Ridgway At A Glance
Ridgway, Colorado is a hidden Gem
Just twenty-five minutes off Highway 50
Ridgway boasts ideal base-camp positioning in the very heart of Southwest Colorado – the Gateway to the San Juans ! Ridgway is located at the virtual apex of the San Juan Skyway – the most famous and scenic byway in America. Our wrap-around views are SPECTACULAR and Ridgway enjoys the clearest night skies possibly in all of Colorado.
Ridgway was the birthplace and headquarters of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad and is now the home of the Ridgway Railroad Museum. Located at Hwys 550 and 62. ( Admission is always FREE ). Railroading remains the # 1 hobby in America.
Ridgway is also the home to Orvis Hot Springs. Orvis was the historic, sacred hot springs of the Ute Indians. It offers several pools, is “swimsuit optional”, very clean and beautifully landscaped. There are a number of other public, natural hot springs pools in the area as well. Just one mile south of Ridgway on Hwy. 550.
Ridgway and its local mountains and valleys have been a favorite setting for Hollywood’s classic western movies. Many film sites, buildings, props and embellishment may still be seen in and around Ridgway. Among those movies filmed in the area were: “Tribute to a Bad Man” and “How the West Was Won” – in which the old RGS Railroad Depot (still standing in Ridgway) was transformed into the “Independence Hotel”. In 1968, Director Henry Hathaway turned Ridgway into Fort Smith, Arkansas for the filming of “True Grit”, starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby,Robert Duvall & Dennis Hopper.
Ridgway boasts the infamous Ridgway State Park and Reservoir – Colorado’s #1 favorite – with year-round camping; yurts available for rent; a swim beach and marina. Deer, elk and bald eagles in the tree tops are a common sight along the reservoir and the Uncompahgre River feeding into it. Entrance to the park is just 9 miles north of Ridgway on Hwy 550 and is disability accessible throughout.
Ridgway is home to designer, Ralph Lauren, who maintains approximately 22,000 acres of the world’s most scenic land! One can drive for miles along his ranch fence line, just about 6 miles out of town on Highway 62, and take in the unbelievable view – dotted with authentically painted tipi’s interspersed on his working cattle ranch – “designer” beef perhaps. See the November 2002 issue of “Architectural Digest” for an article about this extraordinary ranch.
Ridgway has a rich ranching heritage that is still practiced throughout the area today. Come by the new Ridgway Public Library and browse through our history in the permanent Local History display donated by Ralph and Ricky Lauren.
Ridgway is home to Billings Artworks – the gallery / foundry for the authentic Grammy Awards. Local artist & musician, John Billings, occassionally grants tours of the foundry to groups. Reservations required well in advance. Please contact the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce.
Ridgway’s Farmers’ Market has won state-wide recognition. Open Sundays 8:00 am – noon, May through October.
Ridgway is in the heart of many scenic cultural & historic day trips! Ridgway is just under 3 hours from Mesa Verde and 1 hour from Silverton – home of the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge train ride.
- Sunshine: 300 days / year
- Elevation: 6,998 ft.
- Mt. Sneffels: 14,150 ft
- Population: Ridgway 718, Ouray County 4000
- Average Home Price: $250,000 town – $359,000 county
- Summer Temps: 79º / 42º F
- Winter Temps: 40º / 7º F
- Fall Colors: Late September – Early October
Ridgway is located on the San Juan Skyway, cradled in the heart
of the most photographed mountains in the world.
- Just 25 minutes south of Highway 50 at Montrose
- 5 1/2 hours from Denver
- 3 hours from Mesa Verde National Park
- 1 hour from the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad rides
- 37 miles from Telluride’s world-class ski resort & summer festivals
- 10 miles from the Ouray Hot Springs Pool
- From Denver : 325 miles from Denver
- From Phoenix : 578 miles NE of Phoenix
- From Salt Lake : 371 miles SE of SLC
The Montrose Airport : 24 miles – Closest airport to Ridgway.
Rental Cars : Agencies are located in and near the Airport in Montrose. Highway 50 North of town.