Unaweep Tabegauche

Knifing through the sandstone of the Uncompahgre Plateau, the geologically unique Unaweep Canyon drains in two different directions. Likely it was the original riverbed of the Gunnison and Colorado rivers before they were diverted into the Grand Valley. The Utes lived a traditional nomadic lifestyle here for at least 10,000 years before Spanish conquistadores arrived. Pioneers came to mine gold in 1858, turning the traditional lifestyle completely upside down, with Ute homelands occupied by miners, settlers and ranchers. They finally gave up challenging these new settlements and were moved to Utah. Traveling through the canyon, the Unaweep (Ute for canyon with two mouths) Tabegauche. (Ute for people who camp on the sunny side of the mountain) Scenic and Historic Byway tells the story of the ancient cultures as well as that of the miners, ranchers and Old West characters that occupied the barns, towns and vernacular buildings in communities such as “Uncompahgre” (Ute), “Sewemup” (ranching) and “Uravan” (mining), revealing the perils living in this challenging landscape.

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