Elk Meadows: Cross Country Skiing in Ouray County

Now that we finally have snow on the ground, it is hard to stay inside on a sunny winter day. With so many places to explore, every day in Ouray County is an adventure.

Travelling North ten miles from Ouray to Ridgway, Elk meadows is located on County Road 5, just past the turn off for Top of the Pines. Parking is located at the beginning of National Forest land, and this is where the adventure begins for today.

This trail is indeed a workout, as the first mile or so is a climb. As the road begins to flatten for an easy glide, the scenery is absolutely spectacular. It seems that everywhere you look, is another magnificent sight to behold.

Finding a tree on top of a hill with dry ground beneath, we sat for a while transfixed by the beauty. A breeze in the air that must have been a gale at 14,000 feet accentuated the awesome heights of Mt Sneffels. It is interesting to think that just a few months ago we stood at the jagged teeth behind the Colorado Fourteener and traversed the Blue Lakes Trail, trying to picture the path from our position on the other side of the world.

A short way further offers an unbelievable view of Courthouse Mountain and Chimney Peak. The trail continues to the boundary of the National Forest, at which point the road  begins to climb more steeply, providing access to a variety of huts and trails. We chose to turn back and enjoy the view from an entirely different perspective.

After enjoying a leisurely lunch in Ridgway, the short drive home filled with conversation about our most recent adventure, our minds were filled with anticipation a nice long soak in the all natural hot springs in Ouray. 

Winter, Summer, Spring or Fall, there are always so many places to go and see in Ouray County! 

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