We are blessed here in Ouray with a hiking trail that meanders around the perimeter of town in almost a complete loop compiling for 5 miles of some of the most scenic trails in the area. Officially beginning on the North side of town by the visitor’s center and ends approximately the same.
Incorporating Cascade Falls Trail, Baby Bathtubs, and the Ice Park Trail the Perimeter Loop gives hiker’s a variety to terrain to explore and enjoy all while connecting these popular trails. Depending on your fitness level expect to spend 1-1/2 hours to over 3 hours hiking. Pack extra food, plenty of water and sturdy hiking boots are a must! I’ve hiked this trail in a nice pair of hiking boots to summer mountaineering boots and the stiffer the sole the better.
Annette and I always joke that we bring the snow. From our very first trip together to Aspen in 2010 (22 inches before Halloween) Breckenridge (7 feet in a week) Snowshoe right after New Year’s 2011 ( snowed for 3 days straight)…well, you get the idea. It’s been a recurring theme with us almost everywhere we travel in the mountains. So, it came as no surprise when we landed back in Ouray this past Saturday that we had exactly 36 hours of nice weather before old man winter came a knockin’ in the San Juan’s.
I had this really cool write up planned. You know, did all the digging on the Net to make sure my stats and facts were correct and had some nice pics lined up too. Then, I ran across this video not long ago that changed my plans! Never one to try and reinvent the wheel, I quickly scrapped my article. So, check out this 9 minute production on the Ouray Ice Festival. It’s simply amazing. Nuf said…grab an IPA and enjoy.
A fraternity brother, Chip Greenlee that used to sport this corduroy Purgatory hat in college like it was a badge of honor. Chipper was the closest thing we had to Pluto from Animal House so everything he did you noticed and the mere fact he talked of this fabled “Purgatory” was enough to put it on the bucket list.
When I first heard about the Ouray Ice Park about 2 years ago it was summer and didn’t think much about it. Since it was a typical July day of mid-70’s, no humidity and brilliant sun projecting my thoughts past my San Juan IPA to think about ass-cold ice wasn’t going to get much traction.
But once the snow flies and the temps drop my attitude towards seeing the park in it’s full glory changed like the seasons and soon everyone was climbing and the giant gorge on the south end of town became an ice playground, majestic, vibrant and beautiful. It’s one thing to spy a frozen waterfall from afar but another to get up close and personal with one of nature’s greatest assets.
This is an amazing video that demonstrates how beneficial it is for man to find ways to work with nature instead of trying to make nature work for man.