Spring Fever Hits the San Juan Mountains!

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

As we move into April, saying goodbye to a mild winter, Mother nature teases us with the promise of warm weather activities. 

Part of us knows that we need some more moisture, hoping the overcast skies will fulfill a promise of snow or rain. At the same time, when the clouds break, and the sun shines down, bathing your face in much missed vitamin D, it is indeed difficult to be disappointed.

With temperatures reaching into the 60’s at times, it is no surprise that our mind travels into the high country.

How are those trails looking? Is it time?

Well, no.

A quick drive this weekend told me what the websites had said, but I refused to believe. 

Yes, there is in fact still snow out there.  And it is slushy. Which means I couldn’t get to my favorite springtime picnic spot yet. Sad day.

As much as Spring Fever has taken over, begging us to travel into the hills, this time of year it is very important to remember that nature can be treacherous.

Any time of year in the high country, the weather can be misleading. One minute, the sun is shining, but a few minutes or miles later, things have drastically changed. As the snow melts, it becomes less stable. The top layer is crunchy and hard, while underneath it is melting. It is very important when out hiking, jeeping, and exploring that you let someone know where you are. Not enough traffic is out yet to be able to depend on someone happening by if you get stuck in a snow drift.

Now that’s not to say that exploration cannot happen. Hiking trails are ready to be traversed at lower altitudes. Perhaps a quick stop in to Ouray Mountain Sports on Main Street is a good idea. Because they specialize in renting and selling a variety of outdoor equipment, they often have the most up to date information on the conditions of different trails and activities. You can also check their wall for people looking for someone to partner up with in the high country. What a great way to meet people and safely experience everything this area has to offer!

Spring in Ouray is a great time for wildlife viewing. Bighorn Sheep dot the hillsides, often right beside, or even in the highway. Foxes and deer roam the streets, oblivious to the humans in their midst as they go about their daily life.

Soon, the bear will be venturing out as well, in search of an easy meal. A little more shy than the deer, it is still quite common to catch a glimpse. Just remember our four legged neighbors are wild animals, not house pets.

As the snow melts, suddenly waterfalls appear as if from no where. Seasonal falls surprise you at almost every turn. water cascading from the cliffs and mountains creating a palette of color against the sunshine and canyon walls. the Box Canyon Falls become a sensory explosion – heard long before actually seen. Spring thaw creates a roar as the river swells with branches and minerals shed with the snow.

Finally, there are the flowers. The first blooms of the year have some special something. Vibrant colors forcing their way into once white fields. The fresh green of new grass, and the leaves on the aspens as they begin to wake from a long winter nap.

April is a gateway month for us. We never know what to expect from one day to the next, which adds to the mystery and magnificence of Ouray. It is a perfect time to escape from the day to day, and slow down. Spend a morning exploring the Perimeter Trail, then a liesurely walk along Main Street, followed by a soothing soak in the mineral hot springs before walking to dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants on Main Street.

At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our goal is to make your time with us memorable. Let us help you find the perfect activities for your visit.


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