Confluence Overlook

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5258 - 5289 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Highway 141 MM ~80
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic overlook




The Confluence Overlook is a short trail off of Highway 141 between Gateway and Naturita, Colorado near the point where the San Miguel River flows into the Dolores River. After turning off of the highway the trail leads from a turnaround to the unprotected cliffs above the confluence.


The turnoff to the unmarked overlook is 31 miles south of Gateway on Highway 141 or 20 miles north of Naturita. If you are coming from Naturita the turnoff is 3 miles past the old bridge that spans the San Miguel River. If you are coming from Gateway and you come to the old black bridge then you went 3 miles too far. The road should be suitable for passenger cars during dry weather but there is plenty of room to park out of the way along Highway 141. It is less than 100 yards from the highway to the overlook.


When you pull off the highway the road travels a hundred feet or so and then forms a loop. There is at least one primitive campsite near the loop. From there you can simply walk toward the edge of the cliff.


If you have small children you will want to keep them close at hand. The cliff is completely unprotected and as you can see the drop is precipitous.


Once at the edge of the cliff it is necessary to walk around in both directions to get a good look at the rivers. The San Miguel River flows in from the left while the Dolores River is coming through the canyon on the right and flowing off further to the right outside the scope of this photo.


The best place to see the confluence is by hiking down the rim to the left. The further you hike the better the view gets.


The gravel road that you can see running along the river is the Y11 Road and if you have the time it is well worth exploring. You can get on it by driving south toward Naturita until you are just past the old bridge and turning off the highway. The road can be followed all the way to the town of Bedrock where you can get on Highway 90 and find your way back or continue on your way. The road is suitable for careful drivers in most any type of vehicle.


While there aren't any trail signs that mark the Confluence Overlook it does show up on Google Maps. It is such an easy trail and leads to a very pretty overlook that if you happen to be driving by we feel it is well worth taking 15 minutes or so to check it out. Just be sure to take care around the unprotected cliff. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.