Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway provide great summer recreational trips
Located beneath the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains, the communities of Telluride, Ouray and Ridgway offer some of the best summer activities in Colorado.
Nicknamed the “festival capital of the southwest,” Telluride features a major event nearly each weekend of the summer.
Coming soon is the MountainFilm Festival, May 27–30, which is America’s premiere showcase for independent films dealing with world cultures, adventure and the environment.
New this year are free outdoor evening screenings in Telluride Town Park and the special guest for the festival will be Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature” and founder of 350.org.
For information on MountainFilm, go to http://www.mountainfilm.org.
On the music side of things, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Telluride Blues and Brews Festival continue to be very popular.
Telluride Bluegrass, set for June 28–July 4, already is completely sold out. It will feature music legends Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Peter Rowan, Robert Plant and others. For information, go to http://www.bluegrass.com.
Blues and Brews, Sept. 16–18, is a weekend where craft, micro-brew is celebrated with musicians performing blues, rock, funk, gospel and soul
This year’s lineup will include Willie Nelson, the Flaming Lips, moe and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. For information go to http://www.tellurideblues.com.
Other major or popular festivals in Telluride include:
The Telluride Balloon Festival, June 3–5.
Wild West Fest, June 6–12.
Telluride Heritage Festival, June 10–12.
Telluride Yoga Festival, July 14–17.
Telluride Jazz Celebration, Aug. 5–7.
The Chamber Music Festival, Aug. 11–20,
Telluride Mushroom Festival, Aug. 18–21.
Telluride Film Festival, Sept. 16–18.
Telluride Photo Festival, Sept. 26–Oct. 2.
Go to http://www.visittelluride.com for information.
Once known as one of the richest towns in America during its silver and gold mining boom days, Ouray is a popular summer destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Hike and bike around the area also known as the “Switzerland of America,” and relax in comfort in the city’s hot springs pool. Information about mine tours, rafting, rock climbing, fishing, horseback riding and other family activities can be found at http://www.ouraycolorado.com.
Identified as the “Gateway to the San Juans,” Ridgway is a small community that boasts a rich western history and offers limitless outdoor opportunities.
The town was the backdrop to John Wayne’s most famous movie “True Grit,” and has had other movies filmed in the area, including “How The West Was Won.”
Ridgway once was the headquarters of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad, and is now home to the Ridgway Railroad Museum.
Orvis Hot Springs is about a mile south of the city limits and Ridgway State Park is just a few miles north of town, offering great fishing and boating opportunities.
For information on hiking, biking and fishing near Ridgway, go to http://www.ridgwaycollrado.com.
SEE IT, DO IT
Where to bike: Ridgway offers single and double track trails connecting the town with Ridgway State Park. Info: http://www.ridgwaytrails.com.
Where to camp: The Uncompahgre National Forrest has 14 developed campgrounds including Matterhorn, near Telluride and the amphitheater overlooking Ouray.
Camping at Ridgway State Park also is available. Info: http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/unc.htm.
Where to hike: For those seeking unprecedented views, Yankee Boy Basin, west of Ouray offers high altitude hiking within the San Juan Wilderness. Mount Sneffels, one of Colorado’s 14ers also is accessible from Yankee Boy basin.
For an extreme challenge, hike the trail connecting Ouray to Telluride.
For a less strenuous hike, try the Box Canyon Falls Park, located at the end of Third Avenue in Ouray. Info: http://www.ouraycolorado.com.
Where to boat: Boaters can find floating bliss on the Ridgway Reservoir in the Ridgway State Park or through a day trip on the San Miguel River near Telluride. Information about Ridgway Reservoir can be found at http://www.parks.state.co.us/parks/ridgway. Information about the San Miguel River can be found at http://www.visittelluride.com.
Where to golf: Enjoy 18 holes at Telluride Ski and Golf Resort, 565 Mountain Village Blvd., in Mountain Village or at Divide Ranch and Club, 105 Badger Trail North, northwest of Ridgway. Call 970-728-6900 for tee times at Telluride and 970-626-5284 for tee times at Divide.
Where to climb: The Pool Wall area, located on the northeast boarder of Ouray and Sandias is a great place to climb.
Ophir, located just minuets southwest of Telluride also features rock-climbing opportunities on its famed Ophir Wall. Info: http://www.visittelluride.com.