Colorado is known for its stunning natural beauty, with breathtaking mountains, vast expanses of forests, and rushing rivers. It's no surprise that the state's roadways offer some of the most spectacular drives in the country, attracting millions of visitors every year. From the towering peaks of the Rockies to the high deserts of the Western Slope, here's a look at some of the most memorable roads in Colorado.
- Trail Ridge Road - Rocky Mountain National Park
The Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-see for any visitor to Colorado. This 48-mile stretch of road runs through the heart of the park, offering stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding wilderness. With elevations reaching over 12,000 feet, it's the highest continuous paved road in the United States, and it's only open from late May to early October due to snowfall.
- Million Dollar Highway - San Juan Skyway
The Million Dollar Highway, part of the San Juan Skyway, is a scenic byway that runs through the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The road is named for the expensive materials used in its construction, but its views are priceless. The highway winds through rugged mountain passes, steep cliffs, and narrow switchbacks, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
- Independence Pass - Aspen
Independence Pass is a high mountain pass located near Aspen, Colorado. The pass reaches an elevation of 12,095 feet, making it one of the highest paved passes in the state. The road winds through alpine tundra and dense forests, offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The pass is open from May to November, weather permitting.
- Pikes Peak Highway - Colorado Springs
Pikes Peak Highway is a 19-mile road that leads to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of Colorado's most iconic mountains. The road is known for its steep inclines, sharp turns, and incredible views. Along the way, visitors can stop at various lookout points to take in the stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape. The road is open year-round, weather permitting.
- Rim Rock Drive - Colorado National Monument
Rim Rock Drive is a scenic drive that runs through the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, Colorado. The road offers stunning views of towering red rock formations, deep canyons, and sweeping vistas of the surrounding landscape. The drive is 23 miles long and takes visitors on a journey through millions of years of geological history.
- Guanella Pass - Georgetown
Guanella Pass is a high mountain pass located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The pass reaches an elevation of 11,669 feet and offers spectacular views of Mount Bierstadt and the surrounding peaks. The road winds through alpine tundra and dense forests, with several pull-offs along the way for taking in the stunning scenery.
- Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway - Trinidad
The Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway is a 188-mile route that follows the historic Santa Fe Trail from Trinidad, Colorado, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The road winds through rugged canyons, rolling grasslands, and historic towns, offering a glimpse into the history and culture of the American Southwest.
In conclusion, Colorado's roads offer some of the most spectacular drives in the country, with breathtaking views of the state's natural beauty at every turn. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or just a scenic drive, these roads are sure to leave a lasting impression on your memory. So pack up the car and hit the road, Colorado-style!