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Visiting Norwood

The town of Norwood sits atop Wrights Mesa below which the San Miguel River flows from Telluride through Norwood Canyon. Positioned between desert and alpine terrain, Norwood’s abundance of outdoor opportunities, mild climate, and relaxed atmosphere make it one of the Four Corners’ and Colorado’s best-kept secrets.

Equestrian and agricultural heritages are deeply interwoven in the lives of Norwood’s residents. Cattle drives are common and summer hosts the largest monetary rodeo on the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association circuit. Horseback riding enthusiasts ride year-round in Norwood’s mild climate amid spring’s sweet fruit blossoms, summer’s abundant wildlife, autumn’s delightful harvest and winter’s golden and bald eagles. Numerous opportunities for hunting, fly-fishing, ice fishing, and mushroom foraging abound for outdoor lovers.

Action lovers find year-round fun surfing the mesa with ATVs in summer and snowmobiles in winter. Norwood’s history takes center stage in September, with the Pioneer Days celebration, honoring long-term local residents with a parade, traditional feast and old-time children’s games. The San Miguel River, the Uncompahgre Plateau, Lone Cone Mountain, Miramonte Reservoir, and acres of public land amongst other things just minutes away, Norwood is the perfect place to savor the outdoors. Over 300 days of sunshine a year and unobstructed views of the snow-covered mountains without the hassles of extreme snow and ice buildup making it a great year-round destination!

Check out the links below for more information, and try the Visit Norwood site.

Lone Cone State Park

Standing at an elevation of 12,000 feet above sea level, the sharp peak of Lone Cone is the most iconic image of Norwood. With 5033 acres of rich land and streams, Lone Cone State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and fishermen.

For more information, visit the USDA site.

Miramonte Reservoir & Natural Area

Located at the base of Lone Cone Peak, Miramonte Natural Area is a truly magical place for everyone. Well-known for its excellent stock of rainbow trout, fishermen flock to Miramonte Reservoir year-round while boaters, water-skiiers, and windsurfers are also welcome. The area provides numerous sites for campers, a handicapped accessible fishing pier, two boat ramps and is stocked with 90,000 fish annually.

For more information, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife site.

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Parks

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Parks are a combination of separate National Parks and Forests located north/northeast of Norwood. These three combined Forests cover 3,161,900 acres of public land in the central and southern Rocky Mountains, an area that lies south of the Colorado River and west of the Continental Divide with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rockies.

Opportunities abound for camping, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, OHV riding, motorcycle touring, horseback riding, rock and ice climbing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and sightseeing. This is a well-known and highly desirable hunting area.

For more information, visit the USDA site.

San Juan National Forest

The San Juan National Forest encompasses about 1.8 million acres bordering Norwood. Terrain ranges from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks, with thousands of miles of back roads and hundreds of miles of trails to explore. Opportunities abound for camping, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, OHV riding, motorcycle touring, horseback riding, rock and ice climbing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and sightseeing. This is a well-known and highly desirable hunting area.

For more information, visit the USDA site.

Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway

A fabulous journey through history, geology, culture and nature awaits you on the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway. Consisting of Highways 141 and 145, the vast scenery along this byway will keep you inspired along your journey. Visit the historic Driggs Mansion or the Hanging Flume.

Click here for more information.

Hunting & Fishing

Norwood’s mesa and surrounding national forests host a wide variety of wildlife. Deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, pheasant, grouse and duck make it one of the most popular hunting areas in Colorado. Outfitters and guides are available to assist you in safe and successful hunts. Fishing is abundant surrounding Norwood at Miramonte Reservoir, and the San Miguel and Dolores rivers.

For more information and a list of outfitters and guides, visit the Norwood Chamber of Commerce site.

Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowsports

The world-class Telluride ski resort is just a shuttle bus ride away from The Norwood Inn. While the resort boasts excellent ski and snowboard terrain, Norwood’s mesa and surrounding forests offer a plethora of trails and landscapes for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing or ice fishing.

Hiking, Biking and Watersports

There are scenic road rides for bicyclists looking for three season riding. Mountain biking in the nearby national forest and easy access to the vast and beautiful Uncompaghre Plateau offer trails for all levels. The surrounding national forests provide great trails of all levels for hikers and trail runners. Plan a fun day trip with a climb up Lone Cone Peak and make all of your off-roading and on-roading adventures come true. Mushroom season also brings plenty of the gastronomically-inclined to hunt and gather fresh organic wild mushrooms such as chantrelle, porcini and oyster. Afternoon thermals on Miramonte Reservoir create great rides for windsurfers. The reservoir also offers swimming, water-skiing, boating, and fishing. Spring and early summer run-off on the San Miguel River and the Dolores River inspires high adventure for rafting, kayaking and canoeing through alpine forest and into desert canyon country.

Canyoning, Rock & Ice Climbing

Norwood’s mesa and surrounding forests offer an immense variety of terrain. San Miguel and Ouray counties are known around the world for their magnificent canyoning, rock climbing, bouldering, and ice climbing routes. They are host to the annual Canyoning Festival, Ice Climbing Festival, as well as the home of the 2014 International Canyoning Festival. These are sites that only the adventurous get to see.

Telluride Festivals

The Norwood Inn offer a much more affordable alternative to staying Telluride, and the convenient shuttle bus that runs between Norwood and Telluride picks up right in our front yard. Already world-renowned for its excellent ski resort, Telluride boasts an equally well-respected summer festival season. The Telluride Mountainfilm Festival kicks off the season at the end of May and from there each weekend is host to a different event. There is something here for everyone in the summer, the most popular festivals being the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, The Jazz Celebration, The Wine Festival, The Balloon Festival, The Mushroom Festival, The Yoga Festival, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, and The Telluride Film Festival.

For more information, visit the Telluride Festival Guide.

San Miguel Basin Rodeo & Horseback Riding

The San Miguel Basin Fair, Carnival and Rodeo is a legendary event of the American wild west. Held at the San Miguel County Fairgrounds in Norwood each July, patrons come from far and wide to cheer on the skilled cowboys and cowgirls who compete in the various events. Rodeo and horse racing have remained an integral part of the community since its founding. With a new indoor arena and event center, Norwood’s equestrian functions are coming into the lime light. There are several local riding establishments that offer Western and English lessons and day long trail rides.

See the full schedule here.


TELLURIDE — With the resort town of Telluride only 29 miles up canyon, The Norwood Inn offers a wide range of accommodations and services suited to the summer festival crowd, golfers, and to those who want to experience world-class snow sports.

CANYONLANDS — 100 miles of spectacular scenery await as you travel west toward the awesome beauty of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. A haven for mountain bikers and hikers of all abilities, the area around Moab, Utah, inspires artisans and athletes alike.

MESA VERDE — A trip to Mesa Verde National Park in nearby Cortez will always be a high light in any visitor’s travels through the Southwest. The park is open year-round with tours of the Cliff Palace, Spruce Tree House, Balcony House and many cliff dwellings and mesa-top sites.

DURANGO — Take the historic Silverton-Durango train for scenic viewing or enjoy a day hike on the Elk Creek trail.

OURAY and RIDGWAY — Hike or cross-country ski in the national forest surrounding Mt. Sneffels or continue to the scenic town of Ouray 45 miles from Norwood, where you can spend an afternoon soaking in hot springs. A summer drive over the San Juan Skyway takes you on a loop through the majestic passes of the San Juan Mountains and offers stops in several historic mining towns.

GATEWAY — Follow highways 141 and 145 along the Dolores River and the Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway canyon. This area, with 1,200 foot granite walls rising from green fields, was once the home of the Ute Indians and a hideout for Butch Cassidy.