Travel: Explore Colorado canyon country

The somewhat secret arches of western Colorado

Crown Arch in western Colorado’s Mee Canyon.

All photos by Stan Wagon

SUMMIT COUNTY — Utah may get all the press when it comes to natural sandstone arches, but Colorado has an impressive collection of its own. In fact, the sandstone plateaus and canyons southwest of Grand Junction, near Colorado National Monument, have one of the greatest collections of natural stone arches, centered around Rattlesnake and Mee canyons.

Part-time Summit County resident, explorer and snow sculptor extraordinaire Stan Wagon treks to the canyons each spring, avoiding the more trodden ground around Moab to explore some of Colorado’s wildest backcountry. As a Summit Voice contributor, Wagon has frequently shared his adventures with readers here. You can read about last year’s arches excursion, and get more information on the area in this Summit Voice story. More specific information on access and locations are at this page on Wagon’s website.

This year’s photo essay features some amazing wildlife photography in addition to the stunning photos of the arches, so please read on and visit Wagon’s Utah web page for much more.

A collared lizard basks in Colorado’s canyon country.
Akiti Arch.
Cactus in bloom.
John Hutchinson and Elke Dratch hike through Perseverance Arch in Jones Canyon, Utah.
Dave Blakeslee scrambling up to Will Minor Arch in Mee Canyon.
The back side of Will Minor Arch.
Great Basin gopher snake.
Rainbow Arch, also known as Cedar Tree Arch.

More by Stan Wagon:


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