Rangely

Close to the Utah border, in the far northwest corner of Colorado, Rangley is probably best known for its 700 pumpjacks.

One of the nation's largest oil wells, in fact, is just outside town in the tough, barren landscape of sagebrush and juniper. Oil companies have given back some of what they've taken by funding Elk Park, a massive, hillside town park furnished with grills, picnic areas, sports fields and a plush recreation center.

Before modern tycoons discovered oil, though, Rangley was an Ute trading post and, later, ranchers' territory. You can look even further into the past on a self-guided, eight-site petroglyph tour, where you can view prehistoric rock art from the Ute and Fremont Culture tribes. Maps and information are available at the Rangely Museum, just east of town.

A great place to cool off in the summer is Kenny Reservoir, five miles to the east. Boating, fishing and swimming are all permitted at this small but pleasant watering hole. For a sunset and solitude, drive about 20 minutes south of town up Rabbit Mountain.

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