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| Tanya Ishikawa | News

Ridgway Visitor Center opens May 28 for 2021 season

The Ridgway Visitor Center, across from Citizens Bank on Highway 62, will open on Friday, May 28, in time to greet guests coming to the area for Memorial Day Weekend. The Visitor Center hours for 2021 will be Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are trying to be available during the center’s traditionally busiest times of day, after breakfast and through the lunch hour,” said Ridgway Visitor Center Manager Jeanne Robertson. “The center is staffed by volunteers. To expand the center’s hours of operation, more volunteers would need to come forward to help. Volunteering to provide information to Ridgway’s visitors is a fun way to meet people and share your love for the Uncompahgre Valley, San Juan Mountains, and all the amazing natural resources and unique small businesses that we have here.” 

Summer visitors are invited to the Visitor Center to get their questions answered by staff by phone and in person, pick up brochures and guides, use the restroom and free wifi, and enjoy picnic tables outside. On Saturdays and by appointment, True Grit Walking Tours will depart from the Visitor Center for the hour-long program. For information and registration details for tours, go to

The Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce has made several modifications to the Visitor Center at 150 Racecourse Road, Ridgway, Colorado, to protect visitor and volunteer health as the pandemic wanes. Visitors and center staff will be separated by a plexiglass barrier inside the center, and doors will be kept open for good air flow. During some shifts, visitors will be served through the top window of a new Dutch door at the center’s entrance. The bathroom has a separate entrance on the side of the building. Some modifications were funded by CARES Act funding through the Town of Ridgway.

The town owns the building and contracts with the chamber to operate the center. A new master plan was designed for the Visitor Center and the property next to it at Heritage Park, and the partners have been collaborating on improvements such as new landscaping and irrigation that is going in this spring and early summer. In the future, new buildings, kids park features, signage and other amenities including a handicap accessible bathroom will be added to the site.

The Ridgway Railroad Museum (, which has been located at the center for many years, transitioned to 200 N. Railroad Street over the past couple years. The former museum room has now been renovated into a conference room for future use by chamber members once the pandemic subsides. Outdoor railroad displays can be visited everyday, all day, in the pasture north of the Ouray County Ranch History Museum (, and the indoor exhibits are open during museum hours. The Railroad Museum staff are offering rides on the Motor No. 1 every Saturday morning this summer.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the Visitor Center can email . Visitors can learn more about Ridgway and access a Visitors Guide at The chamber also offers tips on enjoying the Ridgway area safely and responsibly at In May and June, this web page will be updated with even more insider’s advice on making the most out of Ridgway vacations by avoiding crowds, finding the most convenient routes, and discovering other ways to travel successfully locally.