Upscale Recreation Resort Surrounded by Red Rock Canyons
As a young boy, John Hendricks saw his father’s oil maps of western Colorado’s Red Rock Country and was mesmerized. Decades later, after founding the Discovery Channel, Hendricks returned to the fiery landscape he had admired as a child and built a sprawling resort within the secluded Unaweep Canyon. Gateway Canyons Resort’s property reflects Hendrick's passion for the outdoors with natural-stone façades, reflection ponds, and an active outdoor adventure center, where you can launch fly-fishing trips, learn about the area’s mountain-bike trails, or kayak past canyon walls.
A monolithic rock looms over Gateway Canyons Resort, a not-so-subtle reminder of the region's vast surroundings. You can explore this rugged landscape with a four-wheel Jeep tour, on a hike through the canyon, or through any of the other activities organized by the adventure center. Winner of Official Best Of's award for Colorado’s Best Adventure Resort, the hotel also offers horseback-riding lessons at its resident stables, as well as scenic aircraft tours that soar over Mesa Verde National Park and the Grand Canyon.
When you come back from adventuring, Gateway has a few dining options, too. Entrada Restaurant & Lounge serves locally inspired cuisine on the outdoor patio where string lights and a fire pit illuminate the red rocks in the distance. Meanwhile, Kiva Cafe offers breakfast and lunch, and Paradox Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Gateway's adobe-style lodges come decorated in chic southwestern style. Feel free to lounge in Kiva Lodge's deep-soaking tubs or by Kayenta Lodge's outdoor fire pits.
Gateway, Colorado: Canyon Town in Red Rock Country with Hiking and Rafting
Situated in western Colorado about 15 miles from the Utah border, Gateway is surrounded by granite cliffs and arid plateaus. The one-store town sits along the Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway, a 133-mile road that winds through the red sandstones of the Unaweep Canyon.
The Gateway Colorado Auto Museum, meanwhile, showcases John Hendricks' 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car, along with one of the country’s best antique- and classic-car collections.
As a recreation destination, the lesser-known Gateway rivals nearby Moab, Utah. Hiking and biking trails carve through the surrounding red-rock canyons, taking travelers through Ponderosa Pine forests and fly-fishing creeks. The Dolores River, a tributary of the Colorado River, meanders through these amber cliffs, and visitors can tame the whitewater rapids during rafting trips and kayak tours.