The time has come here in the San Juan Mountains, when the snow has begun to melt away and make room for the sweet blooms of spring time.
And with the spring snow melt comes more access to hiking trails in the Ridgway and Ouray area. It only requires the simple motivation to get out and enjoy nature, as well as a camera to capture the beautiful high mountain flowers. Just a short distance from Chipeta Solar Spring Resort you’ll be finding yourself surrounded by some of the most stunning mountain scenery that Colorado has to offer.
We have included a few descriptions of trails in the region – with some just walking distance from the front door of Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, and others within short driving distance from the town of Ridgway.
Uncompahgre Riverway Trail
This paved trail that begins in the town of Ridgway and ends in Ridgway State Park’s Dallas Creek area, is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery located close by. Meandering along the Uncompahgre River, the trail links to several parks, including the Regional Athletic Park, Hartwell Park and the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park. The latter part of the trail near the State Park offers 60 acres of permanent wildlife preserve, as well as picnic areas along the river to enjoy a packed lunch. Be sure to bring your camera, in case you should find yourself accompanied by a bald eagle along the river
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Plan for: Half the day if you’re looking to walk to the State Park from town.
Useful gear: Comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, sun protection, camera, water bottle.
Ouray Perimeter Trail
The Perimeter Trail in Ouray offers a moderate hike around the town of Ouray, with multiple breathtaking look outs and view points along the way! We normally suggest our guests start at the Cascade Falls area, so that you can enjoy the stunning waterfall – especially during the spring run off! For a more detailed account of the Ouray Perimeter Trail, you can visit their website.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Plan for: Half the day if you’re looking to do the whole trail
Useful gear: Sturdy boots or shoes, sunglasses, sun protection, camera, water bottle, light snacks for energy along the way
Arguably one of the most beautiful trails near Ridgway, if not in the entire state of Colorado, the Blue Lakes trail offers the ultimate destination after approximately 4 miles of slight elevation gain – a gorgeous, cerulean blue mountain lake nestled among a backdrop of jagged mountains in the Sneffels wilderness. This is one of those hikes where under no circumstances, can forget your camera and an extra bottle of water!
Read more about the Blue Lakes Trail here.
Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
Plan for: A full day hike, beginning early in the morning for best weather
Useful gear: Sturdy boots or shoes (hiking books that support your ankles are definitely best), a packed lunch, plenty of water, sunglasses, sun protection, and that camera!
After a day of hiking or walking the nearby trails, an evening soak in Chipeta’s thermal pools will be just what the vacation doctor ordered. Watch the sunset from the warmth of our 104 degree, salt water soaking tub, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand to top off a perfect Colorado spring day.
Always be sure to check trail conditions before heading out to enjoy your hike, and also closely watch the weather reports!
To borrow from the wise words of outdoorsman John Muir – “The mountains are calling, and I must go.”
We’ll see you soon!
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