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Explore on Foot on our Abundant Trails

Cimarron Colors – Nature’s Finest Images

Whether you call it hiking, trekking, walkabout, or rambling, putting your feet into motion and heading into the hills is a wonderful way to experience the Ridgway area. The San Juan and Cimarron Wilderness Areas, Uncompahgre National Forest, and abundant public lands offer not only hundreds of miles of trails, thanks to the Utes, explorers, surveyors and miners, but also the highest concentration of 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado.

Dirt trails, gravel roads, and paved paths provide walking, hiking, and running opportunities for all ages and experience levels, ranging from easy and short to longer and more challenging terrain. Whichever route you decide to follow, each is sure to provide postcardperfect backdrops and awe-inspiring views.

From day trips to overnight backpacking, many choices are available. Many of the lower elevation trails are accessible on foot yearround. Warmer, turdy footwear and layering of clothes is the key to enjoying uncrowded trails from October to April.

Insider’s Tip

For a totally unique experience, the San Juan Hut Systems has fully stocked huts, strategically located on dirt roads and singletrack trails from high alpine areas to canyon country

Know Before You Go: Be sure to pick up the excellent Ouray Trail Group map from local bookstores and visitor centers for descriptions, distances, difficulty, and topographic information. Information on the status of many trails, with some maps and pictures, is also available at

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.