Round Trip Distance: 0.7 miles
Elevation: 7125 - 7150 feet
Cellphone: 1-4 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Loop D
Attractions: Pinyon/juniper forest
The Sunset Ridge trail is located in the Dutch Charlie area of Ridgway State Park about 6 miles north of the town of Ridgway, Colorado. The trail travels around the southwest rim of Elk Ridge making a connection between Loop E and Loop D of the campground. From several scenic overlooks along the trail hikers are provided with prime views of the surrounding area.
For this post we begin at the north end of the trail in the Loop D section of the Elk Ridge Campground.
The trail is easy to follow as it travels around the edge of the mountain above Ridgway Reservoir.
A healthy growth of pinyon and juniper trees does a good job of blocking views of the reservoir in most places.
At the 0.13 mile point the Skyline Loop trail breaks off on the right.
Within another 100 feet or so the Skyline Loop reconnects to the Sunset Ridge trail after having spent almost a half mile trekking around a lower section of the mountain.
There is only about a 25 foot change in elevation over the course of the trail. Most of it occurs gradually after passing the Skyline Loop trail.
At the quarter mile point the Sunset Ridge trail comes to the Scenic Overlook. To continue from here follow the trail to the left.
Watch for the spot where the trail branches off on the right and continues heading east just before reaching the restrooms.
An inviting bench offers itself as a quiet place to take in the view.
Even on a cloudy day the views aren't too shabby.
The trail serves as the access route for some of the walk-in campsites in Loop E. The walk-in site in this picture is actually wheelchair accessible.
Be aware if you have small children with you that the cliffs in this area are very steep.
The Sunset Ridge trail comes to an end on the east side of Loop E. From here it might be a little challenging to find your campsite. The camper services building where the showers and laundromat are located sits between Loop D and Loop E so if you can find it then you should be able to get your bearings from there. Whether hiking or mountain bike riding most of the trails in Ridgway State Park are easy to get around on and by combining them together you can get just about anywhere without having to drive your vehicle. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.