Massive boulder in SW Colorado becomes tourist attraction

DOLORES, Colo. — When two large boulders tumbled down the side of a mountain onto a popular highway in southwest Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation knew it had quite the mess to clean up. Now, that mess is turning into a tourist attraction.

One of the boulders was roughly 2.3 million pounds and 30 feet tall. The other was much larger: about 8.5 million pounds and 50 feet tall.

The smaller boulder was destroyed and crews have been clearing the debris from it off Highway 145. CDOT decided to keep the larger boulder since it wasn’t blocking the roadway. In fact, Gov. Jared Polis decided to name it, ‘Memorial Rock’.

"Folks want to see this boulder up close,” said Lisa Schwantes, Communications Manager for CDOT in southwest Colorado.

‘Memorial Rock’ has become quite the attraction. So much so, folks from all over are driving along Highway 145 just to see it.

The rock is situated between Dolores and Rico.

CDOT is asking curious onlookers to not stop when they drive by it. 

"You need to keep going and keep driving through the construction zone. There is no stopping,” Schwantes said.

Clean-up efforts should be complete in a couple of weeks and conditions along that stretch of Highway 145 should be back to normal, CDOT said.

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