Celebrate over 90 Years of Ranching History in Ouray County this Labor Day Weekend!

In September of 1920, the Ouray Cattlemans Association announced The Cattleman’s Day Celebration and Old Timers Picnic outside of Ridgway. In addition to bucking broncos and horse races, there was an airplane exhibit and a giant barbecue at the town park, followed by a dance in the evening. The event has changed some, now drawing people from across the states to celebrate a good old fashioned Rodeo!


Often Ouray County conjures images of hardy miners and hot springs come to mind, but that’s only half of the story! It is true that Ouray itself rests in a tiny box canyon, with rich mineral deposits apparent in the rocks and color of the mountains and river, but Ouray is just a small corner of the county that boasts its name.

Originally developed as a junction town for the railroad, connecting Ouray and Telluride, Ridgway was not expected to survive the decline of the mining industry, and when the train stopped pulling through, the prognosis for this tiny town was dire indeed.

Of course, not many people really appreciated the strength of the town folk, and their understanding that they could not depend on one industry in order to prosper. Long before the last train whistle blew, ranchers had recognized the rich and fertile land, and begun to prosper. From Ridgway to Colona, much of Ouray County remains open land for grazing, and some farming. Of course, for the visitor, this means miles and miles of open road to explore, barely touched by man.

The Ouray County Rodeo Association is a non profit organization devoted to preserving the area’s rich ranching history through scholarships and other education focused support to children in Ouray County. Fund raising events which focus on family friendly activities are held through out the year, the Labor Day Weekend BBQ and Rodeo is perhaps the largest event of the year. For over 90 years, the rodeo has been one of the most popular events in Ouray County. Now combined with the Ouray County Fair, 4-H livestock Sale and Exhibits, a parade, and a Fireman’s Dance, the Labor Day Weekend Event is indeed a tribute to the rich ranching history of Southwest Colorado!

Plan to spend a weekend reveling in the west!

Horse races and stock shows, fabulous food and drinks and family fun highlight the exciting Bull riding and saddle racing that make a rodeo what it is.

Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help plan your perfect getaway. Enjoy restful nights soaking in our all natural mineral hot springs, an early morning filled with excellent coffee and conversation, followed by a short trip exploring the amazing countryside before heading out to the Ouray County 4-H Event and Fair Grounds in Ridgway!




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