Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall, Ouray

4.4
#3 of 11 in Parks in Ouray
Box Canyon is a box canyon in Ouray County, Colorado, United States. It was founded as a mining camp and helped the city of Ouray establish itself as a permanent community. Box Canyon is home to Box Canyon Falls, a 285ft waterfall, with quartzite walls that extend almost one hundred feet past the falls. Access to the canyon is through a short, 500ft foot trail to the base of the falls or a steep trail leading to the top of the falls. A fee is required to use the trails to the canyon.
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Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
412 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • We parked at the parking area and walked up to the bridge to watch the climbers. We had never seen anyone ice climbing before and found it interesting.  more »
  • This place is very awe inspiring. The little hike and stairs are doable and safe with kids and the falls are worth the hike. At the end of the stairs you can actually climb down to touch the water. Th...  more »
  • Visited in winter and watched how it is prepared for the annual Ice Climbing Festival, which brings in climbers from all over the world. The views are spectacular with so many areas for climbers. Ther...  more »
Google
  • Box Canyon is beautiful, a truly awesome wonder of nature! I visited with family on a rainy, chilly day, which added a bit of adventure. Near the visitors' center, we saw grosbeaks, goldfinches, chickadees, chipmunks, and squirrels feasting on some bird seed. They didn't seem bothered by us! We chose to go left first, to the overlook where we could see the falls from above. The stairs were steep and got our hearts pumping, but nothing too difficult. The path, however, was quite tricky! I wore Tevas and still slipped around a bit, likely because of the wet, rainy, muddy conditions. The trail was safe with fences on the steep downhill edge, but it's certainly not manicured! If you have trouble on uneven ground, you may want to skip this part or go really slow. The sight from the lookout was mighty pretty, with a view of the river gushing out from under us and of Ouray splayed out in front of us. The bridge, built in 1900 according to its manufacturers' label, was very sturdy, but the height sure made my legs feel like jelly! Visibility was good, despite the weather. You could continue on past the bridge through a short tunnel and out to more treacherous trails, but that leaves Box Canyon Park and we decided not to do so. We made our way back down to the visitors center and this time took the trail to the falls. This walk was much easier, with little to no steep climbing. At the falls, there is a walkway built alongside one wall of the smooth black rock with a few neat informational panels. Visitors can also climb down some stairs and go right to the water's edge, if they choose. There is NO swimming here!! Box Canyon is beautiful. I would certainly recommend making the visit, for both the beautiful views at the top and for the stunning display of the power of nature found between Canyon walls. Visitors should also take the time to read up on the Black Swift in the visitors' center before visiting the falls! Quite awesome!
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