With all of the news recently about wildfires in Colorado, it is very easy to be confused into thinking there is no where to go, and nothing to do in Southwest Colorado, and that you should cancel your plans to come see us, when in fact there is nothing further from the truth.
By no means am I trying to downplay the severity of the fires burning, only to clarify a little:
There is a fire burning at this time about 10 miles north of Durango, about 60 miles and three major mountain passes south of Ouray.
In light of the extremley low snowpack and other safety concerns, Ouray County is currently under Phase 2 fire restrictions, and Silverton, 27 miles to the South, is under phase 3 fire restrictions. the San Juan National forest has made the extremely difficult decision to close access to national forest lands until it is safe.
However, there is a difference between the San Juan Mountains and the San Juan National Forest.
Ouray sits on the Grand Mesa Uncompaghre and Gunnison National Forest, which is currently in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions but remains open. Essentially, the San Juan National Forest starts at the top of Red Mountain Pass.
At this point, the core of the Alpine Loop between Silverton Ouray and Lake City is on BLM Land and remains open. If that changes we will let you know immediately.
As far as OHV trails, the closure of San Juan Noational Forest will only affect Black Bear Pass and Stony Pass at this time.
The towns of Silverton and Durango are still accessible and open for business and recreation activities on private lands (like private campgrounds) are not impacted.
In fact, we took a ride over Corkscrew Pass yesterday afternoon, spending some time with friends in Silverton at the Rum Bar for a refreshing beverage before heading back home to Ouray on Highway 550.
Notifications of fire danger are posted along the four wheel drive trails, reminding us to respect the restrictions as we enjoy the spectacular scenery. Yesterday, the winds were in our favor and the skies clear of smoke both on the trail and in Silverton itself, where the scent of cinnamon and deliciousness from Rocky Mountain Funnel Cakes was prevalent.
At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, we strive to provide the most up to date information regarding the quality of hiking and OHV trails throughout the area. By checking all of the county sites, forest sites, and through word of mouth with guests as well as local tour companies, we are always updating our information. Our main focus is on making your time with us the best possible!