Headwaters River Journey: An Immersive Water & Wildlife Experience

We love walking along the Fraser River Trail, listening to its waters alternate between a rush and a trickle as birds chirp, the sun shines, butterflies dance around, and people enjoy fishing its waters. Having the Fraser River in our backyard is a gift that we do not take for granted. One of the many tributaries of the Colorado River, the Fraser River gets its start from the snowmelt on Berthoud Pass and winds through the valley, eventually joining up with the "mighty" Colorado in Granby.

Sitting at elevations over 13,000 feet, Grand County has the privilege of being the source of water for a large percentage of the American West. With that privilege comes responsibility. The Fraser River was recently named the third most endangered river in the nation (hence the "Save the Fraser River" bumper stickers you've likely seen on cars throughout the valley). The Colorado River is the most endangered river in the United States. What better way to effect change and preserve the waters in this place we call home than to educate and inform people in a fun, interactive way?

The Headwaters River Journey does just that. The immersive water and wildlife museum housed in the lower half of the Headwaters Center in Winter Park invites visitors to explore the water that originates here.  With a focus on sustainability and conservation, the river journey aims to raise awareness and change people's long-term habits around water. Its 31 exhibits enlighten, challenge, and inspire us as we journey through Colorado's water history with an engaging delivery for all ages. 

The exhibits include a life-size replica of a beaver dam, a movie theater, interactive activities about the history of the water in the county, and the opportunity to build your own yard and see in real time the amount of water your choices use. The entire experience utilizes technology in creative ways. Take a virtual tour. Or better yet, go check it out yourself! 

The Headwaters River Journey is a unique experience, not only with its presentation but also with its proximity to the Fraser River--the tangible and natural picture of the story the river journey depicts so well. Walk along its banks and then spend some time learning about its history, ecology, and fragility. We know you will not be disappointed! It's just another experience this place we call home offers, and we are grateful for it. 


Operating Hours: Thursday-Monday 9am-5pm

Admission: $10/Adult, $8/Senior, Free for Children and Students

Posted by Leah Bishop on


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