If we could only get in our cars and go for a nice long road trip, here’s a couple places that would be fun to explore right about now.
Two Scenic Byways in southern Colorado have been recognized by the National Scenic Byways Foundation for efforts to provide motorists with historical information along those routes.
The foundation gave the Trail of the Ancients Scenic and Historic Byway its Public-Private Partnership Award for an interpretive stop near Cortez, which tells the story of the McElmo Creek Flume. That flume, the only one remaining from 104 that were built in the 1890s to irrigate the Montezuma Valley, operated until 1922. It was damaged in 2006 by debris from a heavy rain, and a series of restoration projects was completed in 2018. The interpretive spot was completed in 2016.
“Making this interpretive stop a reality could not have been accomplished without the tremendous support the Byway received from all the entities that were involved in this partnership,” said Lenore Bates, CDOT‘s Scenic & Historic Byways Program Manager, in a news release. “And the timing worked out to be a win-win since the flume restoration and overlook construction occurred at the same time.”
The Trail of the Ancients travels more than 100 miles through ancient Anasazi country including Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument. A branch of the highway connects to Utah’s Trail of the Ancients Byway.
The National Scenic Byways Foundation also gave honorable mention in the marketing and communications category to the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway in the Spanish Peaks area of southern Colorado for an audio tour app that allows motorists to hear about the geology, history, wildlife and culture of the area on their drive.
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