Juanita Arch hike in Colorado

National Parks

Experience some American beauty in Colorado and Utah's national parks

When you come to Colorado, you'll be able to see some of America's real national treasures - our national parks. With so many to choose from all within driving distance (and one just outside our doors!), it'll be hard to visit just one! From Unaweep Canyon, also known as our backyard, to Arches National Park and all the way down to the Four Corners, you'll have a world of choice in front of you.

Grand Mesa National Park

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests

These three forests, located on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies, have a combine area coverage of 3,161,900 acres. They comprise some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Colorado.

The Forests vary in elevation from 5,800 feet above sea level in Roubideau Creek Canyon to 14,309 feet on Uncompahgre Peak. In these Forests, you'll find the incomparably beautiful Bridal Veil Falls, the Grand Mesa with its more than 300 lakes, and the Alpine Tunnel.

Drive time from Gateway: 1.5 hours

Mesa Verde National Park >

Arches National Park Colorado

Arches National Park

If you have dreamt of seeing the "red rock wonderland" in Utah, now is the time to go! With unique formations of the rocks as the backdrop, you'll get to hike through some of the most impressive natural scenery available!

With over 2,000 rock formations, you're sure to see something new in Arches National Park every time. Also, if you stay for a sunset, you won't be disappointed.

Drive time from Gateway: 2.5 hours

Arches National Park >

Canyonlands National Park Colorado

Canyonlands National Park

Discover the canyons between the buttes that give this park its name. The canyons are impressive, but you should see the buttes! There are four sections to the part, divided by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The four sections are: Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the actual river and tributaries.

Experience nature in one of her most primitive states when you visit Canyonlands National Park. It's a unique adventure that most people will never experience.

Drive time from Gateway: 2.5 hours

Canyonlands National Park >

Mesa Verde National Park Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde is dedicated to preserving the history of the Pueblo peoples who lived here for more than 700 hundred years. Here, you can visit not just a national park, but a living piece of history as well.

You'll be able to see into the cliff dwellings and more than 5,000 archeological sites around the park.

Drive time from Gateway: 3.5 hours

Mesa Verde National Park >

Four Corners Monument Colorado

Four Corners Monument

Step into the Navajo Nation and experience one of the more interesting points in American lore – the four corners. It's the point where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all touch in perfect angles.

Here, you'll also be able to experience Navajo culture, with vendors offering insight into what they're crafting.

Drive time from Gateway: 3.5 hours

Four Corners Monument >

Unaweep Canyon Colorado

Unaweep Canyon

The Unaweep Canyon is unique for its two creeks: East Creek and West Creek. Flowing out of opposite ends of the Canyon, they are separated by the Unaweep Divide. The Canyon itself cuts across the Uncomphgre Plateau, near the resort.

What makes the Unaweep Canyon truly unique is that no one can decide how it came into existence. Whether it was created by the ancestral Colorado or Gunnison Rivers or by a Paleolithic shifting of rocks is still debated.

Drive time from Gateway: 15 minutes

Unaweep Canyon >

More nearby trip ideas

Colorado National Forests >

Unaweep Canyon in Colorado

Colorado Scenic Byways

Gateway Canyons is located on the Unaweep/Tabeguache Colorado Scenic Byway. This spectacular 133-mile long road runs around the Uncompahgre National Forest and along the Dolores River from Grand Junction, through Gateway and, finally, connects to Route 146 to Placerville. Map this Colorado scenic road.

Scenic view along the Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway a favorite among motorcycle and car clubs, this Colorado scenic byway is a beautiful, winding, drive through portions of Colorado’s open range. As you travel through the heart of Unaweep Canyon, lush valley floors transform before your eyes into towering, granite mountaintops. Sparkling streams spill over canyon walls lined with twisting cottonwoods and quaking aspen. The canyon then opens itself to Gateway Canyons, where West Creek and the Dolores River frame the towering red sandstone landmark — the Palisade. Nearby, 12,000-foot peaks of Utah’s La Sal Mountains fill the western horizon.

Gateway Canyons is a perfect overnight destination for those traveling this scenic byway by car or motorcycle. We are located approximately 45 minutes from the northeast entry of Colorado Highway 141 (Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway) from Grand Junction, and provide a peaceful respite with wonderful dining options, a pool and spa. Car lovers will certainly want to make a stop at our resort if even just for a tour of The Gateway Auto Museum, one of the finest collections of American automobiles in existence today.

For more information on this breathtaking Colorado scenic road, or other nearby motor tour destinations to which you can connect from Gateway, including the San Juan Skyway, the Upper Colorado River and the Grand Mesa Byways, visit America’s Byways for more Colorado Scenic Byways and Drives.