Visit Ouray County this Spring or Early Summer!
As each day warms to greet the coming summer, more activities become available and some of them are at their best. If you haven’t experienced Ouray County on a shoulder season, you don’t know what you are missing. Perhaps it’s time to change that?
Need some inspiration? Check out some top reasons to come to the area in spring and early summer!
The majority of tourists head to Southwest Colorado’s Ouray County to adventure late June through August; that doesn’t mean there aren’t other amazing times of the year! In spring, the majestic San Juan and Cimarron Mountains still have a scenic blanket of snow over them as early runoff fills the Uncompahgre, San Miguel, and Gunnison Rivers. Beat the crowds this year and experience a whole new Ouray County!
- Feel like a local- Beat the crowds and get to know what locals love about the area. The early season offers an amazing way to miss the summer crowds but still experience some of the best Ouray County has to offer.
- Prices- In peak season the area’s lodges are heavily booked and nightly rates are at their height. However, if you come early in the season you can get better deals on rates.
- Small Town Flavor- Don’t be shocked when you find that area restaurants make you want to come back just to have that special something that no one else in Denver is making.
- Outdoor Activities– Ouray County has a gamut of fun ways to experience nature. Mountains, camping, rivers, canyons, lakes, hiking, biking, jeep/atv trails, and hot springs; all in one small region you’ll find the most diverse options in the shortest distance.
- Ideal water levels- Rafting late spring features early runoff from the San Juan and Cimarron
mountains. What does this mean for you? Rafting Big Water! Though rafting lasts through September,
big rapids are for late spring and early summer. Don’t miss the very best time for those exhilarating
high mountain Class III-IV rapids. With higher water levels, bigger splashes and wave trains
Fishing doesn’t STOP just because runoff starts
There are so many great times to Fly Fish Southwest Colorado, however, late spring is often overlooked by many anglers because of runoff. Although some rivers are affected during Spring; the Gunnison Gorge (Gold Medal) and Uncompahgre River(Blue Ribbon) still offer tremendous fishing experiences in spring that should not be missed.
- Warming Water Temperatures- The fish are more active and so are the bugs. Trout metabolism is higher with warmer weather and the fish are hungry! Though we fish year-round in Ridgway, fishing in 60 degree days can be more comfortable.
- Hatches- Stone Fly and Caddis Hatches. Though the water clarity may not always be “perfect”, fish are consuming a significant portion of their diet this time of year. That means if you can suspend your idea that crystal clear waters are the only way to fish -you can have some of the best fishing of your life hunting fish early season!
- Fewer people. When you’re on the river it is always nice to have some space. Visiting early helps you avoid the crowds and focus on what’s really important; catching fish and your technique with the help of a guide or just plain relaxation; find your happy place before everyone else does.