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Colorado's Most Scenic and Roads and Byways


Colorado River Headwaters Byway

The 69-mile route follows the path of the Colorado River from its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park, passing through a diverse topography of high mountain passes, rugged mountains and canyons. Rocky Mountain National Park, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, Lake Granby, and Grand Lake offer a variety of recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and rafting.

Start and Endpoint: Route follows a northeast/southwest direction from West Lake to State Bridge near Bond, Colorado. It includes sections of US 34, US 40, and CR 1.

For further information, contact: Granby Chamber of Commerce

Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway

This 480-mile loop route through eastern Utah and western Colorado runs along the northern edge of the Colorado Plateau. It features some of the world's most significant dinosaur fossil quarries and museums. The Colorado section of the byway includes excavation sites such as Dinosaur Hill in Fruita, the Museum of Western Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, and Colorado National Monument. Recreational opportunities along the route include biking, hiking, and camping.

Start and Endpoint: The Colorado section of this two-state, loop begins at Dinosaur, just over the Utah border, runs south on SR 64 to Rangely, south on SR 139 to Loma, then east to Fruita on US 6 and Grand Junction. The byway then loops back to the Utah section, west on I-70 to the Colorado-Utah border. The Colorado section of the byway is 152 miles in length, while the Utah section is 328 miles.

For further information, contact: Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway

Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway

Known for its topographic diversity, this 103-mile byway features historic homesteads, abandoned trading posts and stage stops, the pristine Wet Mountain Valley, and wildlife viewing pullouts. It passes through the San Isabel National Forest, which offers great opportunities for camping, hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. It also offers views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with 22 peaks reaching at least 13,000 feet.

Start and Endpoint: Northern section of the byway runs from Pueblo along SR 96 through Wetmore, Silver Cliff, and Westcliffe. The southern section of the byway runs from Colorado City northwest on SR 165 for 52 miles to its junction with SR 96 at McKenzie Junction, then west along SR 96 to Westcliffe.

For further information, contact: Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway

Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway

The 135-mile byway follows historic railroad and stagecoach routes leading visitors to North America's greatest gold camp, three world class fossil sites, and numerous historic sites. Areas of interest include: Victor's National Historic District and Cripple Creek, the historical hub of the mining district; the Royal Gorge Railroad and the 1,053-foot suspension bridge spanning the Royal Gorge; and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and the Garden Park Fossil Area. Recreational opportunities include fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Start and Endpoint: Runs north/south from Florissant to Florence, Colorado, including three separate routes. The 34-mile Phantom Canyon Road runs from Florence to Victor, the 26-mile Shelf Road runs from Cañon City to Cripple Creek, and the High Park Road segment connects Florence and Cañon City with Teller Road 1 and Teller Road 11.

For further information, contact: Gold Belt Tour

Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway

This 63-mile 'playground in the sky' climbs through the dusty canyon of Plateau Creek to the evergreen forests of the mesa top, 11,000 feet above sea level. The impressive Grand Mesa, called Thunder Mountain by the Utes, was formed by lava flows, glaciers, and forces of erosion. It offers magnificent views of alpine forests and mountains of the surrounding region, and includes more than 300 lakes and reservoirs. It also offers views of the La Sal and the San Juan Mountains, both more than 60 miles away.

Start and Endpoint: Follows CO 65 for its entirety from the northern end at the Mesa exit on I-70 to the southern terminus at Cedaredge. Also includes a spur route off CO 65 along Land's End Road to Land's End.

For further information, contact: Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway

San Juan Skyway

233-mile loop byway snakes through Old West towns like Durango, Silverton and Telluride, and twists through some of the most rugged mountains in the country on the famous Million Dollar Highway. It also passes along Mesa Verde National Park, all in the shadows of impressive 14,000-foot peaks. Skiing is one of the premier activities along the byway, and the five million acres of the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests offer opportunities for a variety of recreational activities. Byway was designated an "All-American Road" in 1996.

Start and Endpoint: From Durango, route runs north on US 550 past Hermosa, Silverton, and Ouray. It then follows CO 62 from near Ridgway to Placerville, then CO 145 to the southeast to the junction with US 160 near Cortez, then US 160 back to Durango to complete the entire loop.

For further information, contact: San Juan National Forest

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