The Most Beautiful Drive in Colorado: Scenic Routes and Breathtaking Views

Choose the drive you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 23, 2024 06:22
Discover the hidden gems and breathtaking vistas of Colorado's picturesque roads while casting your vote in our latest ranking: "What is the most beautiful drive in Colorado?" From the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the enchanting routes of the Million Dollar Highway, Colorado offers a diverse range of scenic drives that leave travelers awestruck. Join thousands of fellow adventurers and enthusiasts in ranking your favorite drives and uncover the must-see routes that can't be missed. And if you feel we've left out a stunning drive, don't hesitate to suggest a missing option! Ready to embark on a virtual journey through Colorado's most captivating landscapes? Buckle up and dive into our mesmerizing ranking today!

What Is the Most Beautiful Drive in Colorado?

  1. 1
    32
    votes

    Trail Ridge Road

    Rocky Mountain National Park
    This scenic drive in Rocky Mountain National Park offers stunning views of the park's alpine tundra, glaciers, and wildlife.
    Trail Ridge Road is a breathtaking scenic drive that winds through the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Towering peaks, alpine tundra, and magnificent wildlife make this road a favorite among visitors seeking an unforgettable mountain experience.
    • Length: 48 miles (77 kilometers)
    • Elevation: Highest point at 12,183 feet (3,713 meters)
    • Location: Colorado, United States
    • Start: Estes Park, CO
    • End: Grand Lake, CO
  2. 2
    33
    votes
    This stretch of US Route 550 between Silverton and Ouray offers breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains and the Uncompahgre Gorge.
    The Million Dollar Highway is a renowned scenic drive in Colorado, stretching for about 25 miles from Silverton to Ouray. It is a section of U.S. Route 550 that winds through the stunning San Juan Mountains, offering breathtaking views and dramatic landscapes.
    • Length: 25 miles
    • Location: Colorado
    • Starting Point: Silverton
    • Ending Point: Ouray
    • Route: U.S. Route 550
  3. 3
    19
    votes
    This drive follows the Colorado River through scenic mountain valleys and past historic mining towns.
    The Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway is a picturesque drive that follows the course of the Colorado River through the stunning Rocky Mountains of Colorado. With its breathtaking vistas, diverse landscapes, and rich history, this scenic byway offers travelers an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature's beauty.
    • Length: 69 miles
    • Start Point: State Highway 34 near Granby
    • End Point: US Highway 40 in Kremmling
    • Passes Through: Rocky Mountain National Park, Byers Canyon, Gore Canyon
    • Scenic Overlooks: Windy Gap Reservoir, Williams Fork Reservoir, Pumphouse Recreation Area
  4. 4
    14
    votes
    This iconic drive takes you to the top of Pikes Peak, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
    The Pikes Peak Highway is a spectacular drive located in the state of Colorado, USA. It stretches up to the summit of Pikes Peak and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. The highway, also known as Pikes Peak Toll Road, is a popular tourist attraction and offers a one-of-a-kind driving experience.
    • Location: Colorado, USA
    • Length: 19 miles (30.6 km)
    • Elevation Gain: 7,400 feet (2,255 meters)
    • Highest Point: Pikes Peak summit at 14,115 feet (4,302 meters)
    • Road Condition: Paved and well-maintained
  5. 5
    10
    votes
    Mount Evans Scenic Byway
    Ken Gallager · Public domain
    This high-altitude drive takes you to the summit of Mount Evans, one of Colorado's highest peaks, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
    The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a breathtaking drive located in Colorado, known for its stunning views and dramatic landscapes. It stretches for 28 miles and takes visitors up to the summit of Mount Evans, which stands at an elevation of 14,264 feet (4,347 meters). The byway is considered one of the most beautiful drives in Colorado, offering an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
    • Location: Colorado
    • Length: 28 miles
    • Elevation (Summit): 14,264 feet (4,347 meters)
    • Type of Road: Scenic byway
    • Views: Breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys
  6. 6
    18
    votes
    San Juan Skyway
    Jeffrey Beall · CC BY 4.0
    This 236-mile loop takes you through the San Juan Mountains, with breathtaking views of rugged peaks, alpine valleys, and historic mining towns.
    The San Juan Skyway is a scenic drive located in Colorado, known for its breathtaking natural beauty and picturesque mountain views. This 233-mile loop takes you through the stunning San Juan Mountains, offering an unforgettable driving experience.
    • Length: 233 miles
    • Start/End Points: Durango, Colorado / Ridgway, Colorado
    • Elevation: Ranges from 6,200 to 11,018 feet
    • Scenic Points: Million Dollar Highway, Lizard Head Pass, Red Mountain Pass
    • Communities: Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, Ridgway
  7. 7
    13
    votes
    This drive takes you through the heart of the Rockies, with stunning views of mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and wildflowers.
    The Guanella Pass Scenic Byway is a breathtaking drive located in Colorado. It covers a stunning 22-mile stretch between the towns of Georgetown and Grant, offering travelers with captivating mountain views, picturesque forests, and a chance to explore the alpine tundra. This scenic byway is a popular route for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers who wish to experience the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
    • Length: 22 miles
    • Location: Colorado, USA
    • Starting Point: Georgetown
    • Ending Point: Grant
    • Elevation: 9,383 feet
  8. 8
    8
    votes
    Independence Pass
    Daniel Case · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This high-altitude drive takes you over the Continental Divide, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
    Independence Pass is a scenic drive located in Colorado, USA. It is a high mountain pass that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the state. The pass reaches an elevation of 12,095 feet (3,687 meters) and provides access between the towns of Aspen and Twin Lakes. It is a popular route for both locals and tourists alike, attracting nature enthusiasts, photographers, and adventure seekers.
    • Location: Colorado, USA
    • Elevation: 12,095 feet (3,687 meters)
    • Connecting Towns: Aspen and Twin Lakes
    • Scenic Views: Breathtaking landscapes
    • Popular Activities: Nature exploration, photography, adventure
  9. 9
    11
    votes
    Kebler Pass
    Jeffrey Beall · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This scenic drive takes you through the stunning aspen forests of the Rocky Mountains, with views of snow-capped peaks and wildflowers.
    Kebler Pass is a stunning drive located in Colorado, known for its breathtaking scenic beauty. It is a mountain pass situated in the Elk Mountains, part of the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. The route takes you through picturesque landscapes, including lush forests, vast meadows, and impressive mountain peaks.
    • Location: Elk Mountains, Colorado
    • Length: 31 miles
    • Elevation: 10,007 feet (3,050 meters)
    • Surface Type: Dirt and gravel road
    • Scenic Highlights: Aspen groves, wildflower fields, panoramic views
  10. 10
    3
    votes
    This drive takes you through the heart of the Rockies, with stunning views of mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and historic mining towns.
    The Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway is a breathtaking drive that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in Colorado. Stretching over 75 miles, this byway is a true paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It winds through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offering panoramic views of towering peaks, lush alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and pristine forests. The byway is renowned for its dramatic scenery, diverse wildlife, and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities.
    • Length: 75 miles
    • Location: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
    • Starting Point: Leadville
    • Ending Point: Minturn
    • Highest Elevation: 12,095 feet

Missing your favorite drive?

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Ranking factors for beautiful drive

  1. Scenery
    The beauty and diversity of the landscapes encountered along the drive should be a primary factor. This includes considering the presence of mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, rock formations, and other natural features that make the drive visually stunning.
  2. Changing Views
    A great drive should have dynamic and ever-changing views, ensuring that the scenery never grows monotonous and keeps the driver engaged and excited to discover what's around the next bend.
  3. Points of Interest
    It's important to consider the stops along the way, such as scenic overlooks, national parks, historic sites, and other attractions that could enhance the overall driving experience.
  4. Road quality and safety
    A beautiful drive should also be safe and enjoyable from a driving perspective. This would include considering factors such as road conditions, the difficulty of the drive (sharp turns, narrow roads, etc.), and availability of facilities (refueling, rest areas, etc.).
  5. Accessibility
    The ease of reaching and traveling the route should also be considered, including whether the drive is accessible year-round, or if it is limited to certain months due to weather.
  6. Length of the Route
    Longer drives may allow for more diverse scenery and attractions, but it's also crucial to strike a balance between length and the time commitment required.
  7. Popularity
    While not a determining factor on its beauty, the drive's popularity with both tourists and locals is often a testament to its overall appeal.
  8. Wildlife
    The opportunity to spot wildlife, such as elk, deer, moose, or bighorn sheep, can add to the overall experience of a scenic drive.
  9. Uniqueness
    The route should have a distinctiveness that sets it apart from other drives, whether due to a particular natural feature or a rare view.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful drive in Colorado. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or driver is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1232 views
  • 161 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each driver once every 24 hours. The rank of each driver is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More information on most beautiful drive in colorado

Colorado is known for its scenic beauty and breathtaking landscapes, making it one of the most popular destinations for road trips in the United States. With its winding roads, towering mountains, and picturesque towns, Colorado offers some of the most beautiful drives in the country. From the iconic Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park to the Million Dollar Highway in the San Juan Mountains, there are countless scenic routes to explore in the state. So, if you're looking for a scenic drive that will take your breath away, Colorado is the perfect destination for you!

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