RV and Vanlife Travel Blog

Ridgeway State Park

A Majestic Mountain Haven

After picking up our 18 foot long RV travel trailer in Boulder, Colorado, we made our way to Southwest Colorado and settled at Ridgeway State Park. Shortly upon arrival, we baptized the cute and retro 1961 Comet travel trailer as “Camelia” or “Camelia, the Texan one” after the protagonist of the famous Narco-Corrido (Narco Ballad) song by Los Tigres del Norte “Contrabando y Traicion.”

The road between Boulder and Ridgeway was the first moment I realized that we were in a journey of a lifetime, surrounded by some of the most mind-blowing canyons and mountain ridges in the world.

Ridgeway State park is a great place to stay with a camper van, RV, or tent, as it freatures beautiful lake views and tall mountain ridges that resemble the Alps. The park also offers electric and water hookups, laundry, and clean bathrooms and showers. An RV site will cost you $36/night, while a tent site will cost $18/night. While there isn’t any WiFi, you’ll find good Verizon signal that will get you internet fast enough to make your zoom calls with a hotspot devise like our Verizon MiFi Jetpack. When you book, look for a site in the Dutch Charlie loops “D” or “E” to get the best views of the lake and mountains while avoiding the highway noise. Here is the site brochure with the map: Click to access RidgwayBrochure.pdf.

A typical day of work by Camelia.

Since we mostly focused on settling into the RV during our free time while working our day jobs, we didn’t have a chance to explore nearby hikes. However, we did roam though some if the on-site 14 miles of trails in our bikes. If you do this, we recommend you use mountain bikes (I definitely ate shit once with my road bike). Also, the reservoir was just the perfect place to go out on my paddleboard, and great for the good old fashion and refreshing cold-plunge, which we later turned into a habit at every body of water we visited.

Fun Story

It was at this site where we coined the term “Cucha Summoner” to refer to a head lamp. Alejandro Ramirez AKA “El Aless” was wearing an LED head light while cookig one night until an old lady and her dog popped out of nowhere to yelled at us, exclaiming that using LED lights in the area was against the code. We kindly apologized, but just a few days later, we were surprised again by the lady and the dog both giving us a nasty look when we tuned that lamp on for just a second to look for the other lamp. After that experience, we knew the old lady and her tenacious poodle would show up anywhere we dared to use an LED light. Therefore, it only made sense to refer to a head lamp as a “cucha” (for old lady in Spsnish) “summoner.”

After our one-week stay at Ridgeway State Park, we made our way West towards Mesa Verde National Park, and made a one-day stop at the Town of Telluride, CO.

Paddleboarding on the reservoir.

Telluride is one of the most spectacular places and towns we’ve seen during our journey through the US. It features an amazing mountain range full of trails for hiking and mountain biking for most of the year, and a huge Ski resort during the winter. We parked the RV at the free Station Village parking lot (plenty of space if you go in and down to the exposed area in the bottom floor) and took the free gondola up to the Station St. Sophia at over 10,500 ft of altitude. From there we hiked up the See Forever Trail to play and record a few jams (see below video of Aless’ La Magica Perla), and then continued up until the altitude sickness got the best out of me. El Aless continued up until near the Tempter House at 12,000 ft, got caught in a hail storm, found himself surrounded by bear poop by taking the wrong path down, and eventually found his way down back to safety.

We’ve improved that song quite a bit since then. Nevertheless, the scenery made for a perfect place for this jam.

We ended the day with a refreshing local brew at a spacious bar in downtown Telluride, but did so reluctantly due to the Pandemic. Nevertheless we felt fairly safe with everyone keeping safe distance and wearing masks.

The free Station Village parking lot offers a great open area to park RVs and vans.

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