26 May 2011
There are countless day trips that visitors can take from Telluride. South west Colorado abounds with natural beauty, dramatic history and colorful characters that have plenty of time to tell you a few stories about days gone by!
We always try to get out of the box canyon on the weekends, and we frequently make our way over to Ouray, a small western town located one valley over to the north. The natural setting of Ouray is equally as dramatic as Telluride, and it is aptly named “The Switzerland of America”. Make of that name what you will, but there is one defining characteristic of Ouray that gives the town a distinct European flair – hot springs! And there are plenty to choose from…if you like to soak, Ouray is one of the best day trips you can take from Telluride!!!
My hands down favorite is the Wiesbaden Hot Springs & Spa. This little hideaway is Ouray’s best kept secret. There is barely a soul to be seen whenever we visit (I mean that in a good way!). This stunning lodge and hot springs has been owned by the same family for the past 30 years, and has a very European feel with quaint lodging accommodations surrounding a lovely green garden and pool/patio area. The unique point of difference at the Wiesbaden is the magical “vapour cave” where Chief Ouray himself used to bathe. Here is an excerpt from the Wiesbaden website, describing the hot springs:
“”Relax in the Wiesbaden’s continually flowing natural hot springs vapor cave with 108 degrees soaking pool, outdoor swimming pool of 99 to 102 degrees, and the Lorelei, a private outdoor spa with soaking pool, secluded for private use.
All of the springs of the Wiesbaden flow pure and have no chemicals or additives. There is no re-circulated water at the Wiesbaden as each pool is continually flowing in one side and out the other. In winter the Wiesbaden is heated by its natural hot springs.
Enjoy the Wiesbaden’s full range of spa treatments: Massage, LaStone Therapy, Dry Brushing, AVEDA Facials, Body Wraps, and Foot Treatments “.
A visit to the Wiesbaden left us feeling completely relaxed and rejuvinated. We chatted with the owner who described to us how she scrubs out the vapor cave daily, to ensure that the cave is completely cleansed and ready for the next day of visitors.When this spritely, youthful woman told us she was 74 years old I nearly fell of my lounge chair. There is something in the water that she is not telling is about!
On our way back to Telluride from Ouray, we stopped at another favorite haunt, the Adobe Inn in the town of Ridgeway. This small Mexican restaurant is another favorite of ours. The restaurant is run by a lovely couple who operate the restaurant on minimal staff, and source all of their produce locally. Everything on the menu is made fresh daily, and they serve the most delicious, fresh magaritas this side of the border. This little gem can be a little tricky to find, but look for the “Mexican Food” sign near Alpine Bank in Ridgeway, and drive to the end of the dirt road. The Adobe Inn is on your right.
The sun is finally shining in the mountains! Telluride Mountain Film kicks off this weekend, my favorite weekend of the summer. I’m excited!