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Epic Day Trips Around the Area

Highway 62 outside of Ridgway – Kane Scheidegger

The winding mountain roads and charming western towns surrounding Ridgway make for epic car and motorcycle tours. Ridgway is the perfect place to stage a series of classic day trips, complete with hot springs and friendly pubs to soothe away your road weariness when you return at the end of the day. We are part of many historic and scenic routes that connect our rural burgs to nearby towns and points of interest with shared history and purpose. The Alpine Loop is one of our most wellknown but only accessible by four-wheel drive.

Cimarron Mountains and Owl Creek Pass

Considered one of the most scenic drives in the U.S.A., this pass travels through jagged cliffs, babbling brooks, sites of Western movie sets, and has great opportunities for wildlife viewing and fishing. This route, laced with stands of aspen, is especially beautiful in the fall. This adventurous day trip will take you into the heart of the magnificent Cimarron Mountains. The peaks of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain will watch over you as you drive along a dirt road, which once was a cattle drive trail.

Million Dollar Highway and San Juan Skyway

A trip to Ouray County isn’t complete without a ride along the Million Dollar Highway, the section of Highway 550 between Ouray and Silverton with many historic buidings and mines. Extend this to cover the entire San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway, a 233-mile loop to meander through Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Rico, Dolores, Cortez, Durango, and Silverton. The drive is stunning in any season: spring offers hundreds of waterfalls along the route, summer brings fields of wildflowers, fall provides iconic golden-colored vistas, and winter gives you a high-contrast trip with robin’s egg blue skies and endless white powder fields.

Recommended by Locals

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – south and north rim drives, Montrose, Ute Indian Museum, Montrose County Historical Museum, antique shops
  • Telluride – National Historic District, a world-class ski and golf resort, free summer gondola, San Juan Mountain high country
  • Silver Thread Scenic Byway – historic districts of Creede and Lake City, Lake San Cristobal, Rio Grande River
  • Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway – picturesque canyons, historic Hanging Flume, Gateway, Whitewater, Grand Junction, Colorado National Monument
  • Trail of the Ancients – Four Corners, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Lowry Pueblo, Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park, Galloping Goose Railcar & Museum

When visiting Ouray please be sure to visit these Ridgway Chamber Members

Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs 970.325.4981

Horseback Adventures 970.325.3006

Mountain Dog Arts 970-239-3434

Mountain Trip 970.369.1153

O’Toys 970.729.2388

Ouray County Performing Arts Guild 970.626.2970

Switzerland of America Jeep Adventures 970.325.4484


Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is located in Ouray, CO a block and a half from Main St on 3rd Ave. The Box Ca...

How to Enjoy Ridgway Like a Local

Residents and businesses take great pride in our community and surrounding open spaces. We invite visitors to consider ways to minimize impacts and maximize local benefits. Traveling responsibly means educating yourself on outdoor recreation best practices, local ethics and community expectations.
  • Know Before You Go
    Be prepared and be informed about your destination.
  • Stick to the Trails
    Protect our natural land￾scapes by staying on the trails and roads.
  • Trash the Trash
    If you pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave It as You Find It
    Camp in designated areas only.
  • Be Careful with Fire
    Follow seasonal restrictions, and keep campfires small and manageable.
  • Keep Wildlife Wild
    Leash your dogs, pack out waste, and don’t feed wildlife.
  • Share Our Parks & Trails
    Try out the lesser-known paths and sites, and minimize noise.

Be Prepared for Adventure

The San Juan Mountains are a rugged, steep mountain range rising to just over 14,000 feet. These beautiful public lands offer adventures year round. If you are interested in exploring the San Juans, be prepared for challenging terrain that sometimes requires technical expertise and knowledge of the area.

Come prepared by doing research online to find maps, rules and helpful guidance from public agencies and user-generated websites. Utilize local expertise when you get into town by stopping in at our local gear stores. We highly recommend working with our local guide services that employ experts who can help you achieve your goals for world-class recreation. You can also take a course in: backcountry skiing, avalanche safety, rock climbing, ice climbing, and other valuable outdoor skills.

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