Western Colorado is not only one of the prettiest places on earth, but it's full of unique features you can't find anywhere else. There is only one Grand Mesa, one Colorado National Monument, and only one Unaweep Canyon.

Colorado's Unaweep Canyon is home to the only known place on Earth where water flows in two directions simultaneously. Where is Unaweep Canyon, and how was it formed? Let's take a closer look.

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Where is Colorado's Unaweep Canyon?

Gateway Canyons Youtube
Gateway Canyons Youtube

From Grand Junction, follow Colorado 141 towards Gateway, Colorado, and you'll pass right through Unaweep Canyon. Both the East and West Creeks flow out of opposite ends of the canyon which are separated by the Unaweep Divide. The divide is located near mile marker 135 on Colorado 141. You'll climb Nine Mile Hill before it opens up into the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway.

What Does Unaweep Mean?

The Ute word "Unaweep" translates in English to mean 'parting of the waters'. It's also known as the 'Canyon of the Two Mouths'. The Dolores River Valley opens up at the end of Unaweep Canyon near the town of Gateway.

You can even find the Fall Creek Falls waterfall in Unaweep Canyon if you keep a sharp eye out. From Grand Junction, the falls are about 22 miles into the canyon, and visible from the West side of Colorado 141

How Was Unaweep Canyon Formed?

The rocks in Unaweep Canyon are ancient. The cliff walls on the south side of the canyon have been dated to be between 1.4 and 1.7 Billion years old. That's almost half the age of the Earth itself.

Scientists say it's possible the Colorado and Gunnison rivers were once joined before the uplift of the Colorado plateau. It's possible these rivers carved out the canyon, then the uplift caused the bedrock to rise forming the cliff walls.

Some scientists say the canyon is of the Late Paleozoic era and was formed by glaciers.

Keep going to take a virtual tour of one of Colorado's most unique and beautiful canyons in the gallery below.

ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD: Colorado's Unaweep Canyon Where Water Flows In Both Directions

Unaweep Canyon is a scenic canyon in west-central Colorado, located about 30 miles southwest of Grand Junction. One of the most notable features of the canyon is Gateway Canyons Resort which was developed by Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks.

Gallery Credit: Zane Mathews

MORE: What is the Longest River in Colorado?

Take a closer look at the 10 longest rivers that flow through the state of Colorado. From the Rio Grande to the San Juan River, scroll on for a look at the 10 longest rivers found in the Centennial State.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

UP NEXT: Hike to the Colorado River in Loma's Beautiful McDonald Creek Canyon

Looking for a great hike to the Colorado River? Consider finding your way through the Kokopelli Trail System to McDonald Creek Canyon in Loma, Colorado. This 4-mile roundtrip is one of my favorite canyons to explore because the view of the river at the end of the trail is fantastic. Just don't linger on the train tracks when you find the river.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

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