The Best Places In Colorado For Scenic Drives

Colorado is known for its picturesque landscapes, stunning views, and breathtaking mountains. One of the best ways to truly experience all that the state has to offer is by taking a scenic drive. From winding mountain roads to peaceful countryside routes, here are the best places in Colorado for scenic drives.

The Million Dollar Highway

The Million Dollar Highway is one of the most popular and scenic driving routes in Colorado. This 25-mile stretch of the US Route 550 runs between Silverton and Ouray, passing through the San Juan Mountains. The road is known for its steep drop-offs, sharp turns, and narrow lanes that make it a challenging yet rewarding drive. Along the way, you can witness the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests.

Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, running through Rocky Mountain National Park. This scenic drive offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, with numerous stops along the way to explore the park’s beauty. The road spans 48 miles between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake, winding through alpine landscapes, mountain meadows, and glacial valleys.

Peak To Peak Highway

The Peak To Peak Highway is a 55-mile drive that runs through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The route starts from Central City and runs to Estes Park, passing through the charming towns of Nederland and Allenspark. Along the way, you can witness the scenic beauty of the Colorado Rockies, including the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, golden aspens, and mountain peaks.

San Juan Skyway

San Juan Skyway is a 236-mile loop in southwest Colorado, connecting the towns of Durango, Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride. The route takes you through the San Juan Mountains, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You’ll drive through mountain passes, historic mining towns, and colorful meadows, and encounter ample opportunities for hiking, camping, and fishing.

The Great Sand Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising to a height of 750 feet. The park is located in southern Colorado, and the scenic drive to reach it is as beautiful as the park itself. The route passes through the San Luis Valley, with backdrop views of the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountain ranges.

Alpine Loop

The Alpine Loop is a 63-mile dirt road located in the San Juan Mountains, connecting the historic mining towns of Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray. The route is accessible only during the summer months and can be challenging to drive, but it offers unparalleled views of the San Juan Mountains. In addition to its scenic beauty, the Alpine Loop is also rich in history, with numerous mining remnants and ghost towns to explore.

Pikes Peak Highway

Pikes Peak Highway is an iconic 19-mile drive that takes you to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of the most famous mountains in Colorado. The drive begins at an elevation of 7,400 feet and ends at the summit at 14,115 feet, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and plains. The road has numerous pullouts and viewpoints along the way, allowing you to take in the breathtaking scenery.

Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway

The Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway is a 80-mile drive that starts in the town of Grand Lake and follows the Colorado River to its source at the Continental Divide. Along the way, you can witness the magnificent scenery of the Rocky Mountains, including pine forests, alpine meadows, and steep canyons. The route also passes through the Arapaho National Recreation Area, where you can enjoy fishing, camping, and boating.


Colorado is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful states in the nation. A scenic drive is the perfect way to explore the state’s natural beauty and take in its awe-inspiring landscapes. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these scenic drives will take you on a journey through some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado.

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