Aliases: Cactus Park, Unaweep/Tabeguache Colorado Scenic Byway
In a state known for scenic drives, this is surely among the most scenic. Surprisingly, very few outside of Colorado know of it. As far as birding goes, the habitat along the road is mostly pinyon-juniper, with all the avian benefits thereof. Around Gateway and closer to Nucla some mind-blowing riparian habitat can be found, with the likes of Lazuli and Indigo (rare) Buntings, Black Phoebe, Gray Catbird, and Yellow-breasted Chat. Don’t let the birding get in the way of enjoying the world-class scenery, though. A number of rare butterfly species can be found in the canyon. Some, like Ellis’s Dotted-Blue, are found almost nowhere else in the state. The entire byway is 133 miles long. Give yourself plenty of time to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Attractions: Historic mining and homestead sites. Interpretive signage.
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Cliff Face, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Pond, Wet Meadow, Stream
Directions: Five miles south of Grand Junction on US Highway 50, turn southwest on CO 141 and start birding. Coming from the south, start at CO 145 in Placerville.
Delorme: 55 A5-C1
Roads of Colorado: 81 E3-D4, 97 D1, 96 B1-C1
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Daylight hours
Restrictions: Respect private property and bird from the road where appropriate
Parking: Roadside/gravel parking areas
Lodging: Hotels in Gateway and Naturita
Handicapped Access: Limited Viewing from car