Getaway to Gateway for fun and relaxation
Don’t come here for flashing marquees or to go-go-go all night long. Stay off Colorado Highway 141’s undulating curves if your speedometer doesn’t like dipping below 60 mph. If you want flash, if you want glitz, if you want electric extravaganza, don’t come to Gateway.
However (because the key to Gateway is the “however”) ...
However, if you want cliffs in impossible shades of red, miraculous formations that gulp the light from the setting sun and radiate gold, mountains that soar into mist, green fields that dip down to the constant, eternal flow of a twisting river, come here. If you want quiet, if you want stillness, if you want as much natural perfection as your soul can absorb, come to Gateway.
A tiny, unincorporated dot on the map about 50 miles west of Whitewater, Gateway has long been one of western Colorado’s best-kept secrets. Since Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks opened the Gateway Canyons Resort in 2005, more attention has been drawn to this pristine area on the Colorado/Utah border. The resort includes not just guest rooms and suites, but the Gateway Colorado Auto Museum, The Spa at Gateway Canyons, the Outpost General Store and three restaurants that vary from gourmet to casual.
Gateway Canyons Resort hosts events throughout the year, further bringing new visitors to the area. But the newfound attention hasn’t changed the spectacular scenery and the opportunities for outdoor adventure.
Once part of an inland sea, the area around Gateway reveals its history in fantastical rock formations and exposed layers in the cliff faces dating all the way back to the Permian Period, between 245 and 286 million years old.
Visitors to the Gateway area can appreciate not just geology, but fossils, Ancestral Puebloan petroglyphs, pioneer cabins at the historic Calamity Camp and Drigg’s Mansion ruins at Thimble Rock, and remnants of mining history in the Hanging Flume along Colorado Highway 141.
Thrill-seekers can raft on the nearby Dolores River, hike the Wild Cat or Salt Creek trails, mountain bike on area trails and go four-wheeling on the Sheep Creek and Dolores Point Jeep trails.
Gateway is also a jumping-off point to the Palisade Wilderness Study Area and the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Manti-La Sal national forests.
And at the end of the day, Gateway offers a wide stretch of sky scattered with an infinite swath of stars. It is quiet here, yes, and isolated. But in a world of noise and flashing lights, Gateway is a hidden gem of peace and beauty.
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SEE IT, DO IT
Planning to visit the Gateway area? Don’t miss:
• Gateway Canyons Resort, which offers guest rooms and suites, spa services, restaurants, meeting facilities and opportunities for outdoor adventures such as horseback riding, Jeeping, hiking, kayaking and more.
For information, call 866-671-4733 or go to http://www.gatewaycanyons.com.
•The Gateway Colorado Auto Museum, home to a collection of prized classic cars, 45 of which are always on display. The collection ranges from a 1906 Cadillac Model H Coupe to a one-of-a-kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car valued at about $3.5 million.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children ages 6–12. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge.
For information, call 970-931-2895 or go to http://www.gatewayautomuseum.com.
• The Hanging Flume, a remnant of the area’s mining past is south of Gateway along Colorado Highway 141. The flume can be seen along the canyon wall above the Dolores River several miles north of Uravan.
• Wild Cat Trail, which takes hikers into the mountains that preside over the area. Wild Cat Trail can be found at the end of 6.3 Road off Colorado Highway 141, several miles east of Gateway.