, Colorado!

Often, when planning their first visit to Ouray, people ask what there is to do in such a small mountain town. They wonder how they could fill more than one day with activities for the entire family. Once our guests arrive in Ouray though, the question changes to whether there is availability for an extra day.

With so many things to do, we at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are eager to assist with any planning for a spectacular vacation. 

Day One:

Just getting to Ouray is an adventure, particularly if you approach from the South over Red Mountain Pass. Known as the Million Dollar Highway, the trip from Durango to Ouray traverses three mountain passes, each more breathtaking than the last. Although the map says you are only traveling 76 miles, this scenic drive takes about 2 1/2 hours or longer, depending on how often you decide to stop for pictures.

Gazing at the amazing scenery, it is almost a surprise when you round one more switchback and get your first view of Ouray. The town is set up like a miniature display, and stopping at the scenic overlook, it seems as if you could just reach down and touch the rooftops.

Once you have checked in to your clean and comfortable room at the Box Canyon, it is time to soak away the road in one of our soothing mineral hot spring tubs. The water temperatures range from 104 to 107 degrees, and once settled into the small cedar tubs, the views are absolutely amazing.

Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering the many gift shops and galleries on Main Street, where you can find any number of original gift ideas, whether for the pet sitter, or yourself. With a large variety of excellent dining options in town, the most difficult decision is which restaurant to try first!

After dinner, head on back to the hotel, and choose a movie from our library of over 400 videos before hopping back into the mineral hot spring tubs for a relaxing evening soak.

Day Two:

Get up early, and enjoy a morning soak as you enjoy a cup of our fresh roasted coffee. The brisk morning air blends with the aroma of our Exotic Earth Coffee, and combined with the early morning quiet, nothing quite compares.

Get your layers on and come down to the lobby to enjoy a light snack while waiting for your next adventure. At around 8:30 am, your tour driver will arrive, and get you situated for a four hour journey deep into the high country. Or, you may prefer to drive yourself, in which case, this is the perfect time to decide on your route andbegin a day of exploring. Known as the Jeep Capital of the World, Ouray has access to ove 500 miles of four wheel drive roads, each taking adventurers on a journey into history.

Take a picnic, and enjoy lunch at the summit of Imogene Pass, or above the twin waterfalls of Yankee Boy Basin. If you chose the tour, a picnic at the park by the city pool is a lovely way to spend the afternoon, playing Frisbee or flying a kite. Of course, there are a variety of restaurants offering meals for take out and dining in.

In the afternoon, there is plenty of time for a mine tour. Just a short drive outside of town, the Bachelor Syracuse Mine Tour offers both a walking tour and a shorter exploration deep into the once fully operational Bachelor Syracuse Mine. Close your eyes and imagine the fortitude of the miners who once worked these dark caverns day in and day out.

Back to the hotel for a long soak and a leisurely dinner are an excellent way to finish the day.

Day Three:

After enjoying a morning soak, put on your hiking shoes, and prepare to experience Ouray on foot. A nice short hike, only minutes from our parking lot, is the Box Canyon Park. this is a state park, and animal preserve, so there is a nominal fee to enter, but truly a couple of dollars is well worth it. The shortest trail in the park meanders easily along the side of the Uncompahgre Gorge, depositing visitors at the base of the Box Canyon Waterfall. Words cannot describe, and pictures often leave something to be desired when trying to describe the awe inspired when standing where so many have before you. after the waterfall, take the stairs for a longer hike to the hanging bridge, 200 feet above the canyon, with views to die for.

If that’s not enough, let the front desk staff help you to choose a hiking adventure suited to your personal expectations. From standing at the top of the closest fourteener, Mount Sneffels, to the awe inspiring works of Mother Nature at the Baby Bathtubs, there is something for every one.

In the afternoon, hop in the car and take a scenic drive along Highay 62 and Highway 145 to Telluride. A wonderful way to experience the area is to park in the paid parking garage at Mountain Village, outside of town and take the free gondola ride into town. Wander the streets and enjoy lunch at one of the fine dining establishments in our sister town just 17 miles away…..as the crow flies.

Once back in Ouray, take in a show at the Wright Opera House, or one of the many options for live music in Ouray. Don’t miss out on another soak, and finish the evening off relaxing in your room with another video from the front desk.

There are so many options for fun filled days in Ouray, from scenic drives and four wheel drive adventures to shopping Main Street. Horseback riding in the San Juans is an adventure all its own, as your guide takes you on horseback deep into the high country, surrounded by the serenity of land virtually untouched by motorized vehicles.
Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs begin planning the perfect escape for you. From jeep reservations to trail maps to dinner reservations, we are waiting to create an adventure suited to your exact needs!

See You Soon!


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