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, email@example.com
Hours: 24 hours
Directions: Follow U.S. 50 west to Montrose, then head south on U.S. 550 about 23 miles.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE