The Heart of the Rockies
West of Vail Pass, the Colorado River and Interstate 70 come together to wind through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, where Bald Eagles spend the winter fishing in the fast-moving water. If you’re vigilant, you stand a good chance of seeing one of them even from the interstate. Several ponds and parks along the river’s course attract ducks, Great Blue Herons, and Pied-billed Grebes. North of the river is a mosaic of mesas and canyons with a surprising variety of scenery and species, Gray Catbirds in the riparian tangles, Pinyon Jays in the juniper woods, Mountain Bluebirds in the sage meadows. South of the river are some of Colorado’s highest peaks, where Gray Jays and Northern Goshawks breed. Along this trail you can have as many or as few of the comforts of civilization as you like, and all the benefits of wilderness.