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Steamboat Rock. Photo by Jason J. Hatfield

Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways: Dinosaur Diamond

An epic loop that extends into Utah, the Colorado section of this road (134 miles) features sites with dinosaur bones and ancient art.

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Grand Junction to the Utah border

This trek, part of a 486-mile loop that crosses the Colorado-Utah border, is a safari of sorts—but with dinosaur remnants and ancient art instead of lions and elephants. Starting at Colorado National Monument, a rock climber’s paradise, our state’s portion of the road winds past areas replete with petroglyphs. Add in Dinosaur National Monument, where you can see a wall of bones from species such as the apatosaurus, allosaurus, stegosaurus (our official state fossil), and more, and you’ve got the makings of the original Jurassic Park.

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Roadside Attraction

Take a step back in time while hiking in the Canyon Pintado National Historic District, a 16,000-acre area with archeological sites—including rock art from the Ute and Fremont cultures—you can view that date back to A.D. 1.

Photo credit: Richard Green/Alamy Stock Photo

’Grammable Spot

Snap a photo of Steamboat Rock, which looks a bit like a beached ship above the Green River.

Refuel

What happens when two Texans can’t find the perfect breakfast taco on the Western Slope? They open a business—Tacorado—so no one else will be without tortillas, eggs, and salsa in the morning. 158 Park Square, Fruita, 970-639-0080

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One of the state’s most historic bike races (the route dates back to the Coors International Bicycle Classic), the 41- or 62-mile Tour of the Moon threads riders through Colorado National Monument.

Winter in Colorado

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