RIDGWAY, Colo. – This year marks the 25th anniversary of Ridgway State Park, and the public is invited to celebrate the event at the park on Aug. 9.
The park was created as part of the Dallas Creek project, a federal Bureau of Reclamation development that built the dam on the Uncompahgre River and formed Ridgway Reservoir. The reservoir stores water for municipal, agricultural and industrial uses for the Uncompahgre Valley in western Colorado. The water helped to expand agriculture and development in the valley.
The 1,000-acre reservoir is also a major recreational amenity and helps to attract more than 300,000 visitors to the park annually. The park includes bike and hiking trails, 285 campsites, a swim beach, boat ramp, cabins and yurts, shower-restroom buildings and a kids’ playground. The reservoir is regularly stocked with rainbow trout.
As part of the celebration, the park will be offering numerous activities.
Free boat and ground tours will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each boat tour can accommodate 10-12 people and will last about 40 minutes. These tours will be ideal for those who don’t have a boat and who want to tour the reservoir.
The ground tours will be done by vehicle and can accommodate 20 people at a time. These tours will give visitors a chance to see all the major park facilities.
For children, the regular Saturday “Nature Detectives” program will be offered starting at 9:30 a.m. This week, kids will learn about bears in fun, hands-on activities.
Local folksinger David Nunn will perform a concert at the swim beach from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A history booth and displays will be set up all day to showcase the park and surrounding area. A new diorama will also be displayed for the first item at the visitor’s center.
The Friends of Ridgway State Park will also be selling hot dogs and other snacks at the swim beach. At the park gift shop a “draw your own discount” sale will make items available at mark-downs from 20-40 percent.
In the evening, local adventurer Aaron Ihinger will talk about the tallest 100 mountains in Colorado in a program entitled “Colorado’s Centennial Peaks.” The program starts at 7:30 p.m. at the visitors’ center.
Besides the special activities, the swim beach is open, and fishing is reported to be excellent in the reservoir and at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk on the Uncompahgre River below the dam.
All the programs are free. Entry to the park is $7 per vehicle, or $70 for an annual pass. To make reservations to camp at the park, call 1-800-678-2267 or 1-303-470-1144, or go to:
For more information, call 970-626-5822.
Ridgway State Park is located on U.S. Highway 550, about 20 miles south of Ridgway in Ouray County.
For more news about Colorado Parks and Wildlife go to: http://cpw.state.co.us
For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife go to: http://cpw.state.co.us.