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Ridgway State Park camping trip

Set aside Thursday, August 21st to Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 for the 5 night/6 day Ridgeway State Park camping trip.

Ridgway State Park is located about 10 miles north of the town of Ridgway.

We will tent camp in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Loop H walk-in sites on a small wooded hill above the UnCompahgre River (good fishing) on the west side of the state park, below the reservoir dam. All of the walk-in tent sites are ~1,500 feet from the parking lot, so push carts are used to haul all camping gear uphill to each site.

Anyone wanting to use RV trailer sites, I’d suggest Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Loop G and F.
Another option to RV or tent camping are the three yurts at the Dutch Charlie area above the reservoir dam, which sleep up six people each.

Each Ridgway campground offers:

Restrooms with coin-operated showers, laundromat, snack machines and a change machine in a Camper Services Building
A playground
Additional restrooms Hiking and biking trails 


Here’s a suggested itinerary for the six day Ridgway State Park camping trip. Everyone is free to do their own thing during the six days; however I’m going to try to tailored each day to anyone’s interest, maybe.The schedule is subject to change day to day due to weather and other unforeseen events.

Day 1 – Thursday, August 21st

•  8:30AM – Leave the Wadsworth RTD park & ride  ( southwest corner of Hampden and  Wadsworth Blvd)  Note: the drive time from Denver metro area could take 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 hours, based on traffic, rest breaks and snack breaks with approx. 300 miles to cover.

•  Approx. 4:30PM arrive time at Ridgway State Park.

•  Free time and dinner

Day 2 – Friday, August 22nd

•  Breakfast at the campgrounds

•  9:30AM – leave Ridgway to sightsee the Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway

~ 221 miles around trip loop -

•  Visit Gateway Resort, tour the Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum (~50 cars)

- $15/adult. Note: The Gateway Resort and Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum owned by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks

•  Lunch at the Paradox Grill at the Gateway Resort

•  Hike the short Estrada trail or BLM’s Cutler Rim Trail next to the Gateway Resort

•  Tour the historic Hanging Flume

•  Dinner in Ridgway or the campground.

•  Free time

•  Free time at Orvis or Ouray hot springs pools

•  Possible jazz or blues at the Ridgway, Chipeta Sun Lodge and Spa

Day 3 – Saturday, August 23rd

•  Breakfast at the campgrounds

•  9:30AM - leave camp site for the Ouray Cascade Falls – an ¼ mile steep hike

•  Late morning visit/hike the spectacular waterfalls on the Million Dollar Highway

•  Afternoon visit Ouray Box Canyon Falls - $3.00/person

•  Lunch in Ouray.

•  Afternoon hike Ouray upper Cascade Falls or Baby Bath or Portland trails.

•  4:35PM - optional Ouray Bachelor-Syracuse gold mine tour

- $15.95/person – children $7.95

•  Dinner and shopping in Ouray or free time.

•  Free time at Orvis or Ouray hot springs pools or the historic Beaumont Hotel & Spa

•  Possible jazz or blues at the Ridgway, Chipeta Sun Lodge and Spa.

Day 4 – Sunday, August 24th

•  Breakfast at the campgrounds

•  9:30AM – leave Ridgway for Animas Forks mining town via Silverton with stop

at the Idarado Mine near Red Mountain Pass

•  Morning hike around the abandoned Animas Forks mining town.

•  Optional Silverton One Hundred Gold mine tour  Mayflower Gold Mill

- $16.95/person – children $7.95 

•  Optional Mayflower Gold Mill self-guided tour –  $8.50/adults

•  Afternoon drop by the Silverton visitor center

•  Visit/shop old town Silverton

•  Wait for the Durango/Silverton Steam train to leave for Durango.

•  Dinner in Silverton or in Ridgway at the True Grit or DogHouse

•  Free time

•  Free time at Orvis or Ouray hot springs pools

•  Possible jazz or blues at the Ridgway, Chipeta Sun Lodge and Spa

Day 5 – Monday, August 25th

•  Breakfast at the campgrounds

•  Free time to explore more of the mountains around Ouray or just chill out.

•  Visit the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park.

•  Explore/drive Cimmarons Owl Creek Pass route.

•  6:00 PM - Group dinner at the Ridgway State Park campground

Day 6 – Tuesday, August 26th

•  Breakfast at the campgrounds

•  Before 12 noon – we must all be checked out of campsites.

•  Now for the long 7-1/2 hour drive back to the Denver metro area.


Now to the details on how to reserve a Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Loop H walk-in tent site.
A similar process will be followed for the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Loop G and F RV sites.

The preferred tent sites still available are: #283, #284, #285, #286, #287, #288, #289 and #290 Note: I have already reserved my tent site #291

The next preferred tent sites are: #292 and #293 If you are reserving RV/car trailer sites, reserve the site, (your preference) in Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Loop G and F, below the reservoir dam.

1.) Either call the state park reservation office at call[masked] [masked]) to reserve a camp site OR use the web browser to link to the Ridgeway camping page at .

2.) If using the Ridgway State Park website click on the Camping & Yurts link in the left menu column on the state park page.

3.) Now on the Camping & Yurts page look for the Online Reservations Reserve Now button on the right hand side and click on it.

4.) On the reservation page, look for the RIDGWAY State Park, CO header and “ALL TENT ONLY BASIC (25)” link under the and click on the all tent only link.

5.) Now, on the tent camp site map and matching campsite page, select the camp site you want in the Matching Campsite column. Up pops a picture of the selected campsite and a select date button.
Before booking the camp site, use the Ridgeway State Park map links located on web site: . Scroll down the page to the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk campground map and click to view the Loop H campsites to see where your campsite is in relationship to other reserved tent sites.

6.) On the availability page, do the following steps:

Next find out the availability in Ridgeway by selecting: Date Range Start Date for Range: August 21st, 2014 End Date for Range: August 26th, 2014 Length of Stay: 5 (optional) Click Search Availability

7.) Next, BOOK the camp site - when requested, enter your personal credit card information.
Walk-in campsite fee: $18.00/night; Reservation fee: $10.00; RV sites with electric hookup and shared water are $22 per night; Yurt rents for $70 per night; Daily vehicle park fee: $7.00; There is a nightly camping discount if 64 years or older with an Aspen Leaf Pass.

8.) Let Winston know which tent or RV site number you reserved for their records.

9.) One month or two months before the camping trip, Winston will have a meeting with all current registered campers to cover any camping questions, camping details and excursion information needed for the camping trip.

The drive time from Denver metro area could take 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 hours, based on traffic, rest breaks and snack breaks with approx. 300 miles to cover.

Approx. 4:30PM arrive time at Ridgway State Park.

Photo from the Ouray waterfall climb that we did a few years ago.

Tent sites reserved for the August 2014 Ridgway State Park camping trip as of 7/8/2014

Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Loop H #291, #290, #289, #288

Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Loop G #259HA

Dutch Charlie Loop A yurt #010HA 

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  • Winston W.

    Do I have words for the 6 day Ridgway State Park camping trips. Fantastic!!! Wonderful!!! Eye opening!!! Fun!! Good eating!!! Relaxing!!! New adventures!!! We visited the Gateway Resort to tour the Gateway Auto Museum. We hiked to the Baby Bubble Bath. We walked into Box Canyon. We eat at the True Grit Restaurant in Ridgway. We drove on a 4x4 road to the historic mining town of Animas Forks. We visited the Ridgway Railroad museum. We drove to Owl Pass. Even visited Katies Meadow where background shots were filmed for John Wayne's movies True Grit. We had three evening of the most tasty, fresh trout caught by Val. Overall the mult-day camping trip was one of the most memorable experiences in recent times.

    August 27, 2014

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