Colorado Hwy 141 canyon ride

Canyon walls tower above you on Colorado Highway 141 south of Grand Junction, CO in this Google maps photo.
Canyon walls tower above you on Colorado Highway 141 south of Grand Junction, CO in this Google maps photo.

 

Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway

 

"These red-rock sandstone canyons must be Utah, right? Wrong. In far western Colorado the red rocks have slipped across the state line. And the way to get there is Colorado 141, also known as the Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway.

Turning off U.S. 50 between Grand Junction and Delta, the road first follows the Unaweep Canyon floor through the shade and coolness of cottonwoods before climbing the Unaweep Divide and dropping back into the canyon below.

At the town of Gateway the road meets the Dolores River and turns southeastward, entering a canyon where the walls soar above you and the sky is only a ribbon of blue. The road climbs, however, and soon the sky is a broad expanse and the river is now the narrow strip far below.

A little further and a pull-out with an interpretive sign beckons. Behind the sign, over the rim of the canyon, you can see the remnants of a 19th century engineering marvel: the hanging flume. A 10-mile-long wooden aqueduct built to carry water to mines, the flume was bolted to the sheer sides of the canyon hundreds of feet above the canyon floor and hundreds of feet below the canyon rim. So precise was the design that the flume drops only 90 feet over the course of 10 miles. You’ll find it hard to believe what you’re seeing with your own eyes.

Cruising on through Uravan, where uranium used in the Manhattan Project was mined, and you reach Naturita. Here, one road leads to Ouray and the other to Telluride. Either one is a good stop for the night and sets you up for some great riding tomorrow."

http://forums.eaglerider.com/t/the-five-best-rides-in-the-southwest/29

 

 

Make it a loop by crossing over into Utah and riding US 191, stopping at Arches National Park near Moab.  Shorten the route if necessary by taking CO 90 / Utah 46, heading west near Naturita, CO.

Arches National Park is on this 349 mile loop
Arches National Park is on this 349 mile loop
Here's a shorter 291 mile version of the ride
Here's a shorter 291 mile version of the ride

Riding through the canyon on Colorado Hwy 141. Google maps photo.
Riding through the canyon on Colorado Hwy 141. Google maps photo.
Western Colorado Hwy 141 has amazing canyon wall views. Google maps photo.
Western Colorado Hwy 141 has amazing canyon wall views. Google maps photo.

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