One of the best ways to experience all the natural beauty and wonder Colorado has to offer is from the comfort of your own car. With so many gorgeous trails and byways, you’ll never run out of stunning road trips to take. From nearby day trips to weeks-long road trips, driving through Colorado is an experience you’ll never forget. If you’re looking for your next beautiful getaway, try crossing one of these scenic drives to take in Colorado off your list.
Pikes Peak Highway
Pikes Peak is a must-see for any Colorado native or visitor. Standing at 14,115 feet tall, America’s Mountain offers a traditional Rocky Mountain experience: thrilling trails, incredible views, and a glimpse into the rugged beauty and history of the region. Pikes Peak is one of the more accessible fourteeners in the state—so accessible that you can drive all the way to the summit. Pikes Peak Highway takes travelers through 19 miles of gorgeous lakes, trees, and sweeping mountain views. You can also get your fill of treats and souvenirs at the Crystal Reservoir Visitor Center or the Pikes Peak Summit House.
Not far from Grand Junction, you can find imposing red rock formations, magnificent sandstone canyons, and the remnants of dinosaurs. Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway takes you over and through several gorges and small towns. Cute cafés, museums, and visitor centers dot the road, but the highlight of the trip will certainly be the dinosaur footprints, fossils, and excavation sites you can explore along the way. That’s not the only history you’ll find here, either. The road winds through the glorious Canyon Pintado, the longtime home of the Fremont people. In the canyon, you’ll find petroglyphs, architectural sites, and other remnants of the rich and historic Fremont culture.
Top of the Rockies
When you travel along Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, you’ll cross the Continental Divide not once, not twice, but three times. Every mile shows off some of the most serene and breathtaking landscapes in the country, making it one of the most scenic drives to take in Colorado. Travel past the state’s two tallest peaks, Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. Along the way, you can also visit Leadville—the country’s highest incorporated city—and explore its quaint, historic downtown area. You can also pass through the smaller towns of Minturn and Twin Lakes. Many of Colorado’s historic municipalities offer fascinating museums or flashy tourist centers, but these little mountain towns offer an honest glimpse into the simple beauty of rural Colorado life.
Which areas will you wander through first? Pack your Colorado T-shirt and other favorite apparel from YoColorado and then hit the road for a journey you and your passengers will never forget.