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Cache la Poudre River. Photo by Marek Uliasz/Alamy Stock Photo

Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways: Cache La Poudre/North Park

This 101-mile drive next to an epic river brings you through a glacial valley.

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Fort Collins to Walden

In the early 1900s, crews of convicts helped blast away granite rock in Larimer County’s Big Narrows to accommodate a stretch of road alongside one of the country’s most iconic waterways. (Truly: The Cache la Poudre River is the state’s only National Wild and Scenic River, a designation made by the National Park Service.) The river is so narrow it’s often white water, but by September the muddy spring snowmelt has cleared and you can often see its resident rainbow trout. Drive west to crest Cameron Pass—which tops out at 10,276 feet—and enter a glacial valley that is inhabited by plenty of moose (time for a game of I Spy).

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Roadside Attraction

Got wiggly kids in the back seat asking, “Are we there yet?” Stop at Hewlett Gulch Trail, a three-mile (one way) gentle trek where they can run, bike, or hike. 150 Hewlett Gulch Trail, Bellvue

’Grammable Spot

When driving west, pull over just past Cameron Pass for views of Seven Utes Mountain.

Refuel

Before you hit the byway, load up on plenty of surf, turf, and locally grown veggies from the Regional. 130 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-689-3508

Go Now

Catch a live jam session at Mishawaka Amphitheatre, known simply as “the Mish.” Through Sept. 21; 13714 Poudre Canyon Highway, Bellvue, 888-843-6474

Winter in Colorado

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