A stop on the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway — a 512-mile route that showcases traces of prehistoric dinosaurs — Rangely offers high desert adventures near the Utah border in the far northwest corner of Colorado.
Whether you’re looking to do some big game hunting (there’s primo trophy-hunting grounds right outside of town) or making a stop on a longer journey, Rangely invites visitors to stop and explore.
Enjoy nine holes at Cedar Ridges Golf Course, a short yet challenging par 36 that’s open from mid-March through mid-November. Or plan a picnic in Elks Park, where picnic pavilions with grills, expansive sports fields, a children’s play area and recreation center cater to families.
A great place to cool off in the summer is Kenney Reservoir, 5 miles from downtown Rangely. Boating, fishing and swimming are all permitted, and paddleboard and inner tube rentals are available in town. The calm waters of Lake Avery, about 15 miles east, are also a favorite for fishing and paddleboarding.
Rangely has a fascinating past waiting to be uncovered. One of the nation’s largest oil fields is located outside of the town, which was also a Ute trading post, and later, ranchers' territory. Learn more at the Rangely Outdoor Museum, where you can take a self-guided tour of prehistoric rock art from the Ute and Fremont Culture tribes.
Visitors can also admire a collection of old and rare vehicles at the Rangely Automotive Museum or experience a one-of-a-kind sonic environment at The TANK Center for Sonic Arts, a concert hall that lived its former life as a steel water tank from the steam engine age.
The wide-open spaces and country roads that surround Rangely beckon hikers, bikers and OHV enthusiasts, while the impressively dark night skies and peaceful ambiance welcome solitude-seekers and stargazers.