Southwest Colorado is synonymous with outdoor wonderland. Exploring the backcountry or hanging out around Ridgway just after dawn or at dusk, the scenery and wildlife astound and inspire you to discover more. Recreational opportunities abound for young and old alike to enjoy in this grand landscape in all four seasons.
Photography: Amateur and professional photographers can easily capture amazing scenery throughout the year, with snowcapped mountains, stunning sunrises and sunsets, spectacular night skies, dazzling waterfalls, and fantastic fall leaves. The San Juans are the most photographed mountains in Colorado, and Owl Creek Pass is one of our favorites for access to amazing landscapes and wildlife.
Wildlife Viewing: Most notable of the indigenous wildlife in and around Ridgway are mountain lions, badgers, deer, elk, moose, bears, coyotes, lynx, wild turkeys, porcupines, and bald eagles. Birding opportunities also abound, with more than 140 species of migratory and resident birds in the area.
Hunting: As summer ends and temperatures cool, thousands of elk and deer come down to lower elevations. Ridgway is surrounded by the Uncompahgre National Forest, which boasts prime elk management units and excellent hunting grounds for big and small game.
Golf & Disc Golf: The award-winning 18- hole golf course at the Divide Ranch & Club is located amid the rugged Ponderosa pine beauty, and features 7,039 yards of challenging play. For golfers of another kind, Top of the Pines’ disc golf course is expanding to 18 holes in 2023, offering a great way to enjoy the forest with friends.
“Ridgway is right at a transition point in terms of climate. I live on the north edge of town where cactus grows and I can see storms roll in and blanket the mountains with snow. Weather and temperatures can change quickly and be very different in a relatively close area.”
Guides, Backcountry Tours, & Camps
Skyward Mountaineering 970.325.3305
Voyager Youth Program (summer & school breaks only) 970.626.4279
RIGS Fly Shop & Guide Service 970.626.4460
San Juan Hut Systems, Inc 970.626.3033
Climbing & Canyoning
One of the most popular spots for climbers in Ridgway is the Ouray Ice Park. This unique park offers climbers the opportunity to scale frozen waterfalls and ice formations, providing a truly unique and thrilling experience. With over 200 routes and climbs ranging from beginner to expert, the Ouray Ice Park is the perfect destination for climbers of all skill levels.
For those who prefer to explore canyons and gorges, Ridgway also offers a number of exciting canyoning opportunities. The Uncompahgre Gorge, located just outside of Ridgway, offers an incredible canyoning experience. With narrow passages, steep drops, and challenging obstacles, the Uncompahgre Gorge is not for the faint of heart. But for those up to the challenge, it offers a thrilling and unforgettable adventure.
Ridgway is also home to a number of rock climbing areas, including the beautiful and rugged San Juan Mountains. The area offers a range of climbing experiences, from traditional multi-pitch climbs to sport climbs and bouldering. Some popular rock climbing spots include the Yankee Boy Basin and the Box Canyon.
Whether you're an experienced climber or canyoneer or a beginner looking to try something new, Ridgway has something for everyone. With its beautiful natural scenery and challenging climbs and canyons, it's no wonder that Ridgway is becoming one of the most popular climbing and canyoning destinations in the country. So pack your gear, head to Ridgway, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Golf & Disc Golf
Ridgway, Colorado is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and it's no surprise that golfers and disc golfers alike flock to the area to enjoy its breathtaking scenery and challenging courses. Whether you're looking to perfect your swing or enjoy a casual round with friends, Ridgway has something for everyone.
The Divide Ranch & Club is one of the premier golf courses in Ridgway. The award-winning 18-hole course is located amid the rugged Ponderosa pine beauty and features 7,039 yards of challenging play. Golfers of all skill levels will enjoy the variety of holes, from the wide-open fairways to the challenging bunkers and water hazards. The course also offers stunning views of the San Juan Mountains, adding to the overall experience.
For those looking for a different kind of golf experience, Top of the Pines' disc golf course is expanding to 18 holes in 2023. The course is located in a scenic forest setting and offers a great way to enjoy the outdoors with friends. Disc golfers will appreciate the challenging holes that take advantage of the natural terrain, and the course is suitable for players of all skill levels.
In addition to its top-notch golf courses, Ridgway also offers a variety of amenities for golfers and disc golfers. The town has several restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a post-game meal or drink, and there are also a number of local shops where you can purchase gear and equipment.
Whether you're a seasoned golfer or new to the game, Ridgway is the perfect destination for your next golf or disc golf adventure. So pack your clubs or discs, head to the courses, and get ready to experience some of the best golf and disc golf in Colorado.
Know Before You Go: All forms of climbing are technical sports that require knowledge and experience to ensure safety. Check with one of our local guide services who can teach you the ropes safely. You can also learn a lot by participating in the Ouray Canyoning Festival, OuRock! Festival, and Ouray Ice Festival (see events page for dates).