Published: May 18, 2013
In a state filled with breathtaking drives, it's impossible to narrow the list of top trips to just a handful. So, here are five. Another writer could easily compile a completely different list and include drives equally stunning. Try these in a car, on a motorcycle or even a bicycle.
Gold Camp Road
Take Old Stage Road near The Broadmoor hotel west out of Colorado Springs as it becomes Gold Camp Road, following the old railroad route for roughly 40 miles to just outside the historic mining town of Victor. This a local favorite in autumn as it provides prime aspen-viewing spots along with dramatic geologic features. tinyurl.com/FunGoldCamp
Colorado Highway 105
Though only a few miles from the cars zooming down Interstate 25 at 75 mph, this pleasant route seems like a world away as you travel from Sedalia past horse ranches, along the foothills on a winding roadway toward the quaint town of Palmer Lake. Take 105 when you'd like a more leisurely route to southwest Denver.
Colorado Highway 92
This 36-mile stretch offers jaw-dropping views from the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. There are plenty of turnouts and even spots for a picnic, along with winding jaunts through aspen groves. After about 30 miles, the highway cuts north through rolling farmland before offering a backroads taste of the Western Slope. nps.gov/blca
Colorado Highway 141
Don't be fooled by the nondescript turnoff from U.S. Highway 50 between Delta and Grand Junction. This 44-mile drive quickly drops you into a wonderland of the steep cliffs along the northern side of the Uncompahgre Plateau, then the shocking red rock formations of far western Colorado. By the time you reach Gateway, you're a few miles from Utah.
Colorado Highway 12
Called "The Highway of Legends," this roughly 60-mile drive from La Veta to Trinidad offers stunning views of the towering Sangre de Cristo Range and the Spanish Peaks and the so-called dike geologic formations that radiate from the peaks. The highway goes through stands of aspen and over 9,941-foot Cucharas Pass. tinyurl.com/c8l5fyy