Click here to go to the Rimrocker Historical Society Museum page

Naturita & Nucla Area - Southwest Colorado

Includes Nucla

Experience Naturita and Nucla, Colorado

Experience the northern part of Southwest Colorado where the roots of history start 150 million years ago when dinosaurs walked the earth; to humans. First to arrive were the Anasazi, ancestors of the Pueblo people, followed by the Tabeguache Ute Tribes, and finally placer miners, pioneers, cowboys and outlaws. They all called this part of Colorado home and left their mark!

The Naturita-Nucla Area is at the Western Edge of Colorado, almost kissing the border with Utah. It is redefining what pioneer life is here and now! The area is speckled with old mining and ranching towns like Bedrock, Paradox, Redvale and Uravan. The west end of Montrose County is a vacation destination that will bring your family days filled with hiking, exploring, and laughing.

 UTVing the Rimrocker Trail near Montrose and Nucla, Colorado
The Rimrocker OHV Trail Connects Nucla to the Uravan Mining Area
View of the San Miguel River and red-rock canyon from the Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway near Naturita and Nucla, Colorado
Naturita Sits Along the San Miguel River in Southwest Colorado

NATURITA is along the Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway. The drive is spectacular when wildflowers peak in July or during the changing of the aspens in September. Ancient rock outcroppings and red sandstone formations hold fossils from Precambrian times. Surrounded by plenty of BLM land and the Uncompahgre National Forest, this is an ideal destination for hunting and wildlife watching.

Fishing is abundant in the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers. Clear mountain streams provide anglers with a pleasant challenge for trout.

NUCLA is at the base of the Uncompahgre Plateau and the San Miguel Basin. The new town site of Nucla was staked out on a little flat in Tabeguache "The Sunny Side" Park. The colonists, not wanting to waste an acre of good farm land, situated the town site on a rocky hill unfit for farming. The arrival of water via a man-made ditch to the Tabeguache plateau was the beginning of farming and ranching that continues today.

The Hanging Flume located along the Windgate Sandstone Cliffs, Colorado
Photo Credit: Dave Klika
The Hanging Wooden Flume along Wingate Sandstone Cliffs is an Engineering Wonder from the late 1880s
Dog playing in the waters of the San Miguel River, Colorado
The San Miguel River is a Playground for Dogs – Humans Love Fishing for Rainbow Trout and Kayaking

AREA EVENTS: In Early June each year off-roading is highlighted for a weekend at the RANDY SKEES 4X4 JEEP TOURS & POKER RUN. The first Saturday in July is celebrated with WATER DAYS. The HERITAGE HARVEST FESTIVAL on the 2nd Saturday in October, celebrates 100+ years of heirloom fruit tree groves. In mid-November we celebrate our ranching roots with a weekend of COWBOY POETRY.

RIMROCKER TRAIL: This 160 mile trail (from Montrose, Colorado to Moab, Utah) provides 4WD, OHV and bicycle access through some of the West's most stunning scenery: redrock canyons, winding rivers, desert vistas and alpine forests. The first section takes you from Montrose to Nucla and it's just over 47 miles. The second section goes from Nucla to Highway 141; at 26.5 miles from Nucla is the Uravan mining area, which is how the trail was named as the people who worked here were known as Rimrockers.

THE WEST END TRAIL ALLIANCE - WETA: The trails and single track are just 1 mile from downtown Nucla. Park at the Paradox Trail Trailhead for easy access to the Paradox Trail and Nucla Range Trail System. Airport Mesa Trail is a good beginner trail for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. It's convenient to the towns of Nucla and Naturita and an excellent spot to take a break from driving to walk the dog, or take a quick run. Long Park Paradox View Trail is 2.6 miles long and is recommended for advanced hikers. It's located near the town site of Uravan. Look for traces of copper oxides in the rocks.

Family eating at shaded park bench with person in wheelchair at West Creek Picnic Area in the Naturita-Nucla Area, Colorado
While Driving the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and History Byway Stop for a Picnic Lunch at West Creek Picnic Area
Mountainbikers in Red Canyon along the West End Trail Alliance, WETA, near Nucla and Naturita, Colorado
The Naturita and Nucla Area Offers Vast Valleys and Steep Canyons with great trails for Mountain Biking

UNAWEEP TABEGUACHE SCENIC AND HISTORIC BYWAY: Stretching 133 miles along Colorado Highways 145 and 141, this byway follows the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers near the Colorado-Utah border. It will take you about 3 hours to drive. However, it's more entertaining to stop along the way to enjoy the local history along with the man-made Hanging Flume, geological formations such as Unaweep Seep and Uncompahgre Plateau, and the ancient petroglyphs and hieroglyphics. Stop at West Creek Picnic area where you just might get to see deer. We recommend you plan a full day!

A small number of rafting companies offer trips down the San Miguel River. With its Class II and III rapids, it's a good river for kayaking as well.

Naturita and Nucla, Colorado - Driving Directions and Location

LOCATION: Naturita is 10 minutes from Nucla, 2 hours from Grand Junction, 2-1/2 hours from Durango, 5-1/2 hours from Salt Lake City UT and Denver CO, 6 hours from Flagstaff AZ and Albuquerque NM, and 7-1/2 hours from Cheyenne WY.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From the junction of I-70 ad CO 141 in Grand Junction, take CO 141 South 110 miles to Naturita. From Salt Lake City take I-15 south to Spanish where you merge on US 6, stay on US 6 east till it merges with US 191. In Moab continue on US 191 for 22 miles when you merge onto east UT 46 toward La Sal. When you enter Colorado, UT 46 becomes CO 90. When CO 90 ends at CO 141, head south for 2 miles on CO 141 to Naturita. Nucla is four miles north of Naturita on Highway 97.

Commercial air travel accommodations are handled by Telluride Regional Airport, Grand Junction Regional Airport and Montrose Regional Airport. Please contact your preferred travel agent or airline for flight arrangements.

Naturita & Nucla are near: Dolores, Dove Creek, Norwood, Ouray & Telluride

Featured Naturita & Nucla Area Businesses

Naturita - A Vacation Destination to Trails and Adventure
Big Things Happen in -- Little Nature -- Rimrocker Trail, Buckeye Reservoir, Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway, San Miguel River, wildlife, ancient petroglyphs, hike, fish, ATV, mountain bike, hunt, raft.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Scenic Byways and Drives Fishing ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Jeeping and Offroad Vehicles White-water Rafting and Kayaking Activities, Tourist Attractions Activities and Fun Things to do Hunting 

Rimrocker Adventures RV Park
Stay at Rimrocker Adventures along the Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway. RV Park near groceries, San Miguel River boat launch and Unaweep Canyon Trails. Off-Roading is Naturita's Middle Name!

 Photos on page icon Tent Camping RV Parks and Resorts Scenic Byways and Drives 

Rimrocker Historical Society Museum and Ballpark at Historic Uravan CO - Campground and Day Use Park
Dedicated to rimrocker cultural and natural history of the West End of Montrose County: interpretation, preservation of artifacts, events. Uravan Ball Park Campground: self-contained RVs on San Miguel River.

 Web page link icon RV Parks and Resorts Activities, Tourist Attractions 

Town of Nucla - A Vacation Destination to Trails and Adventure
PLAY in SW CO! Nucla along Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway, Hwy 141: San Juan Mountains and Uncompahgre Plateau, Off-Road Trails - ATV, bike, hike; fish San Miguel River, prehistoric caves and art.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Scenic Byways and Drives Fishing ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Jeeping and Offroad Vehicles Activities, Tourist Attractions Activities and Fun Things to do Hunting Snowmobiling 

Vestal House @ Tabeguache Park - Bed and Breakfast and RV Park
The Tooker Family renovated this historic landmark the Vestal House at Tabeguache Park: a Bed and Breakfast and RV Park in Nucla. Explore the Unaweep Tabeguache Byway and Rimrocker 4x4-ATV Trail.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Bed and Breakfast, B&B RV Parks and Resorts Family Friendly Pets Welcome Scenic Byways and Drives ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Winter Lodging 

Naturita & Nucla Area Activities & Maps

Scenic Byways:
Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway

Rafting & Kayaking:
Dolores River Rafting & Kayaking
San Miguel River Rafting & Kayaking

Ski Areas & Resorts:
Telluride Ski Resort

Click here to go to the Rimrocker Historical Society Museum page

Places to Stay, Rentals & Amenities
Cabins & Cottages | Motels & Hotels | Lodging & Lodges | Vacation Homes | Condos, Suites & Townhomes | Bed & Breakfast | Tent Camping | RV Parks & Campgrounds | RV Sales, Service & Rentals | Romance Packages | Family Friendly | Pets Welcome | By Water | Swimming Pools | Guest Horses | Groups, Reunions & Retreats | Weddings & Elopements | Winter Lodging

Fun Things to Do
Calendars of Events | National Parks, Monuments & Historic Sites | Scenic Byways & Drives | Fishing & Fly Fishing | Hot Springs | Horse Riding | ATV/UTVing | Jeeping & 4WD | Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking | Attractions | Golfing | Restaurants & Dining | More Fun Stuff | Hunting & Land Leases | Snowmobiling | Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding | Snowshoeing | Cross-Country Skiing

A-Z Towns & Areas | Colorado Maps | About Us

©Copyright 1997- by The Colorado Directory, Inc. This is a directory only; it is not and does not contain a recommendation, warranty, guaranty, inducement or endorsement of any kind. Representations herein were supplied by the individual businesses. The publisher, The Colorado Directory, Inc., does not assume any responsibility for truth, falsity or completeness of any representation made herein or any errors, changes, services rendered, or changes made in the use of this directory. This information was compiled as accurately as possible. Prices and services are frequently subject to change. Errors called to the publisher's attention will be corrected in the future. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.