Dropping 1,700 feet in elevation from end to end, the Colorado River Headwaters Byway follows the Colorado past reservoirs and lush ranchlands, and through narrow canyons flanked by the railroad. Wildlife abounds and access to miles of public land offers year-round recreation and views of mountain landscapes and geology.
The Dinosaur Diamond runs through the best land in the world to learn about dinosaurs. Numerous sites are available to the public where bones and tracks are still visible in the ground. Many museums along the way add to the opportunities to see and learn about dinosaurs.
Mirroring the paths of Zebulon Pike, Charles Goodnight, Juan Bautista de Anza, Arthur Carhart, and Cuerno Verde, Frontier Pathways showcases rugged mountains, carpets of wildflowers, piñon-dotted foothills, and clusters of golden aspen. Visitors can experience the Sangre de Cristo Mountains -- 22 peaks over 13,000 feet.
The Gold Belt Tour follows historic railroad and stagecoach routes leading to North America's greatest gold camp, three world-class fossil sites, and numerous historic sites. The Shelf and Phantom Canyon Roads cut along unpaved routes through winding canyons. Five byway communities allow a glimpse into this area's rich heritage.
This "playground in the sky" climbs from the rugged Plateau Canyon floor to the cool evergreen mesa forests, 11,000 feet up. Featured are hundreds of sparkling lakes, wildflower meadows and forests of shimmering aspen and pine. Take a side trip to Lands End Overlook where the Grand Valley unfolds below.
Lariat Loop takes you through enchanting historic districts and into the rugged terrain of the Wild West. Drink in the clear skies, dramatic mountain scenes, and patchwork valleys where Buffalo Bill Cody roamed.
Travel the "road to the sky" which offers views from the towering 14,000-foot San Juan Mountains to rolling hillsides speckled with ancient Indian pueblo ruins. Victorian towns offer both excitement and relaxation. Soak in hot springs, ride the narrow-gauge railroad, and sleep under the stars or in a cozy lodge.
One of America's first great trade routes, the Santa Fe Trail was critical to our country's westward expansion. Visit historic sites and landmarks like Bent's Fort, Trinidad, Raton Pass, Cimarron, Fort Union, Pecos, Point of Rocks, and Santa Fe. Enjoy spectacular scenery, from rugged mountains to the plains.
With altitudes seldom dipping below 9,000 feet, this byway earns its name. Visit historic mining railroad towns en route to historic Leadville, the highest incorporated community in the U.S. Old mining camps attest to the state's rich mining heritage. The route crosses the Continental Divide twice and traces the Arkansas River.
Explore the long and intriguing occupation of the Four Corners region by Native American peoples. Travel through the archaeological heartland of America while crossing the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. World-renowned Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley Tribal Park, and Four Corners Monument are highlights on the trail.
Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow Road is America's highest continuously paved road. Overlooks present peaks ranging from 12,000 to over 14,000 feet. Eleven miles of the route roam above tree line in the alpine tundra. Travelers may encounter forms of life and climatic conditions also found at the Arctic Circle.
Other Byways in Colorado
As a service, we strive to include information on all byways or backways in Colorado on this website. This list may be incomplete or contain byways that overlap.
- Alpine Loop
- Cache La Poudre-North Park Scenic and Historic Byway
- Collegiate Peaks Byway
- Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway
- Guanella Pass Road
- Highway of Legends
- Los Caminos Antiguos
- Mount Evans Scenic Byway
- Pawnee Pioneer Trails
- Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway
- Silver Thread Scenic Byway
- South Platte River Trail
- Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway
- West Elk Loop