One of many special places of interest to visit in Ouray is Box Canyon Falls. This compact but spectacular and powerful waterfall drops thousands of gallons per minute of Clear Creek waters from height of almost 300 feet into a narrow (really narrow) quartzite canyon. You can get to the Falls by taking a walk at the easy 500-foot Falls Trail which will lead you to the base of the Falls. Just make sure to watch your children on those narrow metal bridge-like paths overhanging the canyon. The roaring of the Falls is quite impressive and the view is just beautiful. Be careful not to slip on the wet rocks and slippery stairs going 3 or 4 flights down to the bottom of the Falls.
The Falls Trail, like the other two, starts at the Visitor’s Center, where you can pay a very modest fee and also find a gift shop with all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia – cards, calendars, T-shirts etc, and snacks.
Another interesting trail for those who love a challenge – The High Bridge Trail, which is not very long (just about half-mile round trip) but pretty steep (about 200 feet elevation gain). Make sure to wear appropriate hiking shoes. It takes you to the bridge hanging across the canyon over the top of the Falls, with breathtaking views of the Falls and the whole town of Ouray.
Another interesting trail is The Native Plant Loop – a short and easy trail that winds around the Visitor’s Center and displays some of the common trees, shrubs and other plants native to the area.
The Box Canyon Falls Park also has another activity for you – ice climbing. Ouray Ice Park is located within the Canyon and provides unique ice climbing opportunities (or ice watching) in a world-class ice climbing setting.
The Park is also an important bird area, that provides a special nesting place for some rare birds and is a good place for bird-watching. The Park is open year-round, depending on the weather, of course.
Make sure to remember to visit this little wonder of nature when you visit Ouray!