Life in Ridgway

Ridgway, Colorado is nestled in the picturesque Uncompaghre Valley and surrounded by the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Cimarron and San Juan mountains.  The town is cradled in the heart of some of the most photographed mountains in the world. The San Juan Mountain range has 14 of Colorado’s 53 peaks that stand over 14,000 ft elevation. The town itself lays in the shadows of the magnificent Mt.Sneffels at 14,150 ft.

Steep forested mountains and cliffs surround the valley.  The Uncompaghre River runs north through Ouray Valley and the town of Ridgway offering a water playground and a fine riparian nature trail as it flows to the Ridgway State Park where it is damned to create a 5 mile long reservoir.  The Dallas Creek flows from the southwest through Pleasant Valley forming a confluence with the Uncompaghre before entering the reservoir.

There is an amazing wildlife presence – mule deer, elk, marmot, wild turkey, bear, fox, beaver, raccoon, mountain lions, and badgers.  The region’s bald eagles nesting in the cottonwoods along the river are a common in sight in spring.

The Town of Ridgway is a Home Rule Municipality in Ouray County, in the southwestern portion of the state of Colorado.  Elevation is 6,998 ft and population in the town is 962. The county population is 4455.  We have an average of 285 glorious days of sunshine and an average annual snowfall of 82”.  Median summer temps are 82/55 and in the winter 45/06.  We really have seasons!  The fresh burst of spring with all the lush green and incredibly blue skies, the lazy warm summer days with all the birds and wildlife awake and about, the golden fall when the mountain peaks have a fresh dusting of snow, the days are warm and the nights are just getting crisp, and the spectacular winter with deep, bright snow and crystal blue, sunny skies.

The area offers the best of southwestern Colorado in an open, airy and sunny environment with some of the cleanest air and water in the United States. Come and view the amazing rainbows,  glorious alpen glow at dusk and dawn, and sparkling clear night skies which are protected with the town’s aggressive “dark sky” policies.

Ranches still dot the valley, preserving open space so special to the area, and recreational opportunities abound.  Jeeping the high country on 100 year old mining roads, visiting historic ghost towns and abandoned mines, hiking or biking an extensive trail network, rafting, fishing and hunting  – all while surrounded by spectacular wildflowers, wrap around views, wildlife, lakes, and peaks make this lifestyle a dream come true.

Ridgway is not just a place to live – but a way of life.  If you have never experienced living in a small community before you are in for something very special.  Ridgway is essentially a quiet Western town with a charismatic energy.  You may want to become an active part as you realize you really can make a difference in a place like this.  What is your passion?

Ridgway is also known for its vigorous arts community as a newly state appointed Prospective Creative Arts District with grants and technical support to cultivate this artistic gem of a community.  The town has public sculptures such as the 21 ft. bronze eagle in Dennis Weaver Memorial Park, galleries,  artist’s studios, is home to the Grammy awards, hosts an outdoor summer concert series and has many live music venues.   The dozens of one of a kind family owned shops, 14 unique restaurants and bars, and alternative health care facilities are unusual to find in a community this small.

There are a variety of areas surrounding the Town of Ridgway where a majority of the population resides.  Everything from the high plateau of Log Hill with its full sun, 360 views, ponderosa and oak covered slopes to north facing Elk Meadows nestled in the slopes of the San Juans and providing an environment for lush aspen groves.  Pleasant Valley faces south with unbelievable views, ponderosa and juniper and rocky slopes.  The Uncompaghre River winding through the Ouray Valley creates a completely different river valley environment with pastures, pines and small clusters of homes. The difference in elevation from 6,000 – 14,000 ft, the north or south facing orientation and the different vegetation create an exciting variety of temperatures, hours of sunlight, and environment.  Or discover the town itself with some historic older homes as well as four subdivisions again varying widely in location, views, age of homes and sizes of lots.  There is something for everyone!


Ridgway is the Gateway to the San Juans.

The Town of Ridgway is situated at the junction of Colorado Hwy 62 leading over Dallas Divide and west toward Telluride and US Highway 550 which travels south to Ouray, Silverton and Durango.  These highways join to form a circular loop through the area designated as the San Juan Skyway, one of America’s most spectacular highways. Hwy 550 leaves Ridgway north to take you to Montrose in 25 miles, and then another 60 miles to Grand Junction.  Joining with  Interstate #70 which will continue East to Denver in 285 miles – 5 /12 hours.

The closest airport served by scheduled airlines is Montrose Regional Airport located 28 miles north.  Telluride Airport is located 37 miles away and Grand Junction’s Walker Field is 89 miles north.


As of the 2010 census Ridwway had 924 people, 404 households and 256 families residing in the town.  31.4% of the households had children under the age of 18 living with them.  The average family size was 2.82.  The population includes 23.3% under the age of 18, 28.6% from 18 – 44, 37.1% from 45 – 64 and 11% over 65.  The median age was 43.7 years and for every 100 females there are 94.5 males.  The median income for a household in the town was $50,903.  For more facts like these check out this link to the Town of Ridgway’s Relocation Welcome Packet.



The Best Things in Life are Free!

Fireworks, Farmer’s Market, Ridgway Railroad Museum,

Annual Arts & Crafts Rendevouz,  The Hot Air Balloon Festival,

 Ridway’s Summer Concert Series!!!