Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Elevation: 7100 - 7125 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Skyline Loop
Attractions: Scenic views
The Skyline Loop is located in the Dutch Charlie area of Ridgway State Park about 6 miles north of the town of Ridgway, Colorado. The trail makes a short loop around a bench that sits on Elk Ridge overlooking Ridgway Reservoir. As the trail loops around the bench below the Elk Ridge Campground hikers are treated to scenic views of the reservoir.
To get to where the trail begins follow the Sunset Ridge trail for a short distance from where it begins off of Loop D in the Elk Ridge Campground.
The trail follows a nice wide path with a hard packed surface of crushed rock.
As the trail makes its loop above the reservoir it loses about 25 feet of elevation. In the Rocky Mountains that is akin to stepping off of a curb in the city.
Several benches along the way provide a place to relax and enjoy the peaceful setting.
As the trail comes closer to the reservoir you can walk over to the rocky sandstone outcrop for a better view.
The climb as the trail returns is along a gentle grade.
From one point along the trail you can see all the way to the dam. Because of the dogleg the canyon makes there isn't any one place within the park where you can get all of the reservoir in one picture.
The trail comes to an end when it reconnect with the Sunset Ridge trail. Note that the trail doesn't actually make a complete loop. The Skyline Loop trail contacts the Sunset Ridge trail in two different spots that are about 100 feet apart. We began the hike at the trail junction furthest to the south, hiked the loop in the clockwise direction, and ended back at the Sunset Ridge trail at its closest point to the campground. One direction is about the same as the next though. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.