Flowing nearly 1,400 miles throughout the American Southwest, the Colorado River amazingly provides water to sustain life in Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California before it reaches the Pacific Ocean. The power of its waters carved the Grand Canyon and more spectacular scenery throughout the region.
Where the mighty river begins could not be more different than the dry, dusty, sandstone landscapes it runs through. Flowing from the serenely beautiful Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest natural lake, on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado Headwaters Scenic Byway begins here as well.
Along the 80-mile route which follows the river, the route passes mountain valleys, canyons, lakes, historic ranchlands, and high-country mountain communities, ending at Gore Canyon. In some places, the river resembles a babbling brook, tumbling through meadows and gorges, before it gains strength, gathering more steam as it is filled with the water of smaller rivers that add to its power.