Ridgway, Colorado

Ridgway State Park

October 3, 2020

The trip to Ridgway was fantastic. The aspens of central Colorado were showing off their beautiful fall colors as we made our way southwest along the Gunnison River. Every turn and every hill crest provided us with a fresh batch of new vistas to soak in.

Our precise destination was Ridgway State Park, just a few miles north of the town bearing the same name. This place was an absolute gem. Even from the comfort of our campsite, we were immersed in stunning views – including the Cimmaron Range to the east and Sneffels Range to the south.

The park itself sits on a large peninsula with the Ridgway Reservoir surrounding it on three sides. We really enjoyed exploring the trail network that ran throughout the park and made it a habit to go for a little hike whenever we found 30+ minutes of free time.

However, the Ridgway State Park’s one Achilles’ heel was cell reception – at least in our original campground near the lake, at the bottom of the hill. Fortunately, we talked to the park rangers and they were nice enough to move us to a different campground which had better cell service thanks to its position at the top of the hill. This move alleviated quite a bit of connectivity-related stress and allowed us to enjoy the rest of our stay with some peace of mind.

The first thing on our to-do list in the Ridgway area was the Blue Lakes Trail, a seven-mile “booty buster” which terminated at some of the most beautiful alpine lakes we had ever seen (technically, the trail continued on to the peak of Mount Sneffels, but that was a bit more than we were willing to tackle). Just look at that beautiful shade of blue!

Another noteworthy aspect of this hike was the foliage. I know I talk about the aspens quite a bit, but this hike takes the cake when it comes to vibrant fall colors. The drive out to the trailhead alone, made this strenuous hike 100% worthwhile.

In a stroke of genius, I had the brilliant foresight to book a massage for Sam at the nearby Chipeta Spa (my birthday present to her) scheduled for that very afternoon after we returned from the hike. After working that booty all morning, she was able to get some much-needed R&R while I got caught up on the slate of NFL games.

Our last activity in the area was a fun little evening trip into nearby Ouray, Colorado after work one day. If you haven’t been to Ouray, put it on your bucket list. This little mountain town is downright picturesque and is easily one of the top places we have visited throughout our travels together. It is nicknamed the “Switzerland of America” and the moniker couldn’t be more appropriate. Ouray is tucked into a narrow valley with steep mountains on three sides, which makes for some truly amazing scenery. Seriously, make it a point to get down to Ouray at least once – you won’t regret it.

Ridgway treated us quite well during our quick stay in the area, but it was time for us to mosey along. Although we were sad to put Ridgway in our rearview, we were equally as excited for our next destination as it was one of the few prominent mountain towns to elude us during our time in Colorado. Tune in next time when we detail our brief stay in world-famous Telluride!