Colorado River Headwaters

Get ready for a trip that blends spectacular scenery with quaint, rural towns that tell the story of their town in a museum in each location, as you drive the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway. Each town has a unique story that springs from the founders of the town and the heritage they brought with them.  The route travels through deep forests and gentle meadows, punctuated with tinkling brooks and brightly colored wildflowers.  Flowing an amazing 1,400 miles from the highlands of the Rocky Mountain highlands through the American Southwest, the Colorado River provides water to sustain life in Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California before it reached the Pacific Ocean. The Grand Canyon speaks to the power of this river to move mountains. Where the mighty river begins at serenely beautiful Grand Lake could not be more different than the dry, dusty, sandstone landscapes of the Southwest. Up here at the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado River is no different than dozens of other clear brooks tumbling across the meadows. There’s no indication that it will become a life sustaining force for millions of people. The Colorado Headwaters Scenic and Historic Byway follows the river along an 80-mile route through mountain valleys, canyons, historic ranchlands and aside lakes, as well as through high-country mountain communities. Explore the quaint towns and visit a series of local museums that tell the story of these authentic places.