Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Colorado River Headwaters

We have been hired by Los Caminos Antiguos and Colorado Scenic Byways to asses four of Colorado's famous driving tours known as the scenic byways. The evaluation tool we will create for this group will hopefully become a model for accessibility in historic towns and along other byways in the state and perhaps the country! We're very excited to do this project, and thank Judy Walden of the Walden Mills Group, Sally Pearce, Program Coordinator for Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways, & Anne Marie Velasquez of the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway for hiring us for this ground-breaking evaluation project!

Now, on to our first byway!!
Closest to us is the Colorado River Headwaters Byway, stretching from the little river spot of State Bridge to the town of Kremmling, about 50 miles from Steamboat, and on through Hot Sulfur Springs to Granby and ultimately finishing at the tourist-mecca of Grand Lake, just outside of the state's most famous Rocky Mountain National Park.

A drive mixed with Colorado's highlights of history, hot springs, impressive mountain ranges, fish-filled rivers and waterfalls, flavorful ranches, and small town friendliness, Colorado Headwaters seemed a great place for us to start this summer-long journey of scenic drives.

A big highlight for us and accessibility on this tour were the ever-improving cabin and music hotspot of State Bridge. Under new ownership and bright ideas, the accessibilty of this river "town" (loosely, more a rafters paradise) improves with every year we visit it. Well worth the stop along 131 to Vail, we have often spent the night to see our favorite jam bands play into the wee hours along the Colorado River.

Other highlights include the pizza at Our Family Kitchen in Kremmling, the do-able and flavorful Bar-Lazy-J Ranch near Parshall, the fully accessible Hot Sulfur Springs Resort, with pools and cabins especially designated for wheelchairs, the Longbranch Restaurant in Granby, and the Kaufman Museum in Grand Lake.

Also don’t miss the great accessible viewing area and interpretive walk at Willow Creek, just before Granby (picture above)!

Happy Trails, and see you on the next beautiful scenic byway!

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