The Gazette's Colorado state and national parks series is your guide to exploring the diverse beauty of the Centennial State. Which Colorado park will you visit to hike, bike, boat or fish at next? Go to gazette.com/Colorado-State-
A closer look at Ridgway State Park, located in southwestern Colorado:
Description: Some Coloradans swear that this area on the Western Slope is the most scenic place in the state. The visual treats are on a full platter at this recreation paradise a short drive from Ouray. The San Juan Mountains flow in the background of a sparkling reservoir, a delight among water sport enthusiasts and anglers. The Uncompahgre River is a hot spot for fly fishing. The Enchanted Mesa Trail, spanning 2.5 miles through a pasture overlooked by jagged peaks, is most popular among hikers and bikers. Roughly 15 miles of trail encompass the park, with most of the paths on a natural surface. An overnight would be wise. Take advantage of one of the three developed campgrounds or one of the three yurts.
Activities: Boating, jet skiing and water skiing, sailing and paddle sports, fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, camping, swimming
Wildlife: Elk, mule deer, bobcats, mountain lions, marmots, red foxes; golden eagles, bald eagles, red-tailed hawk, goshawks, American dippers, hummingbirds, red-naped suckers among wide variety of birds; Kokanee salmon, crayfish, rainbow and brown trout
Fun fact: One campground is called Pa-Co-Chu-Puk, which is the Ute word for "water buffalo."
Address: 28555 U.S. 550, Ridgway 81432
Contact: 970-626-5822, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours: 24 hours
Directions: Follow U.S. 50 west to Montrose, then head south on U.S. 550 about 23 miles.