Naturita & Nucla Area - Southwest Colorado
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Stay at Rimrocker Adventures along the Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway. UTV, electric bike, paddle board rentals here. RV Park near groceries, San Miguel River boat launch and Unaweep Canyon Trails.
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.
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.
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.
Naturita & Nucla Area Activities & Maps
Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway
Rafting & Kayaking:
Dolores River Rafting & Kayaking
San Miguel River Rafting & Kayaking
Ski Areas & Resorts:
Telluride Ski Resort