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COLORADO: Flat Tops Wilderness (Meeker & Rangely)

COLORADO: Flat Tops Wilderness (Meeker & Rangely)

Hey guys, Juliana Broste here, TravelingJules. Right here in Northwestern Colorado, the great West is the place to slow down and take it all in. We’re headed to the Flat Tops
Wilderness and Meeker and Rangely. An adventure here has surprises around every corner. Wow, it’s beautiful up here. Who doesn’t love the wilderness? The adventure begins in one of two
Colorado small towns on either end of the flat tops trail scenic and historic
byway On one end you have the ranching town of Meeker, Mmm. The Meeker Hotel and Cafe
is definitely worth a visit. Whoa! I heard they have a lot of mounts–so
many! That one’s a porcupine, that one’s a fox. Elk. Now I feel like I’ve seen it all. But I’m kicking it off right here
in a town that began as a hunting camp. Alright it just arrived in Yampa– This town is super cute Gonna stop into the ranger station to get a little bit of information. Alright I’m all set, I’ve got my maps I’ve got some wonderful recommendations. I’m feeling lucky, I think we’re gonna find some wildlife. I hit the road on an 82 mile one-way journey a dirt and gravel road less traveled. Yampa…17, to 132 to 8. Yeah! I got it, let’s do this. Much of the area is open rangeland. There’s cattle in the road! They are all staring at me. (laughs)
That’s not something you see every day in the city. Alright we gotta check this out. So this is Dunkley Pass Overlook and over there is Pyramid Peak. This is the Pyramid Guard Station it was
built in 1934, I would stay here. I like I’m in a painting, a window into the
wilderness. Because of the Wilderness Act in 1964, this area remains untouched by man. It’s no wonder the Ute Indians call
this place the shining mountains. I take a short detour and wake up off the grid surrounded by nature in a remote pocket of Northwest Colorado. This is Trappers Lake Lodge. Wow So this is where I’m sleeping, this is one of the cabins. It was built at the turn of the century. It’s very rustic and historic–you can get a sense of what people lived like back then. It’s quite small, it’s one of their smallest cabins, but it’s just enough. They have a heater, lots of blankets and of course some power. They shut off the generator at 9:30 so you’ve got to make sure you have all your charging down before then. You can have a full shower over in the bathhouse. This is such a getaway, there’s
no cell phone service, You’re really just here with nature and that’s the beauty of it. I head over to the lodge for breakfast. The best way to start the day, pancakes! Just getting ready to go horseback riding today! Giddyup. Here at Trappers Lake, there are many outdoor activities and trails to explore. I’m saddling up to get a lay of the land the old fashioned way. The white horse? Hi, what’s your name?
Snowman. You know my name is Broste,
sounds like Frosty Snowman. This way. Hey, I didn’t say you could eat hay.
Come on, Snowman. You can venture out for a few hours or a full day. He just keeps eating and eating and eating! And then Jules comes riding in on a white horse. (laughs) Just imagine the days trappers and
pioneers traversed these lands. There’s the Flat Tops up there. They are pretty magical. You silly! He keeps eating everything. Slow and steady. What makes the wilderness so special is that they don’t allow bikes, machines, motors. You have to go by foot or by horse. Alright we’re now entering the wilderness– once you’re into the wilderness you’re not allowed to videotape anymore. Cameras off! Smiling back at the wilderness behind me, I’m headed on now to Rangely, another Colorado small town with some interesting things to do. First stop, I’m headed south to explore the
Painted Canyon, Canyon Pintado. Ah ha! I’m just getting a lay of the land Okay so we’re at the South orientation point We’ll be going to eight different sites
along the 15 mile stretch off of 139 Okay here’s the first one, waving hands recreation site. There are hundreds of archaeological sites right here in the Canyon Pintado National Historic District, including pictographs and petroglyphs,
mostly from the Fremont Culture and Ute. This so cool, it’s kind of a make your own adventure, so you can really choose the stops you want to go to and choose how long you want to spend there. Rangely is also home to a rare
gem in the disguise of a water tower This gravel bed curved the bottom making it unfit for storage, but full of interesting effects. Wow, so this is the tank! The TANK Sonic Center for the Arts It’s famous for its sonic sound. This used to be a water tower and it kind of failed at its job. People today use it as a secret recording space because of its unique sound. Shall we go inside? Wow. Hello? This is so cool! Hey, I’m TravelingJules! The sound of a footstep will last like
40 seconds. You can feel it it’s really emotional. It has this amazing reverberation,
it has this incredible texture to it. When you first walk into the TANK you experience immense feeling of reverb and wonder. Yeah, like a sense of awe.
Yes. Yeah, it’s like you’re experiencing your
human senses for the first time. There’s also a recording studio in case you want to take your session home as a souvenir. Keep your eye on the calendar to catch a
jam session or live performance. The TANK is like an instrument itself, you have to go by what works in there and slow it down. (singing) If that makes me, if that makes me… So if you love to play music, if you love
to sing, this is a great place to experiment. And on Saturdays you can come
and experience it for free. The sound of the mighty tank is just
really out of this world. Who knows what else is hiding here in Colorado. I guess you’ll have to come see for yourself.

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