Tuesday, May 27, 2014


One place that I would like to spend some time is Ouray, Colorado, another alpine town surrounded by mountains.  (Something I've wondered about - why don't these towns just float away during spring thaw? But I digress.)

Continuing along the San Juan Skyway, we turned onto CO 62 in Placerville.  Still very pretty scenery and we actually stopped to take this picture when we crossed the Dallas Divide.

Knowing Ouray has a national forest campground very close to town, I called the ranger district office to ask if it was open.  Now you may remember that didn't turn out too well in the previous post, but this was a different district.  This time I was told that the campground is still closed and snow covered.

So we were forced to stay at Ridgway State Park.  Now, as some of you may know, Colorado State Parks are VERY expensive.  This one was $22 a night, PLUS a day use fee of $7.  I have never understood that. It seems to be only reasonable that you should either pay for day use or camping, but not both.  But that's Colorado.  On the other hand, their state parks are absolutely beautiful and this one was no exception.

We paid the exorbitant fee, quickly parked, and took off for Ouray.  We did the short, but breath stealing hike up to Cascade Falls.

And checked out the 'baby bathtubs', a series of .impressions in the rock.

Although the road to the campground was closed, we wanted to see it and hiked up the road.  We had some great views along the way.
Update on the campground -  There was not a speck of snow, but it was closed and they were clearing out some downed trees.  And it is very small.  There are probably only two sites large enough for our 30' RV.

Back in town, we walked around admiring the architecture.  Ouray has something very interesting that I've never seen before.  On each block, there is a sign that tells you what buildings were there in 1886 and 1906 and what year the buildings were built.

For instance, the hotel on the corner in the picture above was built in 1886-87.  Cool, huh?

And the fancy Elks Lodge (no RV parking) was built in 1904.

We'll have to come back another time in the summer to really experience the area.  I understand there are wonderful hikes with unbeatable views.


  1. Maybe you can talk Bobbie into showing you some hikes that don't require surgery afterward.

  2. Are you still there? Our good friends, Dick and Nina, are camp hosts there.
    We really like Ridgeway and Ouray.

  3. Just read on another blog where a Ranger failed to mention that a road was closed and they drove many miles only to have to turn around. Sure glad you had better luck this time. Colorado really is beautiful.

  4. We drove through Amphitheater campground in the Lazy Daze. Big mistake! Got lots of scrapes from trees and shrubs and there were no sites open that we could fit into.
    We loved Ouray in the summer. You can boondock about 8 miles south at Ironton, but those miles are slow on the Million Dollar Hwy. Plenty of space for big rigs and nice hiking trails right there. That is if you like hiking uphill!

  5. I'm like you and want to spend more time in Ouray! Last time just didnt take time to stop and really investigate it...do you read Box Canyon Blog, his home base is Ouray he could answer any questions you have about it I'm sure!!