Colorado’s Least Traveled Road is Flat, Boring + Full of Interesting Sights
Colorado's least traveled road is flat, boring, and full of interesting sights.
Thrillist recently revealed the least traveled roads in every state. In Colorado, that honor belongs to U.S. 385 in eastern Colorado. The Colorado portion of this highway essentially starts at Julesburg in the extreme northeast corner of the state and stretches all the way to the state line in the southeast corner.
To determine the roads less traveled in America, the GPS software firm used data from the Highway Performance Monitoring System and the Annual Average Daily Traffic score.
At first glance, there isn't a lot of glamour along US 385, but if you take a closer look you will find it might be worth a road trip. It's pretty much a straight shot heading due south through unnotable towns like Holyoke, Wray, and Idalia.
But, there are some interesting tidbits along the way if you know where to look. So far, I have found three places of note on Colorado's least traveled road.
Julesburg is the last Colorado stop on I-70 before you pass into Nebraska. The town of 1,225 is named after a horse thief names Jules Beni. The story is told of how "Jack" Slade, a superintendent for the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, upon hearing of a planned ambush by Beni, was able to capture Beni, who had previously shot Slade five times. Rather than turning the horse thief into the authorities, Slade proceeded to shoot off each of his fingers, then stuck the gun in Beni's mouth and pulled the trigger. Slade then sliced off his ears for trophies.
History buffs will want to check out the Fort Sedgwick Museum and The Depot Museum to see Pony Express memorabilia and relics.
Traveling 124 miles from Julesburg, you'll come to Burlington, just off I-70. Here, you will find the Old Town Museum. This is a 6-1/2 acre historic site with 21 fully restored buildings and authentic turn-of-the-century artifacts. Admission is $8 and it's open year round.
Each month there is a Wild West Dinner Theater stage show, and you will want to take a ride on the nearby antique Kit Carson County Carousel for 25 cents.
One mile south of Granada on County Road 23.5 is the former site of what was essentially a Japanese concentration camp during World War II from 1942 to 1945. President Roosevelt had ordered the US Army to move all of the people with Japanese ancestry from the west coast to what they called "war relocation camps." There is a stone memorial in honor of those who were detained there, and nearby is a small cemetery.
After the war ended, the camp was closed and the buildings dismantled. You will find markers on the site of a guard tower "equipped with a machine gun," site of the COOP store, and a marker signifying the controversial Amache High School.
Amache represents one of our nation's less-than-shining moments in history.