Must Haves for a Great Adventure in Ouray County

Exploring the high country around Ouray is always a great experience.

Whether you are going on a jeep tour, horseback riding, hiking or enjoying a scenic drive, it seems there is always something new around the next bend.

As with any endeavor, it is best to be prepared. The weather can change quickly and dramatically, as well as the terrain.  Now, regardless of the adventure you choose, there are certain things you should do to make it the best possible experience. 


It sounds silly. You look out your window, and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it is a lovely 72° in Ouray. It is hard to believe that in mere minutes,  the temperature plummets and it begins to rain. Often by late summer, you might even encounter a snow storm when traveling to higher elevations. Particularly when hiking, it is always a good idea to have a light rain jacket with you. Standing at the top of a mountain is a lot more fun when you aren’t wet and cold.

Comfortable Shoes

Those strappy heels are most likely the cutest pair of shoes I’ve ever seen, just not the best option for walking in and around Ouray. This tiny little town is very hilly, and only Main Street and Third Avenue are paved. Dirt roads will destroy those heels, and very possibly break an ankle. Hiking is absolute torture when you have the wrong shoes, not to mention dangerous… We only have two feet. That isn’t to say you can’t wear cute shoes, obviously this is as important to us as it might be to you, but a good comfortable pair of walking shoes or sandals can be absolutely adorable, and in the winter, snow boots not only provide the traction you need, but come in a variety of styles.

Sun Screen

Again, the weather seems overcast. It’s only 70°, and at the top of Imogene, the sun is shrouded in a sea of clouds. At 7800 feet the sun is a lot closer than you realize, and at 13,000, even more so. Combine that with the UV rays reflecting off of snow, or through clouds, and you will experience one of the most painful sunburns ever. So, be sure to cover up with some SPF lotion, particularly if you are prone to burning. Speaking from experience, the extra few seconds are definitely worth it!

Plenty of Water

When traveling from lower elevations, quite a few people experience some sort of discomfort when exploring the high country. One of the best ways to combat a light reaction to the altitude is to drink plenty of water. Some of the jeep tour operators have told me they recommend a carbonated beverage if you are on the trails and start to feel ill.  When hiking or performing any strenuous activities, it is always a good idea to be hydrated, particularly when you’re still acclimating to a higher elevation.

Have a Plan

You’re going on an adventure! You have no idea where you’re going, but that’s O.K., you are indestructible…The sun is shining, the birds are singing, you have your flip flops on, and you’re ready to go climb a fourteener! Did I mention how quickly conditions can change in the high country? Before setting off on your adventure, decide where you want to go. It’s best not to go alone, but if you do, be sure to have a map if you’re going to a remote spot, and definitely tell someone where you are going and when you plan on being back. Ouray Mountain Sports actually has a bulletin board for people to connect with other adventurers to buddy up for everything from hiking to ice climbing.

It’s easy to take your home for granted. The day to day scenery begins to blend with work and responsibilities, becoming a dreary landscape. At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our home is our business. We love where we live, and make it a point to explore as often as possible, finding the best restaurants, tours, shops, hikes and adventures for our guests. I know. You’re jealous.

Every member of our team has their own specific passion- their own reason for choosing to live in Ouray. From hiking to four wheeling, ice climbing to skiing, live music and shopping, or the fabulous natural hot springs, everyone here is eager to share this passion with our guests. Our goal is for you to love where we live as much as we do! Let us help you design your perfect escape. We can help you map out whatever adventure you are looking for, and if we don’t know, we will find out! Let the front desk know when you’re heading out, and we will keep an eye out for you, letting our co-workers know if you’re not due back by the time we head home. Then check back in with us so we don’t call Search and Rescue!

Ouray and the surrounding area is a magnificent place to visit, and we look forward to making your next adventure the best it can be!


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