You Haven’t Truly Seen Colorado Until You’ve Driven The State’s 8 Most Scenic Drives

Colorado is one of, if not the most, beautiful states in the US.

And for those who like to discover the beautiful landscapes of this country by car or bike, there are seemingly endless scenic drives you’ll find in Colorado.

In this guide, we’ll show you the eight most scenic drives you need to take in Colorado to say you’ve truly seen all that the Centennial State has to offer.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

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Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in North America, taking you to dizzying heights—literally. 

At over 14,000 feet, it’s not just your vehicle that might need some extra oxygen. 

Keep an eye out for mountain goats, marmots, and views that go from breathtaking to “Is this even Earth?” 

You’ll navigate sharp turns and narrow lanes, so consider it a scenic drive with a side of adrenaline. Don’t look down. Seriously.

Trail Ridge Road

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Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, and it’s the only place where you can go from summer to winter in less than an hour without a time machine. 

This road, part of Rocky Mountain National Park, climbs above the treeline to a whopping 12,183 feet. 

The views are epic, and the weather can be, too—so pack a jacket, sunscreen, and a sense of adventure. 

Just don’t expect reliable cell service. It’s nature’s way of saying, “Pay attention to me.”

Million Dollar Highway

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The Million Dollar Highway earns its name for the views and the courage required to traverse its narrow, cliff-hugging paths. 

This stretch of U.S. Route 550 between Ouray and Silverton is all hairpin turns, steep drops, and zero guardrails—so bring a strong stomach and a reliable vehicle. 

The scenery? It’s like a postcard from Mother Nature with a warning label. Expect majestic peaks, vibrant aspen groves, and maybe some white-knuckle moments.

Rim Rock Drive, Colorado National Monument 

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The Rim Rock drive through Colorado National Monument isn’t just a drive – it’s a tour through a landscape that looks like it was designed by a topographic artist with a flair for drama. 

The winding Rim Rock Drive offers panoramic views of towering red sandstone monoliths and deep canyons that make you appreciate just how small your car really is. 

You’ll also find hiking trails and wildlife sightings. Bring your camera—you’ll want to prove you didn’t just find a secret planet.

Peak to Peak Scenic Byway

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Peak to Peak Scenic Byway is Colorado’s oldest scenic byway, stretching 55 miles from Estes Park to Black Hawk. 

It’s a drive through Colorado’s high country, with views of snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and charming mountain towns. 

You’ll want to keep your eyes on the road, but the scenery might have other plans. 

Grand Mesa Scenic Byway

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Grand Mesa Scenic Byway takes you over the world’s largest flat-top mountain. No, really—it’s not just an illusion from your rearview mirror. 

This byway covers over 60 miles from Mesa to Cedaredge, offering serene forests, tranquil lakes, and the occasional moose sighting. 

It’s like someone took all the best elements of a Bob Ross painting and laid them out for you to drive through. Just try not to fall asleep in all that peacefulness.

San Juan Skyway

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The San Juan Skyway is a loop through some of Colorado’s most stunning landscapes, including Durango, Telluride, and Ouray. 

This 236-mile scenic drive is so full of twists and turns, you’ll be wondering if you accidentally signed up for a roller coaster ride. 

Along the way, you’ll see the San Juan Mountains, picturesque valleys, and historic mining towns.

Independence Pass

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Independence Pass, part of State Highway 82, is a seasonal road that closes in winter because, well, it’s high up there and snow likes to party. 

Crossing the Continental Divide, it connects Aspen and Twin Lakes, offering a drive that alternates between lush forests and stark alpine tundra. 

The vistas are jaw-dropping, but the switchbacks will test your cornering skills. Just be careful—you don’t want your brakes smelling like Independence Pass BBQ.