From mid-December through mid-March, Ouray is full of climbing activity and good cheer, with “Have an Ice Day” greeting you from almost every open merchant and lodger’s window. Jim Donini, former president of the American Alpine Club, calls the Ouray Ice Park “the best venue in the world to develop ice-climbing skills,” and it’s easy to see why. The Ice Park is home to more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, most within a 15 to 30 minute walk from downtown Ouray. There are many opportunities to pick up the sport; you can hire an experienced local guide or attend one of the many seasonal clinics that have something for every group from beginner to expert, kid to adult, able-bodied to amputee.
From deep canyon pools to high country lakes and magnificent reservoirs, roaming wildlife, abundant trails and intense beauty, Ridgway offers all ages and ability levels a chance to participate in some of Colorado’s finest outdoor adventures. Experience our world-class fishing and water sports on the Uncompaghre River and Ridgway Reservoir. Take a soothing soak in our natural hot springs. You can hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, or ride through hundreds of miles of trails and camp in clean BLM, National Forest and Wilderness areas. In town we have a river park, paved trails, a mountain bike pump track, a skate park, and a climbing wall.
Nowhere on earth is there a more beautiful place to experience the “gentle adventure” of hot air ballooning than Ridgway. Experience Ouray County the way you’ve always wanted to, from the air.
Colorado is a top destination for river sports enthusiasts – many families move here just to be close to the amazing mountain streams, rivers and lakes. Ridgway is no exception with the scenice Uncompahgre River that winds through the town. So close to the high mountain headwaters, this section of the river is still fairly narrow and shallow for most of the year, but there's still many opportunities to enjoy the water and river trails. For a few weeks in early summer, rafting and kayaking are popular here, and other times of year the river trails and parks are the main focus.
From tough singletrack to scenic off-road byways crossing the San Juan Mountains, 4-wheel drive roads and trails abound for every level of driver or rider. Go it alone or with guides who love to share their knowledge of the San Juans’ geology, flora, fauna, and colorful stories. The following businesses offer guided tours, self-drive rentals, horseback rides, guided nature hikes, and more. Contact High Country 4×4 at the KOA 970-325-4736 – Colorado West Jeep Tours at coloradowestjeeps.com, Switzerland of America at soajeep.com, and San Juan Scenic Jeep Tours at ourayjeeptours.com.
Ouray County’s 300+ days of sunshine make it an ideal location for golfing. The award-winning Divide Golf Club is located only four miles from Ridgway and features an 18-hole course with incredible views and 7,039 yards of challenging play. Complete with pro shop, restaurant and event services, the Divide meets all your golfing needs!
There are plenty of trails within a few minutes drive from Ridgway within the San Juan Mountains, including Mt. Sneffles and Cimarron Wilderness and surrounding BLM lands. Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) are a series of interconnected trails in and around the town of Ridgway. From the Weaver Trail System and the Angel Ridge Trails (both accessible from Town Park) to high alpine trails such as the Dallas Trail, more than 40 miles of single track and hiking routes are located in some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. From day trips to backpack trips there are many choices.
“No other canyon in North America combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness, and somber countenance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison,” Wallace Hansen wrote after studying the geology of the region for several years. Black Canyon National Park is only 30 miles from Ridgway via Highway 550 north to Montrose, then Highway 50 east. Plan to spend time visiting the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose along your way.
This beautiful park, created with the Ridgway Reservoir at its heart, offers breathtaking scenery, three campgrounds with modern amenities, three cozy yurts for overnight stays, playgrounds, and group event facilities. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the many hiking and biking trails along with birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. The park is a favorite for fishing, boating, kayaking, windsurfing, standup paddle boarding, picnicking, and swimming. More information can be found at www.parks.state.co.us/ridgway