Late November Drive in Ouray County

The weather has been beautiful this November. We have seen a few storms, and the jeep trails in the high country are all officially closed. 

Here in Ouray, the snow has melted again, and the brisk winter air is filled with sunshine and adventure. An afternoon drive seems the order of business for the day. Knowing that we only have a few hours, we immediately head North to chase sunlight, quickly finding our way to County Road 10, outside of Ridgway, Colorado.

County Road 10, or Owl Creek Pass is an easy drive in the summer, beginning off of highway 550, through a variety of amazing views, to a mountain oasis – Silver Jack Reservoir. The road continues past the reservoir, eventually exiting onto highway 50, just outside of Montrose, Colorado. Today, we decided to see if we could make it to Deb’s Meadow, where the final shoot out scene from the original True Grit was filmed.

Travelling the well maintained dirt road, the views become more and more breathtaking. Chimney Rock, which is awe inspiring any time of year, seems even more majestic, surrounded by the sleeping aspen with just a touch of snow that somehow intensifies this striking peak.

Just past Vista Mesa, the road begins to show signs of winter, as we follow tracks in the lightly frosted road. There is definitely more snow here already, but the path ahead remains accessible.

Nerves get a little touchy, knowing the winter sun will soon descend behind the mountains, and as we begin to discuss turning around, a final curve in the road opens to the meadow. Blanketed in snow, with the reds and golds of the setting sun reflecting through the trees, it was indeed a sight to behold.

Regardless of the time of year, the San Juan Mountains hold a beauty second to none. It is impossible to look at the land surrounding us and feel anything other than wonder.

Soon, the road will close, and the only access to Deb’s Meadow will be by snow shoe or skis. I myself am looking forward to it with bated breath, ready to experience the next level Mother Nature unfolds.

A quick soak in the all natural hot springs is the perfect end to a perfect adventure! Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan your perfect escape. It is amazing what just a few hours in Ouray can do!

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