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BLM>Colorado>Programs>Recreation>Recreation Areas>Byways and National Trails>Unaweep-Tabeguache
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Recreation Areas

Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic
and Historic Byway
Hanging Flume

Along the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway, reminders of Colorado's last frontier are still evident today. The route begins in Whitewater and pursues a course through Unaweep Canyon, where geological formations are as many as 1.4 to 1.7 billion years old. Along the way, the route passes by Bangs Canyon Recreation Area and through the Gateway Area. After reaching Gateway, the Byway turns to thread its way through the vivid desert redbeds of the narrow Dolores River Canyon. Soon, travelers will pass Uravan, where mining activity has been historically prominent, beginning with copper and later shifting to uranium used for atomic bombs during Wolrd War II. Water for these processes was provided by the Hanging Flume aqueduct system, and remnants of this landmark can still be seen today. Continuing on, the Byway eventually takes a course through San Miguel River Recreation Area and ends in Placerville. By the time travelers have completed the entire route, they will have seen remote lands featuring green meadows, snow-capped peaks, turbulent rivers, abandoned mining claims and more.

Total Length:  133 miles

  • Byway
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Heritage touism
  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Off-highway vehicles
  • Rock climbing
  • Water recreation
  • Wildlife viewing
Attractions, Facilities, & Services:
  • Hanging Flume
  • Driggs Mansion
  • Interpretive pull-outs
  • Boating and fishing access
  • Campgrounds
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic areas
  • Available in Gateway, Grand Junction, Naturita, Norwood, Placerville, Telluride and Whitewater: lodging, restaurants
    and shops
  • Available in Grand Junction:
    vehicle services

Directions:  To follow Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway, begin in Whitewater and travel south on Highway 141. Turn right to continue on Highway 141. After Naturita, bear left onto Highway 145 and continue until reaching Placerville, where the Byway ends.