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Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway

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Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway
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General Information

Description - The byway reflects Colorado's unique geology, scenery, wildlife and mountain ecology. Elk, deer, birds and moose can be seen along the route. Towering mountain ranges and wilderness areas are visible from the highway between Rocky Mountain National Park and Granby.

At Windy Gap, a roadside interpretive center features archeology and waterfowl watching. Beautiful Byers and Gore Canyons were carved by the Colorado River. Ancient river terraces are visible between Pardale and Kremmling. Look for antelope and eagles at Kremmling watchable wildlife area.

Inspiration Point on the Trough Road overlooks the rugged beauty of Gore Canyon, and far below, the whitewater of the Colorado River. Stately ranch lands nestle among colorful geologic exposures downriver to the historic stage stop at State Bridge.

Recreation - Outdoor recreation opportunities along this route are as varied as the scenery. Activities include fishing in the lakes and rivers; camping in either campgrounds or dispersed areas generally off the main route; hiking nearby trails; whitewater rafting or kayaking in the Colorado; boating in the lakes of the Arapaho National Recreation Area; hiking the nearby trails; viewing scenery and wildlife.

Climate - This route begins higher than 10,000 feet on Trail Ridge Road, in Rocky Mountain National Park. It ends at around 6,500 feet at State Bridge. Because the of this substantial elevation difference, weather can vary greatly along the byway. Summertime highs normally reach into the 70s at the highest elevations and into the mid 80s at the lowest elevations. Deep snows close Trail Ridge Road for the winters and it normally remains closed until Memorial Day. The lower elevations receive much less snow and the remainder of the byway stays open year round. Winter high temperatures normally range from the 20s to 40 degrees.

Location - The Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway is located in north-central Colorado. It follows the Colorado River from its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park, past Grand Lake and Granby, through Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling, to State Bridge, on Colorado Highway 131.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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More Information

Contact Information:
Grand County Historical Society, P.O. Box 165 , Hot Sulphur Springs, CO, 80451, Phone: 970-725-3939

Additional Information:
Arapaho National Recreation Area - The Arapaho National Recreation Area (ANRA) encompasses 5 lakes and reservoirs at the upper end of the Colorado River Valley. It's located immediately north of Granby and west of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Colorado Scenic Byways - Driving through Colorado can be some of the most rewarding driving possible. The scenic byways deserve their name and are definitely worth the detour.
Granby/Grand Lake Area - The Granby and Grand Lake area is located in north-central Colorado, in the upper Colorado River Valley. The area is approximately 90 miles northwest of Denver and lies on the southwest end of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Sulphur Ranger District - The Sulphur Ranger District encompasses the southwest portion of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. It surrounds the towns of Winter Park, Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs and includes the Arapaho National Recreation Area.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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