Travel Center

Flat Tops Trail

Length: 82 miles. Driving time: 2 hours.

Vaughn LakeFlat Tops TrailThis byway cuts through the heart of the original White River Plateau Timberland Reserve, set aside in the late 19th century as the second unit of what eventually became the National Forest system. Two decades later, in a foreshadowing of the 1964 Wilderness Act, development of any kind was banned around Trapper's Lake (the "Cradle of Wilderness"). The area's long-standing history of preservation and multiple-use land management makes for pristine scenery and superlative wildlife viewing. Yet this remains very much a "working" byway, dotted with active mines, ranches, and timber-producing woodlands. Meeker and Yampa, the route's two endpoints, embody the rugged individualism that lies at the heart of western lore.

White River National Forest
Flat Tops Wilderness Area
Trappers Lake
Tales along the Flat Tops Trail (MP3 Audio Download) (MPEG-4 Audio Download)
Local Chamber of Commerce(s):

Corridor Management Plan
Flat Tops Trail Corridor Management Plan - March 1994

Special Considerations:
Fill tank in Yampa or Meeker.
Roads muddy when wet.
The Flat Tops Scenic byway is closed in the winter on the west side at approximately mile marker 31. There is a parking lot located at the closure for those engaging in winter activities such as snow shoeing and snowmobiling. The byway is closed on the East side at Dunkley Pass.
Contact Information

USFS - Yampa Ranger District
P.O. Box 7, 300 Roselawn
Yampa CO 80483

Contact Information


Lenore C. Bates
Colorado Scenic Byways Coordinator
(303) 757-9786
4201 E Arkansas Ave, Shumate Bldg
Denver CO 80222-3406
(303) 757-9727 fax

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