It's not the destination it's the journey.
Words could not be truer when it comes to Coloradan roads. Yes, the state is home to breathtaking destinations, but there is something to be said about the road trips that lead to them and their scenic significance.
The Centennial State has 26 designated scenic byways, 11 of which are nationally recognized as America's Byways. These long roads cut through natural beauty and memorable topography that encompass the essence of Colorado's landscape, one that attracts tourists and locals all year around.
The scenic byways are the perfect excuse to plan a road trip and take in the unforgettable views. But where to start out of 26 of them? Here we have selected five of the most beautiful scenic byways Colorado has to offer.
Anyone with a geek bone in their body should take a drive down Northwestern Colorado to Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway. It turns out the prehistoric creatures were prolific in this area and have left their mark on the land in the form of fossils and footprints.
The 512-mile-long loop, which is in the shape of a diamond, connects the state of Utah and Colorado. The small town in the Colorado region, also named Dinosaur, is used to catering to dinosaur fan road-trippers. Dinosaur is filled with dino-themed sculptures, monuments, and museums that bring in any travelers of the scenic byway.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
The serpentine ride to the summit of Mount Evans is a story you can take to any dinner party. Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in all of North America. Aside from the record-breaking altitude road, the views that lead to the summit are breathtaking. Keep your eyes peeled for alpine lakes and mountain goats.
The drive through Silver Thread Scenic Byway is one of the most beautiful ones in Colorado as it makes its way by historic sites, waterfalls, and 800-year-old lakes. The two- to four-hour drive covers around 120 miles, with stops in quaint towns like Lake City, Creede, and South Fork.
Lariat Loop, one of the 11 America's Byways, is a great option for Denver residents. The loop starts just west of Denver where road-trippers will find evergreens blanketing the foothills of the Rockies. The Lariat Loop is a scenic connection to various destinations, including the MillerCoors Brewery, the town of Golden, and Evergreen.
Peak to Peak
The 55-mile-long road leads the way towards Rocky Mountain National Park, where visitors can entertain themselves in all sorts of outdoor activities. The Peak to Peak highway also passes by fun towns like Estes Park, Nederland, and Black Hawk. There is plenty to see in the two-hour drive through Peak to Peak, including the Continental Divide, ghost towns, and the striking views of Longs Peak.
Are there other scenic byways in Colorado that we missed on our list? Sound off in the comments below.