A discussion about the real Colorado natives could be a lengthy one. However, it looks like the original Colorado natives have a residence on the western slope.

In western Colorado's Flat Tops Wilderness area you will find Trappers Lake, home to what it calls the "original Colorado native." Trappers Lake boasts one of the largest native populations of Colorado River Cutthroat Trout in the entire state. The lake is said to be 180 feet deep. I've been told that nobody's ever found the bottom.

Zane Mathews

These coveted fish were once quite abundant in Colorado's high country. Their numbers declined due to the aggressive nature of non-native species. Today the population of native trout is on the rise due to the catch-and-release- programs, regulations, and changes in stocking programs.

If you are itching to reel in some of these Colorado River Cutthroats, there is an abundance of lakes, ponds, and streams in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. We are talking about over 100 lakes and ponds plus 100 miles of fishable streams. Sounds like a Colorado fishermen's paradise.

There are plenty of camping options and accommodations at nearby lodges. Along the way, you're likely to see deer, elk, maybe a moose, and possibly even a bear.

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