Travel Center

Colorado River Headwaters

Length: 80 miles. Driving time: 2 hours.

Grand LakeColorado River HeadwatersDownstream the Colorado is a mighty river irrigating and providing power to the Southwestern United States. But up here, at its source, it is no different from dozens of other Rocky Mountain waterways, a clear brook tumbling across greenish meadows and down cramped redrock gorges. This stretch between Grand Lake and State Bridge offers first-class fishing, canoeing, and rafting, along with plenty of quiet spaces where you can sit on the banks and contemplate. The route begins at Grand Lake, an old resort town on the shores of Colorado's largest natural lake, and ends on a gravel road through spectacular Upper Gore Canyon.

Colorado River Headwaters was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway in 2005.  It is one of eleven America's Byways® designated in Colorado.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Arapaho National Recreation Area
Colorado River Headwaters Tour Brochure and Map

Local Chamber of Commerce(s):
Byways Corridor Management Plan:
Colorado River Headwaters Corridor
Management Plan - Jan 2008
Special Considerations:
The road between Kremmling and State Bridge has gravel surface and limited visitor services.

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Contact Information


Lenore C. Bates
Colorado Scenic Byways Coordinator
4201 E Arkansas Ave, Shumate Bldg
Denver CO 80222-3406

Colorado Tourism Office
Call 1-800-COLORADO (800-265-6723)

2016 Partnerships

Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways 2016 partnerships

All-American Road Sponsor:


America's Byways Sponsor:

Colorado Vacation Directory


Colorado Scenic Byway Sponsor:

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Colorado: The Official State Web Portal