Ridgway State park consists of three separate campgrounds: Dakota Terrace, Pa-Co-Chu-Puk & Elk Ridge. Pa-Co-Chu-Puk: This has the full hook sites. We made our reservation in January for our July trip. I specifically reserved a site by the river. Google Earth does a very poor job of demonstrating terrain, because the river access consists of almost rappelling down a 40 foot cliff....not good. In addition to no river access, the mosquitoes were horrible to the point that we couldn't be outside for more than a few seconds before we were attacked. I think I saw a small dog sucked dry by those bloodsuckers! The park rangers said that the mosquitoes are always a problem during the summer months, and I wish I would have known that before the reservations were made. We stayed one night out of the six nights before we were able to get the rest of our reservation moved to the Dakota Terraces campgrounds. I would not stay at this campground again based on the mosquito problems. We were in site #267.
Dakota Terrace: This campground was a trip saver based on all the problems that we had with the mosquitoes at Pa-Co-Chu-Pak. The campsites were close together to see what the campers were doing, yet far enough away to where we weren't on top of each other. There were few established large trees in this campsite. The pads weren't the concrete pads that were available in Pa-Co-Chu-Pak, but rather asphalt and required a bit of leveling. The bathrooms/shower facilities were clean and well-kept, and the park hosts did a good job to keeping the place clean and well organized. Overall, it served its purpose and we would stay there again if necessary.
Elk Ridge: This is the campground you want to try to reserve in. A lot of big established trees that did a good job of allowing better privacy between campsites. While we didn't use the bathroom or the shower in this campsite, I would assume that based on the exceptional job of how well the other amenities were maintained, this one would be no different. The website says that Elk Ridge is the most popular campground and I can see why. Site #186 is the best in the park with a great view of the lake. Out of all three parks, this one offers the best seclusion.
Summary: All three parks have their strengths and weaknesses. Dakota Terrace and Elk Ridge offer the best options if traveling with kids because it allows the easiest access to the swim beach and the playgrounds. All the campsites had a fire ring and grill, all had easy access to clean showers and bathrooms and all campgrounds had a good play area for the kids. A big kudos goes out to the Colorado State Park Department for providing clean, safe and enjoyable camping facilities.
Great park. The bathrooms and shower facilities were clean and well maintained, the park hosts made sure that the area was clean of trash and debris. This campground had the "woodsy" feel that we were desiring. It appears that they have been doing some repaving of the roads in certain loops within the campground. Of the three campgrounds we stayed in during our last trip, this one was by far the nicest in our opinion. We definitely would stay here again but the park books up quickly.