Along I–70 east of Glenwood Springs is the 16-mile-long Glenwood Canyon. Nature began the work as the Colorado River carved deep granite, limestone, and quartzite gullies—buff-tint walls brilliantly streaked with lavender, rose, and ivory. This process took a half-billion years. Then man stepped in, seeking a more direct route west. In 1992 the work on I–70 through the canyon was completed, at a cost of almost $500 million. Much of the expense was attributable to the effort to preserve the natural landscape. When contractors blasted cliff faces, for example, they stained the exposed rock to simulate nature's weathering. Bike the striking canyon on a paved, riverside recreation path or venture up the steep hiking trail to the hauntingly beautiful Hanging Lake, with its emerald-green pool under a gushing waterfall. The trail is extremely popular in the summer months; arrive early to find a place to park at the trailhead.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado, United States