About Ridgway Colorado
RIDGWAY’s small town hospitality is a blend of The spirit of the Old West, healthy lifestyles and laid-back, friendly folks.
Ridgway boasts ideal base-camp positioning in the very heart of Southwest Colorado, the Gateway to the San Juans. Ridgway is located at the apex of the San Juan Skyway, the most famous and scenic byway in America. Our wrap-around views are SPECTACULAR and Ridgway enjoys the clearest night skies possibly in all of Colorado.
Ridgway was the birthplace and headquarters of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad and is now the home of the , Located at Hwys 550 and 62. ( Admission is always FREE ). Railroading remains the # 1 hobby in America.
Ridgway is also the home to Orvis Hot Springs. Orvis was the historic, sacred hot springs of the Ute Indians. It offers several pools, is “swimsuit optional”, very clean and beautifully landscaped. There are a number of other public, natural hot springs pools in the area as well. Just one mile south of Ridgway on Hwy. 550.
Ridgway and its local mountains and valleys have been a favorite setting for Hollywood’s classic western movies. Many film sites, buildings, props and embellishment may still be seen in and around Ridgway. Among those movies filmed in the area were: “Tribute to a Bad Man” and “How the West Was Won” – in which the old RGS Railroad Depot (still standing in Ridgway) was transformed into the “Independence Hotel”. In 1968, Director Henry Hathaway turned Ridgway into Fort Smith, Arkansas for the filming of “True Grit”, starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby,Robert Duvall & Dennis Hopper.
Ridgway boasts the infamous Ridgway State Park and Reservoir – Colorado’s #1 favorite – with year-round camping; yurts available for rent; a swim beach and marina. Deer, elk and bald eagles in the tree tops are a common sight along the reservoir and the Uncompahgre River feeding into it. Entrance to the park is just 9 miles north of Ridgway on Hwy 550 and is disability accessible throughout.
Ridgway is home to designer, Ralph Lauren, who maintains approximately 22,000 acres of the world’s most scenic land! One can drive for miles along his ranch fence line, just about 6 miles out of town on Highway 62, and take in the unbelievable view dotted with authentically painted tipi’s interspersed on his working cattle ranch, “designer” beef perhaps. See the November 2002 issue of “Architectural Digest” for an article about this extraordinary ranch.
Ridgway has a rich ranching heritage that is still practiced throughout the area today. Come by the new Ridgway Public Library and browse through our history in the permanent Local History display donated by Ralph and Ricky Lauren.
Ridgway is home to Billings Artworks, the gallery and foundry for the authentic Grammy Awards. Local artist & musician, John Billings, occassionally grants tours of the foundry to groups. Reservations required well in advance. Please contact the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce.
Ridgway’s Farmers’ Market has won state-wide recognition. Open Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 PM, May through October.
Ridgway is in the heart of many scenic cultural & historic day trips! Ridgway 20 minutes to Ouray, an hour to Telluride, just under 3 hours from Mesa Verde and 1 hour from Silverton, home of the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge train ride.