Cookie Tree

One-way Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6891 - 7041 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 3 hrs. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Cookie Tree/Visitor Center
Fee: $7/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic trail

The Cookie Tree trail is located in the Ridgway State Park near the town of Ridgway, Colorado. The trail begins near the Visitor Center in the Dutch Charlie area of the park where it makes an easy descent down the mountain to the Dallas Creek Day Use Area of the park near the mouth of the reservoir. Views of the reservoir and surrounding mountains augment the already scenic route the trail takes. The lower end of the trail passes many spots along the shore that are popular with anglers. The trail gets its name from the Cookie Tree Ranch which was flooded by the creation of the reservoir in 1989.

This post begins at the upper end of the Cookie Tree trail near the Visitor Center. To get to where the trail starts you can either follow the Visitor Center Overlook trail and pick up the Cookie Tree trail at the overlook or follow the Wapatki trail for a short distance where it intersects with the Cookie Tree trail.

The Cookie Tree trail maintains a consistently wide path for most of its entire 1 mile length. As the trail begins it heads toward the hillside above the reservoir.

A switchback that has stone steps for hikers and a side path for mountain bikes comes up as the trail begins its descent.

Rocky outcrops add a charming character to the trail while the aromas of the pinyon and juniper trees enliven the senses.

An occasional bench provides a spot to rest and take in the views.

For the most part the descent down the side of the mountain carries on at a gradual slope.

The trail eventually levels off as it nears the edge of the water making fishing access readily available.

Grasses growing along the homestretch of the trail reduce the trails width to a single track.

The trail stops at its lower end near a restroom and picnic area in the Dallas Creek section of the park. At this point you can transition onto the Marmot Run portion of the Uncompahgre River trail and follow it all the way into the town of Ridgway if you choose. If you find yourself coming into the Ridgway State Park via the Uncompahgre River trail then you can forget about the normal entry fee which doesn't apply to those that enter the park on foot or bike. Whether you are looking for a good trail to hike, bike or get to a new fishing spot the Cookie Tree trail is worth checking out. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.