Total Mileage/Average drive time
314 miles, 5 hours, 24 minutes
Colorado has a vibe all its own, where nature is down-to-earth, and taking the high road through the Rocky Mountains will bring you in touch with the stunning vistas and magnificent wonders of this beautifully untamed country.
Wander through Benson Sculpture Garden, one of the most unique in the country, to contemplate the 140 works of art situated around a lake and scattered among flowers, trees and natural habitat areas. Map out stops for "Art in Public Places," consisting primarily of bronze sculptures showcased in buildings, parks and public spaces. For awe-inspiring beauty, hike up the Devil's Backbone, a geological "hogback" (ridge of rock) that juts from the surrounding landscape, before taking to the air to get a bird's eye-view from a hot air balloon, where you can drink champagne, ride the wind and revel in the scenic beauty of Colorado.
58 miles, 1 hour
Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Golden will leave you enchanted with the views, especially from atop Lookout Mountain. Driving up the mountain is exhilarating, and once there, you can visit the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum and his grave. Golden Gate Canyon State Park will amaze with many wildlife viewing options available, including an abandoned mine. Hike to see 250,000 Mexican bats, bird watch for eagles, owls and hawks, and take pictures of black bear, bighorn sheep, moose, bobcats and horseshoe hare.
72 miles, 1 hour, 23 minutes
Located just off I-70, this quaint mountain town merits a reflective stroll past Victorian-era shops set amid the western façades. Head to the Boreas Pass, which offers stunning views of Mount Silverheels and Tenmile Range, home to Tarn Lake, the highest lake in the United States. Bald Mountain rises above the Arapaho National Forest, which straddles the Continental Divide. The grandeur of majestic waterfalls tumbling into a glacial lake is yours at McCullough Gulch, with dramatic views of distant peaks.
4) Glenwood Springs
96 miles, 1 hour, 41 minutes
This is "America's Most Fun Town," with a wide range of outdoor activities to pursue. Explore caverns and fairy caves filled with amazing stalagmites and crystalline formations. Take a swim in the world's largest natural hot springs pool, where the water never turns cold, and explore an unusual underground vapor cave. Glenwood Canyon has picturesque views that are over 3 million years in the making. One of the canyon's gems is Hanging Lake, with its rich plant life, and White River National Forest, one of the most visited forests in the nation.
5) Grand Junction
87 miles, 1 hour, 20 minutes
The splendor of the American West comes alive in the dramatic red-rock formations found in the Colorado National Monument. The Grand Mesa presents astounding gravity-defying boulders, spectacular arches and awe-inspiring sheer-walled canyons, while the Grand Mesa National Forest is alive with wildlife and dramatic geological features. Cruise along the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway to marvel at fossil quarries along the route before wandering through local vineyards for beautiful sunset views.