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Best Colorado Road Trips

Spectacular Colorado Scenery Awaits


colorado highway

Discover Colorful Colorado through any of these awesome Colorado road trips.

Glenwood Springs From Denver, take I-70 west, and be ready for awesome scenery. You’ll drive through the mile-long Eisenhower tunnel, through Frisco and Copper Mountain, and over Vail Pass. Stop in Vail for lunch, then continue west through Eagle, and into beautiful Glenwood Canyon. Inside the canyon watch for signs to the Hanging Lake Trail parking lot. Do not miss!. Next, Glenwood Springs is just minutes away on the western edge of the canyon. Enjoy the Hot Springs Pool and everything that goes with it. Stay a few extra days and you’ll be glad you did.    map


crystal mill

Independence Pass Take Glenwood Springs on Hwy 82 to Aspen. From there, drive over Independence Pass on the way to Twin Lakes. On the trip don't miss Redstone, Marble, the Crystal Mill, and a stop at the Maroon Bells in the White River National Forest (bus tours are available to Maroon Lake). Visit the Maroon Bells Scenic Area page.    map


Trail Ridge Road – From Loveland head west to Estes Park in the scenic Big Thompson Canyon. Spend the day in Estes and Rocky Mountain National Park. Before leaving Estes Park, tour the Historic Stanley Hotel. Next, head west on Hwy 34 over Trail Ridge Road traveling up over 12,000 Ft above sea level towards Grand Lake.    map



Black Canyon of the Gunnison From Montrose, head west on Hwy 50 about 12 miles. Then north on Hwy 347 to South Rim Drive inside the park. Once in the park, be alert and watch your brakes – easy to burn as you descend into the canyon. Park Rangers will be on the lookout and are very helpful. While in the area, don’t miss Blue Mesa and Silver Jack Reservoirs. In Montrose, take-in a movie at either the Star Drive-In, or the historic Fox Theater.    map


Highway Of The Legends From Walsenburg head west to Hwy 12, then on to La Veta. The Highway Of The Legends is rich in folklore from early settlers and native american tribes. It takes you over Cuchara Pass and along the Spanish Peaks. When you take the trip in reverse, you can then head over to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, before returning to Walsenburg.    map


durango and silverton train

San Juan Skyway: – Ridgeway to Durango with a brief detour to Telluride on the way (there's no way back to Hwy 550 from Telluride without back-tracking), unless you've got a jeep. When done in Telluride, backtrack to Ridgeway and south on Hwy 550 to Durango. map


Colorado National Monument – Take I-70 to exit 19 in Fruita. South on Hwy 340 into the monument. The visitors center is a few miles into the canyon. Stop in and get a map. There are multiple scenic stops for your camera. You can explore the monument by car or bike. Afterwards, head to Grand Junction and Palisade which are the heart of Colorado’s orchards and wine country. Do not miss a trip up to the Grand Mesa.    map


Garden Of The Gods

Pike's Peak Road: – Colorado Springs west through Manitou to the Pikes Peak Toll Road. On the return trip don’t miss Manitou Springs, Seven Falls, Cave Of The Winds, and the Garden Of The Gods.    map



Steamboat Springs From Winter Park head north on Hwy 40 to Granby. Take Rabbit Ears Pass west from Granby to Steamboat Springs.  Alternate Route: take I-70 west to Silverthorne. Head 9 miles north to Kremmling, then west on Hwy 40.  Stop along the way in Hot Springs, Gondola, Parshall, Kremmling, and the Arapaho National Forest on the trip.    map


Peak To Peak Highway – From Estes Park head south on Hwy 7 to Allenspark. At about the 4 mile mark, turn right onto Hwy 72 (Peak to Peak Hwy). At the round-a-bout in Nederland, you can continue south on Hwy 119 to Blackhawk (or detour west on Boulder Canyon Drive to see Boulder Falls – 6 miles – then return to Nederland and head south again on Hwy 119 to Blackhawk). In Blackhawk, be sure to spend a few hours casino-hopping and check out Central City, too.    map


Mesa Verde

Leadville Loop - Mostly known as a bicycle route, but this drive is one of my favorites. From Vail head west on I-70 a few miles to the Minturn exit. Head south on Hwy 24 and the fun begins. Must see's are Camp Hale, Battle Mountain bridge (over Eagle River), Mt Holy Cross, Tennessee Pass, and Leadville. From Leadville, take Hwy 91 north past the Climax Mine to Copper Mtn Ski area. Then, head west on I-70 over Vail Pass and back to Vail. Stop for lunch at Pepi's in Vail Village.    map


Lariat Loop Scenic Byway - This is a close-in scenic drive that takes you through a number of popular tourist destinations near Golden.  You'll start at Dinosaur Ridge Visitors Center, head to Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park.  Next the towns of Morrison, Evergreen, then up to the top of Lookout Mountain, and back down into Golden.  DIRECTIONS:  From the Dinosaur Ridge Visitors Center at Alameda Avenue & E-470, cross over the E-470 Bridge and immediately turn south on Rooney Road.  At Morrison Road (Hwy 8) head west and turn north at Red Rocks Park Road.  Follow the signs.  Upon leaving Red Rocks Park, head south on Ship Rock  back to Morrison Road (a.k.a. Bear Creek Rd).  Continue west through the town of Morrison and at the stoplight take Hwy 74 west to Idledale, Kittredge, and into Evergreen. From Evergreen head north on Hwy 74 to I-70.  East on I-70 to exit 254.  Take a left under the highway bridge and turn right (east) onto Hwy 40 to South Lookout Mtn Road.  Follow the road up to Lookout Mtn and back down into Golden. Right onto 6th Avenue to Heritage Road (Hwy 40) and under the I-70 Bridge and continue south to Morrison Road.  East on Morrison Road about a block, then North on Rooney Road back to Dinosaur Ridge.  map



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  • june
  • road trips


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