Vaughn Lake

Length: 82 miles
Driving time: 2-4 hours
Open: Portions open all year
(Gravel Sections close in winter)

Flat Top Trail Itinerary

This byway cuts through the heart of the original White River Plateau Timberland Reserve, set aside in the late 19th century as the second unit of what eventually became the National Forest system. Two decades   later, in a foreshadowing of the 1964 Wilderness Act, development of any kind was banned around Trappers Lake (the “Cradle of Wilderness.”)     The area’s long-standing history of preservation and multiple-use land management makes for pristine scenery and superlative wildlife viewing. However, this remains very much a “working” byway dotted with active mines and ranches.

Main Towns: Yampa, Meeker

  • White River National Forest
  • Flat Tops Wilderness Area
  • Routt National Forest
  • White River, Trappers Lake 
  • And many other small lakes and streams

Wildlife: Elk, deer, bear, wild horses, snowshoe hare, marmots, pika, weasel, bluebird, woodpecker, eagle.