Box Canyon in Ouray
Ouray is a quaint little mountain town that is full of tourists in the summer. There are lots of shops and eateries, galleries, etc. There are numerous Jeep and ATV rental places and this is suppose to be Jeep Country. The street is full of Jeeps and other 4X4 vehicles and the dirt roads beckon them to explore. The only other draw to this small mountain community other than the fantastic scenery is the Ice Park. Apparently this is a mecca for ice climbers in the winter time.
Ice Park in the Summer
The town of Ouray
After our harrowing adventure with the motor coaches (see the previous blog), we decided to take an easy day and explore the town and take in a few of the short hikes and contribute to the locals by eating lunch out. Our first stop was at the tourist information center where a very knowledgeable lady provided us with some excellent hiking ideas and explained some of the Jeep roads. I explained that I did not want to drive on anything too technical as we would not be traveling with a group. She was able to provide us with some great routes that would be safe and fun.
We left the visitor center and headed out towards Box Canyon. This is a beautiful box canyon in the middle of town with some awesome water falls. The is a must see if visiting Ouray and in walking distance The ice park is also part of the box canyon but in the opposite direction. The ice park has observation stations scattered through out where by standers can set and watch the climbers. Must be pretty cold here in the winter. We paid our money ($3.00) to get into the Box Canyon park and walk the short distance to the falls. The path is an elaborate metal structure suspended from the canyon walls that takes you all the way to the end where the falls are. Its pretty impressive and the pictures don’t do it justice. Ouray has a perimeter trail that circles around the town and through the hills which includes the box canyon, ice park, and cascades. We didn’t walk the whole trail, but if I were to return I would definitely make time to hike the whole trail.
The Falls at Box Canyon
Note the elaborate walk way to the falls
We also hiked the short distance up to lower Cascade Falls. Later, we found out we could have hiked to the falls from the campground, however, it a steep down hill to the falls and then a very steep uphill back to the campground.
Lower Cascade Falls
I saw these little creatures at the entrance to the Box Canyon Park.
And then I saw this:
So why is the park feeding the animals!?
Tomorrow we will 4 wheel drive up to the Horsethief trail head and head up to Heaven's Bridge. I'm sure I won't find any signs reminding me not to feed the animals.