Ultimate Guide: Things To Do In Ridgway CO

Things to Do In Ridgway CO

Looking for a breath of fresh air? We understand the yearning to venture into quiet, quaint towns far from the constant motion of city life. Ridgway, Colorado, nestled in the embrace of the San Juan Mountains, is that slice of serenity you’ve been dreaming about.

Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine annually, this town beckons both adventurers and culture enthusiasts.

Explore our guide to discover what sets Ridgway apart. From the natural beauty of Ridgway State Park to hidden cultural gems like the Ridgway Railroad Museum, we’ve rounded up all you need for an unforgettable experience.

Whether your heart seeks thrilling outdoor adventures or serene moments in hot springs under starlit skies, let’s journey together, exploring all that makes Ridgway uniquely enchanting.

Key Takeaways

  • Ridgway, Colorado, shines with over 300 sunny days a year, offering outdoor enthusiasts and cultural buffs alike a plethora of activities ranging from hiking in the San Juan Mountains to soaking in Eternal Hot Springs.
  • The town hosts various attractions such as the True Grit Walking Tours, showcasing its Hollywood connection, and the Ridgway Railroad Museum, where visitors can learn about the area’s railway heritage.
  • Seasonal events in Ridgown include summer camping and fishing at Ridgway State Park, enjoying vibrant fall foliage with scenic horseback rides or witnessing winter wonders through activities like skijoring.
  • The Ouray County Ranch History Museum provides insights into Colorado’s ranching past while local art galleries within the Ridgway Creative District highlight regional artistic talent.
  • Planning a visit involves considering top attractions like Last Dollar Road for hiking and nearby natural wonders such as Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park.

Explore Outdoor Activities in Ridgway

Things to Do In Ridgway CO - A tranquil forest clearing with a flowing stream and lush greenery, featuring wildlife photography.

Discover Eternal Hot Springs for a relaxing soak. Take scenic bike rides through picturesque landscapes. Embark on hiking trails amidst nature’s beauty. Experience fishing opportunities in serene surroundings.

Observe diverse wildlife in their natural habitat.

Visit Eternal Hot Springs

We love soaking in Eternal Hot Springs, and you will too. These hot springs offer a unique mix of both clothing-optional and clothed areas, making it a comfortable space for everyone.

Open daily from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the warm waters.

In October 2021, Eternal Hot Springs was even recognized as the RACC Member of the Month. This spot provides relaxation and connects us with Ridgway’s vibrant community. It’s a must-visit when exploring this quiet town nestled in Ouray County.

Take Scenic Bike Rides

We hit the trails in Ridgway with enthusiasm, knowing it boasts over 40 miles of single track for mountain biking. These paths offer riders sweeping views of the San Juans and opportunities to ride through diverse landscapes—from lush forests to open meadows.

It’s an experience that combines physical challenge with the reward of breathtaking scenery.

Our adventures lead us along parts of the Uncompahgre River, where the natural beauty is unmatched. We ride past historical sites too, reminding us that we’re traveling through areas rich in stories from days gone by.

With Ridgway every turn brings something new and exciting.

Discover Hiking Trails

Ridgway, Colorado, offers 23 scenic hiking paths for all levels of adventurers. The longest track, Mount Sneffels via Blue Lakes Trail, stretches 13.0 miles. It’s a journey worth taking for those who love to challenge themselves and immerse in nature’s beauty.

Each step on this path brings views that leave us breathless and eager for the next turn.

The most popular yet challenging trek is the Lower, Middle, and Upper Blue Lakes via Blue Lakes Trail. This trail shows off what Ridgway’s landscape has to offer – from the lush greens of summer to the rich hues of fall.

Hikers find themselves surrounded by tranquility and grandeur that only places like this can offer. We recommend this trail for anyone looking to experience Ridgway’s natural wonders up close.

Experience Fishing Opportunities

When exploring Ridgway, don’t miss the chance to fish in one of its six major trout streams and rivers within an hour’s reach. Year-round fishing is available at Ridgway State Park, with special events like Huck Finn days during the summer.

The area below Ridgway Dam offers excellent fishing opportunities as well. So, grab your gear and head out for a relaxing day by the water.

Ridgway provides ample opportunities for both advanced anglers and beginners alike. Whether you’re an experienced hand or trying it out for the first time, there’s something here for everyone seeking a peaceful day on the water.

Observe Wildlife

When in Ridgway, you can explore the diverse array of wildlife at the Ridgway Wildlife Viewing Area, where over 140 species of birds can be spotted. The Dennis Weaver Memorial Park offers a picturesque setting to observe wildlife, with stunning views of the Cimarrons and the Uncompahgre River enhancing your experience.

This area’s 300+ days of sunshine annually provide ample opportunity for birdwatching and wildlife observation amidst its scenic beauty.

The Ouray County experience abundance of sunny days gives us many chances to witness the natural world in action, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a quieter connection with nature.

Discover Cultural Activities in Ridgway

Things to Do In Ridgway CO - A vintage train station with old train cars, tracks, and a bustling atmosphere.

Explore the True Grit Walking Tours, where you can delve into the rich history of Ridgway and its surrounding area. Step inside the Ridgway Railroad Museum to uncover captivating stories from the region’s railway heritage.

Explore True Grit Walking Tours

Discover the True Grit Walking Tours departing every Friday at 11 a.m. from Ridgway Visitors Center. The tours celebrate the town’s connection to the “True Grit” movie, offering an engaging exploration of filming locations and historical anecdotes.

Gain insights into Ridgway’s fascinating past and its unique place in Hollywood history through this enriching experience.

Tour Ridgway Railroad Museum

We recommend visiting the Ridgway Railroad Museum, located in Southwest Colorado, USA. Volunteers meticulously reconstructed a Galloping Goose engine based on photos and sketches, adding significant historical value to the museum’s displays and artifacts.

Visitors will have the opportunity to delve into the realm of railroads during their visit and explore the rich history that underpins this ever-evolving mode of transportation. This bespoke experience is designed to enhance your understanding of locomotives in an engaging and educative manner, making it an excellent addition to your trip itinerary when exploring quieter towns like Ridgway.

Learn at Ouray County Ranch History Museum

Discover the fascinating heritage of Colorado ranching at Ouray County Ranch History Museum, located at 321 Sherman Street. The museum earns a perfect 5.0 rating for its specialty museums.

Its mission is to preserve and share the rich history of ranching from the mid-1800s to today, providing a unique insight into this important aspect of our region’s past.

Explore detailed exhibitions, informative displays, and engaging artifacts that bring the story of Colorado’s ranching history to life. Discover firsthand how ranching has shaped our area and gain a deeper understanding of this crucial part of local heritage.

Browse Art Galleries

Let’s wander through the Ridgway Creative District and take in the art galleries that showcase rich history and local talent. You’ll find Cimarron Art Glass, celebrated with 4.5 out of 5 bubbles for its exceptional displays.

The district seamlessly brings together art galleries, historic landmarks, and shops to immerse you in creative bliss. Soak up the vibrant culture while exploring these artistic havens, adding a touch of splendor to your explorations.

Unwind at Orvis Hot Springs

Orvis Hot Springs boasts seven soaking areas, a sauna, and natural landscaping. Visitors have praised the cleanliness and beauty of the hot springs. Immerse yourself in the soothing waters and enjoy the serene surroundings – it’s an ideal spot for relaxation after a day of adventuring through Ridgway.

Enjoy Seasonal Activities in Ridgway

Get ready for summer fun in Ridgway, from thrilling river rafting to serene camping under the stars. In fall, soak up the breathtaking foliage with scenic horseback rides through colorful landscapes.

Engage in Summer Activities

Summer in Ridgway, Colorado offers a variety of activities suitable for those looking to explore quieter and smaller towns. Here are the summer activities you can engage in:

  1. Enjoy camping at Ridgway State Park, offering picturesque views and a range of outdoor recreational opportunities.
  2. Embark on hiking adventures along the scenic trails of the San Juan Mountains, experiencing nature at its best.
  3. Take part in fishing excursions at Ridgway Reservoir, providing ample angling opportunities for enthusiasts.
  4. Explore the town’s local farmer’s market, showcasing fresh produce and handmade crafts, reflecting the area’s vibrant community spirit.
  5. Indulge in outdoor concerts and movie nights held in Ridgway Town Park, offering delightful entertainment options for all ages.

These activities present an ideal way to immerse oneself in the beauty of Ridgway during the summer season.

Participate in Fall Activities

Fall in Ridgway, Colorado offers a myriad of activities to embrace the changing season. Here’s what you can immerse yourself in:

  1. Witness the Spectacular Fall Foliage: From mid-September to early October, marvel at nature’s canvas as the town explodes with vibrant hues of gold and crimson.
  2. Engage in Scenic Hiking: Traverse the picturesque trails enveloped in autumn splendor, such as the popular Dennis Weaver Memorial Park and Ridgway State Park.
  3. Immerse in Harvest Festivities: Delight in local fall festivals celebrating everything from harvest produce to cultural heritage. The Ridgway Farmers Market is a must-visit for authentic local experiences.
  4. Experience Family-Friendly Pumpkin Patches: Create cherished memories with your loved ones by visiting charming pumpkin patches dotting the countryside.
  5. Indulge in Seasonal Culinary Delights: Savor farm-to-table dining experiences featuring delectable fall-inspired dishes that showcase the region’s bountiful harvest.
  6. Discover Unique Artisan Craft Fairs: Peruse local craft fairs to find distinctive handcrafted souvenirs and gifts, providing an authentic glimpse into Ridgway’s creative community.
  7. Embark on Horseback Riding Adventures: Explore the stunning fall landscapes on horseback, offering a unique perspective of the breathtaking surroundings.
  8. Unwind Amidst Nature: Relax and rejuvenate at tranquil hot springs or indulge in cozy evenings by a crackling fire after an adventure-filled day.

Experience the charm of fall in Ridgway through these carefully curated activities that cater to all interests and ages.

Delight in Winter Activities

Winter in Ridgway, Colorado offers a range of activities to enjoy:

  1. Engage in skijoring, a thrilling sport where a skier is pulled by a horse through the snow.
  2. Cross-country ski along scenic trails, taking in the breathtaking winter landscapes.
  3. Capture stunning moments with photography as you explore the snowy surroundings.
  4. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of snowshoeing, experiencing the winter wonderland at your own pace.
  5. Treat yourself to half-day ice climbing adventures in Telluride, exploring the frozen beauty of the region.

Delighting in winter activities is an immersive experience that showcases the natural beauty and exciting pursuits available during this magical season.

Revel in Spring Activities

Spring in Ridgway, Colorado is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor and cultural activities. Here’s a list of things you can do:

  1. Hike the picturesque trails and take in the blooming wildflowers.
  2. Embark on a scenic bike ride along the Million Dollar Highway or San Juan Skyway.
  3. Explore the town’s historical heritage through True Grit Walking Tours and visits to local museums.
  4. Relax at Ouray County Ranch History Museum and immerse yourself in the area’s rich history.
  5. Delight in outdoor art galleries showcasing local talent.
  6. Unwind at Orvis Hot Springs after a day of exploration.

These experiences offer a delightful way to embrace the natural beauty and culture that Ridgway has to offer, making your trip truly unforgettable.

How to Plan Your Visit to Ridgway

Plan your visit by identifying top attractions, exploring nearby places, determining the best times to visit, considering recommended itineraries, and gathering tips from other travelers.

For further details on planning a memorable trip to Ridgway, keep reading our comprehensive guide.

Identify Top Attractions

Here are the must-see attractions in Ridgway. For camping, boating, hiking, and fishing, head to Ridgway State Park. Explore Last Dollar Road‘s captivating 5.0 out of 5 bubble-rated hiking trails.

Then check out Owl Creek Pass and Silver Jack Reservoir for more top-notch outdoor experiences!

Explore Other Nearby Attractions

Discover the fascinating Telluride Mountain Village Gondola, offering breathtaking views. Roam around Box Canyon Waterfall & Park, a tranquil spot ideal for nature lovers. Explore Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and its awe-inspiring landscapes.

Don’t miss the spectacular Million Dollar Highway with its stunning vistas – there’s so much to see!

Determine Best Times to Visit

To find the best times to visit Ridgway, consider the weather and seasonal activities. Summer offers warm days for outdoor adventures, while fall showcases vibrant foliage. Winter is perfect for snow sports, and spring brings blooming wildflowers.

Ouray County’s 300+ sunny days make any time ideal for exploring this area. The popular Ridgway Farmers Market in summer and fall also adds to the appeal of visiting during these times.

When planning your trip to Ridgway, keep in mind that different seasons bring unique experiences – from summer hikes to winter skiing. Based on the county’s abundant sunshine and diverse activities throughout the year, visitors can look forward to enjoyable visits regardless of when they arrive.

Consider Recommended Itineraries

When planning your visit to Ridgway, we recommend considering the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop itinerary, which offers a delightful journey through some of the most charming towns in the area.

This scenic route encompasses visits to several historic hot springs and breathtaking natural landscapes. You may also want to explore other nearby attractions such as U.S. 550 and Ouray Hot Springs Pool.

Don’t forget to gather tips from other travelers who have explored these hidden gems before.

Remember, when considering recommended itineraries for Ridgway, look out for popular activities like stargazing or enjoying a summer day. Unveil the secrets of this ever-evolving area by embarking on bespoke experiences tailored towards quieter and smaller town exploration.

Gather Tips from Other Travelers

As fellow travelers, we understand the value of gathering tips from other experienced explorers. Taking into account reviews such as Emerald’s delightful stroll at Ridgway Railroad Museum and E B’s scenic drive through Dennis Weaver Memorial Park, it’s evident that insights from others can enhance our own adventures.

These first-hand experiences provide invaluable guidance when navigating the intricacies of smaller towns like Ridgway, unveiling hidden gems and unlocking secrets that may not be apparent in guidebooks or mainstream travel resources.

By leaning on the accumulated knowledge of previous visitors and leveraging platforms where authentic feedback is shared, we gain a deeper understanding of what makes this area so special beyond major attractions.

So trust us when we say that incorporating these nuggets of wisdom into our travel plans could add an extra layer of excitement to our journey.

Things to Do In Ridgway CO Conclusion

Discovering Ridgway, Colorado is an exciting adventure waiting to happen! From exploring outdoor activities like eternal hot springs and scenic bike rides, to delving into the town’s rich cultural scene with walking tours and art galleries, there’s something for everyone.

With year-round workshops and classes, a vibrant farmers market, and a strong ranching heritage dating back to the late 1880s – Ridgway has it all. Whether you’re planning a summer getaway or seeking winter sports thrills in this sun-soaked haven amidst the San Juan Mountains – count on Ridgway for an unforgettable experience!

Things to Do In Ridgway CO FAQs

1. What can we do in Ridgway, Colorado?

In Ridgway, Colorado… ah, there’s so much to explore! We can visit the historic Rio Grande Southern Railroad site for a peek into the past or hike up Imogene Pass for breathtaking views. Don’t forget about camping – there are plenty of sites around where we can connect with nature.

2. Are there unique spots near Ridgeway worth visiting?

Yes, indeed! Just a short drive away, the towns of Telluride and Chipeta offer their own charm and history… Plus, if you’re into scenic drives, Red Mountain Pass is not to be missed. It’s like stepping into a painting!

3. Can we find creative inspiration in Ridgway area?

Absolutely! The whole region breathes creativity – from local art displays to the natural beauty that surrounds us everywhere we look… It’s no wonder they call it Colorado Creative. Whether you’re an artist or just someone who appreciates beauty, this place has something for you.

4. What makes camping special in Ridgway?

Camping here is an experience unlike any other… Imagine waking up to the view of mountains bathed in golden sunrise light or falling asleep under a blanket of stars at one of our many campgrounds. And let’s not forget about catching rainbows after a light rain; it’s magical.

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