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4 Breathtaking Scenic Drives in Colorado

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rocky mountain national park colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park
Photo: Trougnouf via CC

Colorado is famous for its awe-inspiring geography. Here are four scenic drives you won’t want to miss if you’re planning a future road trip in the Centennial State.

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Trail Ridge Road

If you’re looking for panoramic views of Rocky Mountain National Park, try the Trail Ridge Road drive. You’ll see a wide range of geographical features, from lava cliffs and glaciers to alpine forests and snowy mountain peaks. Keep a lookout for local elk herds that tend to frequent the area. And pack some hiking boots in case you want to get out and explore some of the trails that you’ll find along the route.

Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway

The Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway extends 512 miles and is shared by both Colorado and Utah. The route gets its name from its diamond-shaped loop when you connect the dots on a map between Moab, Helper, Vernal, and Grand Junction. Red rock formations and bold landscapes characterize the drive. You can also see Native American rock art as well as fossils and footprints left by dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals who lived here.

Cache la Poudre Scenic Byway

The Cache la Poudre North Park Drive follows the Poudre River through the Front Range region that connects the historic towns of Walden and Fort Collins. It spans 101 miles of road, so you should allow yourself a few hours to journey the whole length of it. This route delivers stunning views of Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll also have a chance to spot bighorn sheep and moose along the way, so keep your eyes peeled during the drive and consider bringing binoculars.

Pike’s Peak Highway

If you’re planning a future excursion to Colorado Springs, make sure to include Pike’s Peak Highway on your itinerary. This 19-mile stretch of road starts in Cascade and continues to Pikes Peak summit in El Paso County. The road’s highest altitude is 14,115 feet, so it’s not a path for the faint of heart. Once you make it to the top, however, you’ll reap the reward of some epic views. And make sure to check out the cafe and gift shop there if you need a snack or souvenir before continuing on your way.

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