Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ouray--Perimeter Trail and Soaking in Hot Springs!

Yesterday when we got into Ouray and went to the visitor center, we asked the woman there about hikes in the area.  She told us the Perimeter Trail is the most popular hike, it's a five mile loop--sort of--around and above the town.  We were thinking that, after the bike ride the day before, and yesterday's hike on the Colorado Trail, that we likely would not do this much of a hike today, but when we got up this morning, we both felt better and decided to take it on.  Well, that was probably a mistake, as this was a bit more than we had thought it would be.  The woman had said it was well marked, which we didn't find to be the case, and the trail turned out to be a bit more than we had surmised, based on what she had said.  There are a lot of fairly steep ascents, then descents and then back up, plus the trail is quite narrow in many places, and a bit less than level, and since you're right on the edge of a big drop, this made for much more intense hiking than we had thought.  We did get to see some nice waterfalls, and when we got to the highest point on the trail, we had some nice vistas, though the rather shaky footing in many places due to loose gravel and the resulting tension tired us out a bit more that otherwise would have been the case.   We did have one funny experience along the way--Trisha was hiking in front of me and at one point, she turned around and said "Are you all right?  I hear you huffing and puffing."  Well, I wasn't really and she realized this just as a couple came up behind us with their black lab, who was panting rather heavily!  We got a good laugh out of that one!

Since we had parked at the visitor center, where the trail starts, and it's right next to the public hot springs pool, we decided to just amble over there to soak, rather than drive to the hotel we had originally thought we'd check out.  Well, soaking in 104 degree hot spring water, with the sun shining down and the mountains all around is not too shabby!  A great way to rejuvenate the bones and muscles after hiking.  After we soaked for a while, we just sat out on some lounge chairs and enjoyed the happy voices of children playing in the water--they have 4 different temperature pools, so lots of places for the little kids to play.  It was a relaxing afternoon, though I did get a bit overdone in the sun on my forehead--not too brightly forgot to bring the sunscreen to the pool!

Then we headed on to Ridgway, only about 10 miles away, and are spending tonight in Ridgway State Park, in a nice site with a shaded picnic table and some peekaboo views of the lake below.  Tomorrow we'll head toward Montrose and Black Canyon of the Gunniston National Park for a couple days.

Not too many pics today, but here they are:
A couple of long range views as we're starting up the trail.

 Looking down on the hot springs pool--our ultimate reward at the end of the hike!
Looking down on Ouray

 Long distance shot of a bridge across the gorge
 The trail just skirts the side of the mountain
 Beginning to see a little of the Cascade Falls coming into view
Heading down to the base of the falls
 Cascade Falls

 Met this nice couple from England last evening when we stopped at the brewery and ran into them on the trail today, so they offered to take our picture.  It was fun to talk with them, last night and today.
As we were climbing back up from the falls had a great vantage point for some views, as here, as well as the hairpin turns of the highway below

Met a man with this labradoodle along the trail, and the dog's name is Jack!

 Some wonderful views from on the ridge at the highest point on the trail, at about 8500 ft.

 Heading down off the ridge to the road, where the trail picks up again after you cross the road.
Pretty wild flowers along the way down to the highway

 Don't know from what animal this spine came, but it was just hanging from a tree branch alongside the trail--weird!
 A couple of views as we headed toward the Ice Park, where ice climbing is quite popular during the winter

Some beautiful orange poppies along Main Street as we made our way back to the RV--this is why I said sort of a loop--you come off the trail at the southern end of town and the visitor center where it starts is at the other end of town, so for the last part you're just walking along Main Street.
 Our campsite at Ridgway State Park

 The sun sets on another beautiful day!


  1. I will be thinking about the wonderful pictures when I have a MRI today..............


    1. Love the pictures. You guys look great.

      Yes I was thinking about your trip during my almost 2 hour MRI test. The results were good and I appreciate your thoughts.

      We are planning on a trip your way, however, due to health issues with Reidun's parents not until next year.