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Bikers overlooking mountains in Colorado

Welcome to Ridgway

I have often said that Ridgway is perfect right now and that I wish we could “freeze” it in time. This one-stoplight town was almost flooded in the 1990s when the Ridgway Reservoir was built, and growth has been slower here than many of the surrounding mountain towns, which in my mind, makes it even more of a gem. There are just enough restaurants, amenities, and cultural activities but you still know more than half the people in line at the Post Office.

I encourage visitors (especially if you are on vacation) to take the opportunity to unplug, be patient, and enjoy a slightly slower pace of life. Great ways to do this are to take a stroll down the river path, check out one of our remote backcountry huts, or enjoy outside dining at one of our great restaurants. We have some good restaurants for a small town and I think it is because they know they have to get locals to keep coming back.

One of the best things about small towns is that most people smile or say hello. Ridgway is a friendly community where it doesn’t matter if you are a world-class athlete (there are a lot around), rancher, or stay-at-home mom. In Ridgway it can be hard to tell the difference and the difference really doesn’t matter. I hope that the character of Ridgway stays the same. It is pretty idyllic with pastoral ranchland leading up to majestic peaks, just enough people, and almost enough dogs.

Whether you are in Ridgway for a backcountry hut trip, as a hub to access other mountain towns, or just passing through, I hope you get a chance to stop for a moment and enjoy the views, enjoy the sun, and enjoy the friendly people!

Happy travels!

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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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