Gates of Lodore opens up area to visitors as Best Tourist Spot, Best Scenic Spot
This month will mark 150 years since 19th century explorer John Wesley Powell set out with nine other brave souls to map out what was then the unexplored Colorado Plateau.
The three months it took to explore the Green and Colorado rivers, along with the entire Grand Canyon, brought many dangers to the group of men. They lost supplies and almost drowned several times while trying to navigate river rapids.
Disaster Falls and its nearby Disaster Island took one of Powell’s freight boats as they tried to make their way through what is now Dinosaur National Monument.
But those three months helped Coloradans secure some of the nation’s most important natural treasures — one of them being Gates of Lodore, selected by Best of Moffat County voters as Best Tourist Spot and Best Scenic Spot.
Powell’s expedition named the towering canyon rocks that connect Dinosaur’s rivers to the heavens after an English poem, “The Cataract of Lodore.”
Though the water is a bit cold, as summer progresses, Gates of Lodore will continue to be frequented by visitors as river levels are up this year. If you visit, be sure to bring a camera to capture the same awesome natural scenery met by John Wesley Powell a century and a half ago.
As it is more than an hour’s drive from the popular Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument, Gates of Lodore are worth finding for those willing to make the trip, according to online reviewers.
“Tempted to give one star just to make sure it stays so quiet and peaceful,” said Kameron Harper in a five-star Google review.
Fellow visitor Joshua Weickum had a shorter description.
“Best-kept secret in Colorado,” he wrote.