- The area features the headwaters of the White and Yampa Rivers.
- Development of any kind is banned around Trapper’s Lake, nicknamed the “Cradle of Wilderness”.
- The byway is also a functioning byway, featuring timber-producing woodlands, active mines and ranches.
The byway offers a variety of activities catered to provide all travelers with a memorable experience of the area. The Flat Tops Wilderness covers approximately 235,000 acres within the Routt and White River National Forests. Neighboring the popular tourist destinations of Steamboat Springs, the area offers extensive hiking, camping and access to natural wildlife.
Located just three hours from Denver and two hours from Grand Junction, Colo., the Flat Tops Scenic Byway is located in the northwestern region of the state. From Yampa, the byway leads northwest on County Road 17 ending at Primary Forest Road 16 within 5 miles. The byway then flows westward into Routt National Forest, passing both Trout Creek and Dunckley Pass. After leaving and re-entering the national forest, the byway follows Forest Road 8 leading through Buford and on to Meeker
Time / Distance
Approximately 2 ½ hours should be allotted to drive the 82 mile byway. Only 40 miles of the road is gravel. Gas and other services are only available in nearby Yampa, Buford and Meeker.
Over 300 miles of trails welcome horses, pack animals and hikers throughout the Flat Tops Wilderness. Other activities, including camping, four-wheel driving, motorcycling and fishing are also available within the area.