A  3 Day Itinerary for Easy Adventure in Colorado’s West End

For visitors on a long weekend we have prepared an itinerary for 3 days of mellow fun and adventure for those wanting to explore the West End! For your utmost enjoyment and safety, please follow these simple rules!

  1. Stay on designated trails and roadways – no off-trail excursions
  2. Plan ahead and prepare
  3. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  4. Dispose of waste properly
  5. Leave what you find
  6. Minimize campfire impacts
  7. Respect wildlife
  8. Be considerate of other visitors

Find more information about Leave No Trace here. 

Visit the West End Trash Free Coalition here.

Day 1


Get caffeinated at Genesis Coffee Roasters in Nucla.

475 Main St, Nucla, CO 81424

Morning Activity

Fly Fish the San Miguel River
The San Miguel starts above Telluride and works its way through the town and out west before draining into the Dolores River on Y-11 Road. With a mix of technical water and easy access, it offers great opportunities for the beginner and expert angler.  The river is filled with caddis and stoneflies making the fish willing to eat nymphs and dries with only a little encouragement.

River access is available at Sanborn Park near Norwood or along Y-11 Road.

For supplies and licenses visit Norwood Timberline Ace Hardware, Nucla Coop Country Store, or Naturita Sales.

Afternoon Activity

Drive the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic & Historic Byway
Colorado’s Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic & Historic Byway weaves its way through some of the wildest lands in America. This southwestern Colorado drive cuts through a canyon for most of the way as it follows the Dolores and San Miguel rivers. Over the years, these water sources slowly ate away at the soft sandstone, creating the rugged flat-top canyon enjoyed now for its vast vertical walls and cliffs.

A highlight in Colorado’s West End includes the Hanging Flume (MM 81.5), a flume built along the canyon walls above the San Miguel River used to transport water for gold miners in the late 1880s.

Click here for a complete information and guide to the UTB. Or stop by the Nucla-Naturita Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center for a Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic & Historic Byway printed guide.


Get ready for day 2 with a delicious meal from Uncle Reeds Restaurant at the Rimrock Hotel.

123 E Main St, Naturita, CO 81424

Evening Activity

Naturita is an International Dark-Sky Designated Community. Plan to sit outside while at Camp V to watch the great show under Naturita’s dark skies.

Day 2


Start your second day off with breakfast at the Rimrock Hotel in Naturita.

123 E Main St, Naturita, CO 81422

Morning Activity

Horseback Riding
There is more open space in Colorado’s West End than almost anywhere else in Colorado, making it a wonderful destination for riding your horse for hours without seeing anyone else.

The area showcases 30+ trails and countless double tracks and Jeep roads for you to explore on horseback on your own or with an experienced outfitter like STB Stables out of Redvale. If you are more of a spectator, please check out events at the Nucla Rodeo Arena and the San Miguel Fairgrounds in Norwood.


Finish the morning off right from the 5th Avenue Grill in Nucla.

502 Main St, Nucla, CO 81424

Afternoon Activity

Paradox Valley Petroglyph Tour
Drive into BLM land along two-track dirt roads for a self-guided petroglyph tour in Paradox Valley. This tour will take you to four sites within a four-mile stretch of Highway 90.  The area explored is an area of critical environmental concern due to its cultural-historic value as a concentration of numerous Ancestral Pueblo sites. Note, you will do some hiking and rock scrambling to see the petroglyphs.

Pick up a printed guide at the  Nucla-Naturita Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center or access it online.

Evening Activity

Naturita is an International Dark-Sky Designated Community. Take a quick drive or walk to Naturita Town Park and look up for an incredible look at the stars.

Day 3


Start the third day off with breakfast at the Rimrock Hotel in Naturita.

123 E Main St, Naturita, CO 81422

Morning Activity

Hike or Bike the Thunder Trails 
Open to bikers and hikers, the Thunder Trails are the largest trail system on Wright’s Mesa, just four miles south of Norwood.

Thunder Trails offer four loops and 19 miles of fun, fast and flowing trails, as well as challenging climbs and moderately rocky and technical singletrack. The Thunder Trails offer views of Naturita Canyon and Lone Cone Peak while meandering through ponderosa and oak brush forest as well as grassy meadows.

The four loops that make up the Thunder Trails system each range from 3.5 to 4.5 miles in length. Each loop can be connected and ridden or hiked as a loop or on the east or west sides as an out-and-back.

Read more about the Thunder Mountain Trails

Afternoon Activity

Paddle Miramonte Reservoir
Grab your paddleboard or kayak and paddle the remote and gorgeous Miramonte Reservoir.

If you love getting away from the crowds and being on or around water, Miramonte Reservoir, one of Norwood Colorado’s top summertime destinations, may just be what the doctor ordered! The reservoir, which is Norwood’s largest body of water, covers 405 surface acres and is considered to be one of Norwood’s greatest outdoor recreational assets, offering a plethora of family-friendly outdoor activities. And the best part? It’s practically free!

Need a rental? Check out Rimrocker Adventures.


Lone Cone Restaurant & Bar

1580 Grand Ave, Norwood, CO 81423

Evening Activity

Play a Round of Disc Golf in Norwood

Catch the craze that’s sweeping across Colorado by giving disc golf a try. Check out Norwood’s new disk golf course, located in a field on the southern edge of town behind Cottonwood Creek Estates and the Lone Cone Library. The nine-hole course is blessed by wide-open space, all-day sun, and very few obstacles, making it a great course for beginners looking to get into the sport and enthusiasts who just want to brush up on their skills.