July is Wildflower Season Along the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway
When the high country snows begin to melt and temperatures rise, the wildflowers begin to bloom in full force in the San Juan Mountains. Wide open meadows are covered in color and a drive along the San Juan Scenic Byway with some small detours is the perfect route for counting and capturing these high summer beauties.
The San Juan Scenic Byway is a 236-mile loop of highway that travels through Southwest Colorado and includes the cities of Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton, Durango, Dolores and Telluride along the route. Along the Million Dollar Highway (the section of Highway 550 between Ouray and Silverton) waterfalls occur around every twist and turn in the road. Of particular note, the new Bear Creek Overlook and Otto Mears Memorial has a spectacular view of the thundering Bear Creek Falls and the Uncompaghre Gorge.
For those who are looking for a short hike to view the flowers, check out the Twin Falls area of Yankee Boy Basin. If you want to search out more wild vistas, take one of the many Jeep roads into the high country. Governor's Basin and Clear Lake are two of our favorites. Jeep tour companies also provide comfortable and relaxing tours into the area that give you the added bonus of a great commentary about the natural and mining history in the area.
No matter which road you choose to travel, always leave with a full tank of gas, a picnic and a camera. Your wildflower journey is about to begin!
Exploring the San Juan Mountains
Ouray is proud of its long 4x4 history and designation as the “Jeep Capital of the World.” Since the 1940’s, 4x4 vehicles and Jeep tours have been crisscrossing the San Juan Mountains as adventurers explore the rugged mining trails, ghost towns, and spectacular scenery. Waterfalls, wildflowers, stunning vistas and historic mining structures await those who venture into the mountains.
Summer Events Not to be Missed
When warm temperatures arrive in the mountains, it’s time to head to play outside. Ouray offers so many special events throughout the summer that will enhance your visit to the area. Whether you love live music, arts and culture, history, or live theater, here is a sample of the fun events happening in Ouray this summer! For a complete list of events throughout the summer, click here to visit our online calendar
There is something truly special about celebrating July 4th in Ouray, Colorado. A treasured tradition for generations of visitors and local residents, this day long patriotic and historic celebration will bring out the joyful child in everyone. From the early morning pancake breakfast and Ourayce 10K, to the spectacular fireworks that boom through the canyon at dark, activities abound all day long. The 51st Annual Jeep Raffle kicks off around the Fourth, and supports fireworks, student scholarships, and community events.Bring your camera, your patriotic spirit, and your water gun.
The Wright Opera House also has a full schedule of live music performances, weekly Wednesday night indie films and the ever popular melodrama, which kicks off at the end of June. For thier full schedule, click here.
At the end of the month, Ouray turns into an artists' enclave with the Artists' Alpine Holidays, one of the longest-running juried art shows in Colorado. Spanning a full week, the event includes a juried exhibition, plein air painting workshops, an art auction and lots of socializing with your creative counterparts.
Remarkably, two-thirds of Ouray's original Victorian structures, are still occupied, and have been lovingly restored in order to preserve their turn-of-the-century charm.