Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content
Image of Milky Way over mountains

Recreational Choices for All Seasons

Peak and Milky Way - Ouray Image

Grand landscapes rise up to clear, sunny skies by day and star-filled wonder by night. Mountain springs, waterfalls, streams, and lakes connect an outdoor playground with almost limitless possibility. The Ridgway area has all the elements to create great adventures and amazing memories, from valley floor to high mesas. Outdoor activities include hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, camping, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, rock and ice climbing, peak bagging, jeeping, hunting, backcountry Nordic and alpine skiing, and snowshoeing.

Our natural beauty is accessible at night as well. Being surrounded by public lands and wilderness, the Ridgway area has some of the best night-sky views in the world. In fact, Ridgway is an international Dark Sky Community, recognized for the visibility of celestial features. Be sure to make time for an evening outing or hot springs soak under the brilliant moon, stars, and silhouetted mountain peaks.

All year long, Ouray County is full of out-of-theordinary adventures for the whole family. From rocks that sparkle and aspen trees with eyes to wildlife and water in many forms, our landscapes have endless opportunities for discovery. The San Juan Mountains are the perfect destination for young people to explore and ignite their imaginations. Nonprofit organizations offer various outdoor activities for local students and visiting youth to learn and develop their athletic skills, scientific understanding, and leadership abilities.

Top of the Pines

Located at the foot of the spectacular Sneffels Wilderness Range, Top of the Pines (TOP) is a short 15-minute drive from the Town of Ridgway, south on CR 5. This public 175-acre beautiful outdoor wilderness recreational area at 8,600-foot elevation offers all season outdoor recreation. Rustic tent camping sites are reservable from May thru October. TOP also has facilities for environmental education and special events such as family and organization retreats, weddings, etc.

Recreational opportunities include seven kilometers of groomed XC skiing and snowshoeing trails in winter, that are great for skate or classic track skiing. In summer explore the easy to moderate hiking and mountain biking trails that meander their way through meadows and ponderosa forests with the Sneffels and Cimarron mountain ranges in the background. Also tucked in the ponderosas is TOP’s newest recreation addition, a 9-hole disc golf course with plans to expand to 18 holes.

TOP is a natural outdoor venue for the enrichment of students and citizens studying the environment, wildlife, photography, and most recently, dark night sky preservation and astronomy. Designated by the International Dark-Sky Association as an International Dark Sky Park in 2021, TOP is far removed from light pollution, so the star-filled night sky shimmers with infinite possibilities for star gazing, astrophotography, or just viewing the Milky Way as the early pioneers and Native Americans experienced it.

TOP is funded by donations and fees so users are asked to become a member or make a tax-deductible donation at or donation boxes at TOP.

Other local parks

Frontier Park with tennis courts, pickleball courts, skateboard park, athletic fields, gazebo, and picnic pavilion; Rollans Park on the Uncompahgre River with a forested hangout, restroom, and picnic tables; Ridgway Apiary and Ridgway Community Garden.

Keller Williams Realty Southwest Associates LLC - MONROE GROUP

As experts in this local area, we bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate. I...

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.

Cron Job Starts