Cultural and Heritage
The Byway’s archaeological sites and resources are key to understanding and telling the story of Western Colorado’s earliest inhabitants. Archaeological sites and other evidence indicate a human presence in the Byway corridor at least 10,000 years before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadores. The Utes are known to have inhabited the Byway region at least 2,000 years ago. The region’s canyons (notably, Unaweep and Dolores River canyons) provided travel corridors and access to wildlife, plants and other natural resources for Colorado’s
Utes, miners, ranchers and others have all contributed to the cultural richness and character of the Byway. Many aspects of the Byway’s culture and heritage are visible throughout the corridor, from barns, ranches and vernacular buildings to community events and place names, such as “Uncompahgre” (Ute), “Sewemup” (ranching) and “Uravan” (mining).
The Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway (UTB) is a hidden gem in Colorado’s State Byway program, having characteristics and resources of regional, state, national and global significance. Passing through the spectacular canyon country of the Colorado Plateau, the Byway exposes travelers to the scenic, natural, geologic, historic and cultural treasures of the Byway corridor. The Byway corridor contains vast tracts of public land that provide unparalleled recreational opportunities that contribute to the local economies.