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Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

Boston, MA
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Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

My family (wife and 3 kids, ages 13, 11, and 7) will be in Ouray four nights Aug 16-19 and here is what we have come up with so far as potential things to do:

1. Hot Springs Pool

2. Box Canyon Falls

3. Bachelor-Syracuse Mine Tour

4. Switzerland of America Jeep Tour to ???

5. Yankee Boy Basin

6. Ute Mountain Tribal Park (not sure where this is)

7. Drive to Black Canyon of the Gunnison

I was hoping that we could drive to Silverton and take the train to Durango and catch a bus back but it seems like this is not an option (based on my reading of their web site).

Does anyone know of a jeep tour / train combo that originates in Ouray or Silverton?

Specific Jeep Tour suggestion?

Many thanks!

hudson valley,ny
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1. Re: Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

Make your jeep tour reservation a day before and don't be dissapointed if the itenerary /destination has to change because of weather!! Take a look at San Jaun Jeep tours... They were great and a little less expensive. Our original 1/2 day tour was for red mountain pass but we went to yankee boy basin instead because of storms!!.. Try a tour that takes you to Telluride!! If doing 1/2day jeep tour better to do in AM (8:30 to 1:30) as the storms are usually in the afternoon.

Also Make reservations for the Bachelor Syracuse Mine Tour!! That is alot of fun...

Try the Vapor Cave at The Wiesbaden’s Hot Springs

Take the short hike to Cascade Falls...

Have dinner at the Outlaw...

The Tribal Park is South West of Mesa Verde NP... that would be a very long drive..........

Enjoy your trip... Doe

las vegas, nv
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2. Re: Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

We used Switzerland of America last year and we thought they were great, and the guide was wonderful. We did a full day tour through Black Bear and Imogen passes, but I'm not sure if I would recommend it for kids. We were tuckered out after that really long day. I think SOA does have a 1/2 day tour to Yankee Boy Basin which I've heard has the most ghost town sites to see. But, if you can find a tour that does just Black Bear (which takes you into Telluride), it's a thrill and half! Everyone would get a kick out of it.

There's plenty of little hikes to do around town - the visitors center usually has info on these. Did you get the visitors guide from the website - has lots of info in it!

Double check with the Silverton-Durango rail - we drove to Silverton, took a bus to Durango, and then took the train back to Silverton. I would definitely recommend this, but make the reservations through the phone instead of the internet. Our reservations got messed up, although they were able to fix them at the last minute. If you go to Silverton, Handlebars restaurant has really good food.

If eating at the Outlaw (which I would also recommend), be sure to make reservations. This is one of the most popular restaurants - and always really busy. The Tundra at the Beaumont is also good, and I've heard the Bon Ton is good too.

Have fun on your trip!

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3. Re: Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

We've been just up the road from Ouray (Ridgway) with kids now 11 and 7 this summer and last.

Our kids are good hikers, and your hiking choices may depend on how your seven year old is with that. Telluride is beautiful and you can ride the free gondola which our kids love. The drive there and back is a gorgeous road. Last year we hiked down from the top of the gondola (hiking maps free and easily available at all gondoal entrance and exit points); this year we did the Jud Wiebe trail out of town which is great.

We also hiked this year from just outside Ridgway the Blue Lake trail which is gorgeous - it's 6.5 miles round trip and 2000 feet up so you'll know if your 7 year old can do that.

One of our kids' favorites - which I don't notice on your list - is trail riding. Last year we did the Ouray stables which was ok - great views but involved multiple crossings of the busy road. This year we rode with an outfit just ten minutes north of Ridgway (www.aago.net - I put a note about them on the Ridgway to go lists)

who were superb and I reccomend them very highly. Amazing location high in the mountains (they drive you up fromt he pick up point), and far above the other available trial riding options I think. They do family discounts too so that saves a few $$.

I think Yankee Boy Basin requires four wheel drive?

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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4. Re: Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

Ute Mountain Tribal Park is south of Cortez, about 3 hours drive from Ouray. The only way to see it is with a Ute guide. Full day tours are kind of expensive, $44 per person and more if you use the guide's vehicle. Here is link to their website. www.utemountainute.com/tribalpark.htm

If you want to see ruins and haven't been to Mesa Verde, I would go there and it is much more affordable.

Pueblo, Colorado
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5. Re: Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

We just returned today from a 15 day stay in Ouray with our children, 9 and 10 years old...

The pool is always a hit...but be aware that the water is warm and can really sap alot of energy. We always did the pool in the afternoon when we were done with our main activities of the day.

If you have an SUV or Truck with you, do not spend the money to go on a tour to Yankee Boy. It is easily accessible with a 4WD truck or SUV. It would be a waste of money to use your guided tour for that. I would see if any of the tour comapnies have a tour over Engineer Road From Ouray to Animas Forks Ghost Town and then back through California Pass and Hurricane Pass, and then down back to Ouray through Corkscrew Gulch. That is a GREAT day with a ton of things to see. Also, it is not so harrowing as Black Bear Pass with children.

Unfortunately, all the wildflowers are starting to dry up...but some of the best this year were on Imogene Pass and Stony Pass..you might want to check those out early in your stay...

The Old Hundred Mine tour out of Silverton is a much better Mine Tour than the Bachelor-Syracuse...real miners do the tours and gold panning is included in the tour price. You could combine this tour with a trip over Stony Pass (accessible in your stock 4WD) and make a day of it and then eat dinner in Silverton at Handlebars or the Brown Bear Cafe...it would be a super day.

Box Canyon Falls was great and the kids had a great time exploring. We spent about 3 hours there, but most people only spend about and hour. My kids just happen to enjoy the hiking and the outdoors...Please be aware that there is alot of stair climbing in the park. Also, keep your eyes peeled on the rock walls for Black Swift Bird Nests...we were fortunate enough to spot a nest with a little baby perched in it...it was about halfway down the steps to the falls...right in the center of the rock face. These birds are rare and come to Ouray from Mexico every year for the summer.

My kids also really enjoy going to Ouray Glassworks and Pottery. The glassblower, Sam allows customers to come back to his work area and he tells about how he creates his works of art. He blows the glass right there for all to see. It is amazing and the kids beg to go every year when we are in Ouray. We went 5 times this vacation! It is a great free activity to do when you are strolling through the town shopping.

There is a great free tour of the historic Beaumont Hotel that takes about 30 minutes. It is at 12 noon every day. My kids really liked it alot....hearing about the people that used to stay there and how it has changed through the years. If your kids are inquisitive, this is a great tour.

Another interesting free thing to do is visit the Ouray Cemetery. I know that sounds weird, but there are alot of beautiful and historical markers there. If you have studied anything about the area, you will see alot of the people buried there that you have heard about in town!

The last thing that I would suggest is the short hike to Cascade Falls. You access the trail from the top of 8th street (by the Goldbelt Bar and Grill). It is less than 1 mile and it takes you to the Cascasde Falls that are seen from almost every point in town. You can walk right up to the falls and picnic, take pictures, or cool off.

I of course don't know anything about your kids or you, but hopefully some of these ideas will be a home run for you...We go to Ouray every year, so we have learned what is "hype" and what is the real deal.

As far as tours go, we have ATV's, so we do it all ourselves. But like I said, if you have an SUV or a $WD Truck, you can do alot of the roads on your own. If you want more info on this, just let me know!

Have a blast!! Where are you staying?

Bay City, Michigan
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6. Re: Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

We used Switzerland of America tours for a jeep rental, and everything was top notch for us.

We went to Yankee Boy Basin the night we got the rental, and it was lovely. No trouble.

We also went to Red Mountain, Animas Forks Ghost town, and we did the Engineer Pass another day. I was not that impressed with Silverton at all. Shopped a few shops, then left.

Def do the Hot Springs Pool, our son really enjoyed it, went twice, in fact.

Box Canyon is nice, not all that exciting though. Can be quickly done.

Black Canyon is nice, we did that on our way down to Quray. Use your digital camera here a lot.

Million Dollar Highway drive-at least do several miles ot it.

Go to Telluride. Ride the free gondola ride (it is part of their public transportation!) Cute town, cute shops, great restaurants.

Though a long day, you could try to see Mesa Verde NP. We came home way of Telluride again, just to see it again!



7. Re: Ouray Itinerary: Suggestions for mid-August

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