Cookie Tree Trail


Cookie Tree Trail

Date: 6/21/2015
Difficulty: moderate
Miles: 1.8 round trip
rating 3halfstar
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 125 ft
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 38°12’48.60″N , 107°44’6.84″W
Maps: Ridgway Trail Map , RidgwayDutchCharlieMap , RidgwayPaCoChuPukMap
Park Website: Ridgway State Park



Cookie_Tree_Trail11The Cookie Tree Trail is located within Ridgway State Park and is one of the longer trails in the park. The trail was named after the Cookie Tree Ranch that was flooded when they built the reservoir. To access the park from Grand Junction Colorado you need to travel south on US-50 for approximately 60 miles until you reach Montrose. Once in Montrose US-50 turns into US-550 south.  Continue straight through Montrose for another 22 miles or so until you come to Ridgway Reservoir. Take the second entrance which is the Dutch Charlie and Visitors Center entrance.

The trail begins just behind the visitors center. You can follow the Scenic Overlook Trail around Cookie_Tree_Trail9or follow the service road that’s to the left of the visitors center, both routes lead to the actual trailhead.

The trail begins by gradually dropping down below the visitors center and traverses the side of the hill. the trail is very well maintained with only the occasional rock or tree root to step over. To conform with the rest o the trails in the park there are various benches strategically placed along the way in areas that offer both great views of the reservoir and nice shade.

Cookie_Tree_Trail7After a short distance the trail reaches the bottom of the hill and begins following the reservoirs edge. there are a few quiet shaded places to sit and fish along this portions.

A ways farther down the trail passes a gate on your left and drops down even closer to the lake. Once you get near the water things get a little narrow in spots. The trail follows a game fence with the highway just on the other side and the reservoir on the other. I seen a section of the game fence that looks like it was tore through by a rather large animal.

The trail ends at the Dallas Creek Day Area. Once at this point there are bathrooms, picnic tables and water. It’s a nice area to sit and relax for a while.

While I was refilling my water bottle a young buck appeared to have gotten on the wrong side ofCookie_Tree_Trail18the wildlife fence and ran right past me and ran right down the same trail I just came on. I waited for a minute or so before heading back hoping to give the deer time to get far ahead. As I headed back you can see nearly the entire trail and I didn’t see any sign of the deer. I looked around and actually spotted the thing swimming towards the middle of the lake. As tired as he looked when he ran by me, I knew for sure he would drown before reaching the other side but before he got too far out in the lake a boat came and coaxed him back to shore where he crawled out and disappeared into the trees. I have never seen a deer swimming before and I’ll never know what prompted him to do it.

Ridgway State Park offers some fun and relaxing trails as well as some nice campsites and great places to fish.


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  • Cookie_Tree_Trail7 Cookie_Tree_Trail7 The Cookie Tree Trail located within Ridgway State Park.
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  • Cookie_Tree_Trail9 Cookie_Tree_Trail9 The Cookie Tree Trail located within Ridgway State Park.
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  • Cookie_Tree_Trail11 Cookie_Tree_Trail11 The Cookie Tree Trail located within Ridgway State Park.
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  • Cookie_Tree_Trail18 Cookie_Tree_Trail18 The Cookie Tree Trail located within Ridgway State Park. Swimming Deer.
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