Ridgway State Park is conveniently located between Montrose and Ouray. When we arrived the lady at the entrance gate was super chatty. She told us the state parks only allow 3.2% beer, but they are not really enforcing it, wink, wink, just be careful. Noticing our bikes she also told us about the RAT Trails, but more on that later.
Colorado is finally evolving with their liquor laws. It always struck me as strange that you can buy weed legally (and I guess now shrooms in Denver), but you couldn’t get a real beer in the grocery store. As of January 1st that law finally changed. Now all the supermarkets are advertising real beer for sale. Sadly though the selection isn’t that great, too bad, Colorado has a lot of good breweries. Maybe they are all struggling with the distribution. It’s silly the state parks are still stuck in the 3.2% era.
The campground was exceptional: full hook ups, affordable, and plenty of space between sites. I’d rate it 4.5 out of 5. The minor negatives are too close to the 550 Highway and not enough shade. It hit 90 degrees a couple of days and we had to turn on the AC. The other bummer, the state parks charge an $8 per day use fee, on top of the camping fee. But if you are a resident, for $40 you can buy an annual pass, non-resident is $80.
The RAT trails are amazing! Another great trail system on BLM land. At the main trailhead sign it had directions for putting together different rides and travel directions for the trails. What a great idea. Hopefully more biking areas start doing the same. It was fast, flowing single-track. A little reminiscent of Phil’s World. All the trail names were rat themed. If you can’t have fun, then what can you do? Unfortunately there wasn’t a Socrates or Ben trail. They need to get building, because certainly those two famous rats deserve their own trail.
We put on our tourist hats and did a couple of day outings with Sara. One was to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It’s dramatic, not too well known, extremely steep, narrow, and quite different from the Grand Canyon. Our pictures really don’t do it justice.
Then one evening we drove up the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray, past Red Mountain Summit, almost to Silverton. As advertised, it was steep, plenty of S curves, no guardrails, terrifying, and at the same time beautiful. I don’t think we’d ever tow on it. On the way back we stopped at Red Mountain Brewery for dinner and beer. The little town of Ouray has three breweries, but only Red Mountain allowed dogs, and only on the patio.
More often than not, I celebrate my birthday on the road. I’m pretty sure I turned twelve in Elko, Nevada. This year I turned fifty-nine at Ridgway State Park, Colorado.
View from Rat Trailhead
RAT is Ridgway Area Trails
Rat Trap Trail
Another one bites the dust. Amelia said it’s time to get rid of my 25 year old Dipsea shirt from 1994.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
One of the many overlooks
The Painted Wall, at 2,300 feet it’s the highest cliff in Colorado
Old Juniper with Painted Wall in the background
A viewing platform on the Million Dollar Highway, Amelia is looking down on a raging waterfall.
There’s a Red Mountain #1, #2, and #3. This is #3.
Remember the TV Series McCloud? This is one mile north of Ridgway.
Uncompahgre River, don’t ask us to pronounce it.
Kind of a decent sunset