Sparkling, mountain lakes and tree-lined, winding rivers provide the perfect settings for exploring the Ridgway area by raft or kayak and cooling off on hot summer days! Nearby lakes provide peaceful locations for a stand-up paddle board or canoe session with stunning views of the San Juan and Cimarron Peaks. Paddle sport rentals are available by the hour at Ridgway State Park.
Spring snowmelt from high in the San Juan Mountains brings increased water flows and the thrills of rushing rivers, enjoyed by rafters, kayakers, and other water recreation buffs May through August. Late summer and autumn offer reflections of colorful leaves while enjoying a relaxing stream-side picnic, boating, or paddle boarding in the midday sun.
“I love the juxtaposition that Ridgway has in the region – not a resort town, not a service center, but just the perfect balance of livable community and small-town character. It’s easy to access all the amenities in the region, but small enough to have its own personality. I also appreciate the cultural history and ranching heritage that brings character to the area and helps preserve the vistas and open spaces we all enjoy.”
Rivers are rated at five difficulty levels based on the water flows and geography such as the elevation change and in-stream obstacles or boulders. Be sure to pick the appropriate river for your activity, experience, and ability level.