Journeys Over Mesas and Plateaus
The Colorado River defines this region—its waters coursing through the mesas and plateaus and geologic time—to carve Glenwood Canyon and nourish its valleys. Recognized as one of the most biologically diverse areas on the Western Slope, the Roan Plateau provides outstanding habitat for fishing, deer, and other wildlife. Sixty percent of the area is public land where for generations outdoorsmen have come to camp and hunt. Here you can follow in the footsteps of Ute Indians, Theodore Roosevelt, forest rangers, and oil drillers. And, on alternate routes, working ranch land, farm land, and the work of marble stonemasons.
Morrisania Mesa, just east of Battlement Mesa, features the “fruit basket” of the western U.S. Here, early fruit farmers cultivated cherries, apples, and apricots. This Journey also travels to the trailhead of historic Battlement Reservoir, a chain of reservoirs carved out by horse-drawn equipment in the 1890s. Today, the area offers a pristine high mountain setting for fishing and hiking.
Theodore Roosevelt Journey:
During a hunting trip in 1905, in which he bagged three black bears and three lynx, TR rode to the Little Blue School House on Divide Creek (south of Silt) and addressed 1,400 residents. He then returned to the Colorado Hotel for a dip in the hot springs. The first ranger station in the area is also featured.
Rifle Falls Journey:
A scenic loop featuring Rifle Falls State Park, offers a trio of side by side, 90-foot cascading waterfalls and limestone caves. Within Rifle Gap State Park and Harvey Gap, is a 350 acre reservoir for swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing, and ice fishing. Rifle Mountain Park, in a narrow box canyon, provides world-famous rock and ice climbing opportunities for advanced climbers. Don’t miss Rifle Arch in the Grand Hogback, a 60- foot high sandstone arch, which spans 150 feet.
Whitehouse Mountain Journey:
Trek to Marble where, at 9,500 feet, snow-white Yule marble was cut from a steep mountainside and hauled over a three-mile wagon road. Colorado Yule Marble graces the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, and the Colorado Governor’s Residence.