Put in – 7,000
Takeout – 6,900
Short but sweet, but whatever this run lacks in length it makes up for in beauty. Starting at the play wave in Rollins Park near the Hwy 62 bridge this run floats down to the Ridgway State Park with amazing views, some fun wave trains and a couple of class III- holes. While the river may not be a destination, the reservoir and town certainly are. The reservoir offers adventures from fly fishing off the river at the base of the dam at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk, to its camping and hiking trails, to the reservoir itself, this is a great state park with lots of amenities for the outdoor enthusiast. And the town of Ridgway is a great little foothill town that offers amazing views, some great shops and an atmosphere much less stuffy than nearby major resort towns. One could easily spend a week on vacation here and during that week make sure you spend a morning or two floating this stretch of river.
The season is short if you’re looking for excitement but if you’d rather a lazy day mid-summer this can be run on a SUP down to about 200cfs, maybe lower. You may need to walk a few times at this flow but it should make for a nice relaxing day. If you get here and there’s not enough water you could always paddle around the reservoir.
Dennis Weaver Memorial Park
Dennis Weaver was a Hollywood actor and environmentalist. He moved to Ridgway and became a prominent member of the community. This park and 80 acres were dedicated in his memory as a nature preserve. If you float through here you have to stop off at the sculpture and follow the directions to stack your rocks. You can also visit this place from the road and hike any of the trails in the area.
For more information on the park visit their website.
Historic Town of Dallas
In the late 1800s there was a toll road that linked Montrose to the mining town of Ouray CO. Along the route a town popped up as a stage coach stop. Named after Vice President of the United States, George M. Dallas, the town was formed in 1880. In 1887 the Denver Rio Grande made its way up the valley and in 1889 the town was incorporated. A year later the town of Ridgway was founded and quickly became the center of the region and Dallas slowly faded away.
The Town of Dallas was located near the confluence of the Uncompahgre and Dallas Creek at what is now the mouth of the Ridgeway Reservoir. Most of the town was already gone when the reservoir was filled in 1990 but some relics still remain. There is now a community known as Dallas Meadows in and around the location of the old town.
When I talked with the ranger at the park, she told me that it was in the master plan to build a boat ramp down near the confluence to cut out some of the flat-water paddling at the end of the river run. They may need to move it farther down to avoid relics buried in the silt from the old town of Dallas.
Water sports are inherently dangerous sports in which severe injuries or death may occur.
Do not use this website or maps unless you are an expert, have sought out and obtained qualified professional instruction or guidance, are knowledgeable about the risks involved, and are willing to assume personal responsibility for the risks associated with these activities. If you have any doubts in your ability please stay off the water.
DO NOT USE THIS WEBSITE OR MAPS UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO ASSUME PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ACTIVITIES DESCRIBED OR DEPICTED!!!