Fun Facts: Everything You Need to Know about Ridgway
- At the intersection of Hwy 550 and Hwy 62 just 25 miles south of Montrose and 10 miles north of Ouray.
- 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. The Ridgway Chamber offers 1 hour True Grit Movie walking tours which depart every Friday at 11am from the Visitors Center (June thru October). Call to reserve your spot 970-626-5181. Adults $10 under 12 are free.
- Ridgway boasts Colorado’s #1 favorite – Ridgway State Park and Reservoir – with year-round camping; yurts available for rent; a swim beach and marina. Great fishing, water sports, hiking, cross county skiing and more. 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.
- The well known designer, Ralph Lauren, has a home in Ridgway and 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. Or drive through the property to the foot of Mt. Sneffels and the trial head for a local’s favorite hike to Blue Lakes.
- 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 Fridays 11:00 am – 4:00 pm June 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 962, Ouray County 4455
- Average Home Price: $250,000 town – $359,000 county
- Summer Temps: 82º / 55º F
- Winter Temps: 45º / 6º F
- Fall Colors: Late September – Early October
Dennis Weaver | Local Hero
Billy Dennis Weaver (June 4, 1924 – February 24, 2006) was an Emmy Award-winning American actor, best known for his work in television, including roles on “Gunsmoke”, as Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama “McCloud” and in Steven Spielberg’s feature-length directorial debut, the cult TV movie “Duel”, in 1971. Dennis Weaver, actor, humanitarian, and pioneer environmentalist, was an inspiration to many of the townspeople of Ridgway, well known for his kindness and generosity. His wife Gerry and sons Rusty and Rick still live in the area and Rick serves on our Town Council and the Ridgway Chamber Board of Directors.
The beautiful Dennis Weaver Memorial Park was dedicated on August 25, 2007, with family, friends, and townspeople joining in the celebration.
For a park map and information on the Eagle Memorial, stop by the Ridgway Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center at the corner of Hwy. 550 and Hwy. 62 or visit www.dennisweaverpark.com