Top 10 drives to See the Leaves Changing Color in Colorado

Top 10 drives to See the Leaves Changing Color in Colorado

 In no particular order Colorado has some of the best spots in the nation to see the Autum leaves changing colors.  This list in compiled to see some of the best spots in the state of Colorado



Kebler Pass
Start and end points: Crested Butte to Paonia
Drive time from Denver: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Notes: Also called Gunnison County Road 12, this road starts in Crested Butte, heads west, and ends near the south end of Paonia State Park east of Paonia. The high mountain pass takes drivers up to just over 10,000 feet, with stunning views of the landscape on both sides. This is a favorite location for leaf peeping. The pass is not paved.

Gold Camp Road
Start and end points: Colorado Springs to Victor
Drive time from Denver: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Notes: Fittingly named, the Gold Camp Road runs from west Colorado Springs to Victor. Beautiful views of the countryside and aspens will fill the curvy drive. There are plenty of places along the way to pull off the road to snap a few pictures. The road starts in Colorado Springs, but you’ll want to need to drive several miles west before you'll start to see aspens.

Gunnison County Road 3
Start and end points: South Carbondale to east of Crystal
Drive time from Denver: 4 hours, 50 minutes
Notes: Explore this road — which is a mix of pavement and dirt — by car or bike (or foot!). Also called the Road to Marble, this roadway is about 12 miles long from Evergreen Lane in south Carbondale to the split at Forest Road 317 through Marble and Crystal. Drive slowly here, especially on the rocky terrain and when passing traffic moving in the opposite direction.

Trail Ridge Road
Start and end points: Rocky Mountain National Park
Drive time from Denver: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Notes: If you’re willing to hang with the crowds, the 48-mile Trail Ridge Road will bring you — slowly — around this national park, in full view of the changing trees. There are plenty of places to pull off and explore the wilderness on foot. Even if you choose to stay in the comfort of a car, be sure you’re hydrating because the road climbs about 4,000 feet quickly.

Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Start and end points: Copper Mountain to Aspen
Drive time from Denver: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Notes: This byway, which hovers around 9,000 for several miles, has several spots along the way where you can get out to stretch your legs and explore the foliage. The byway is about 80 miles long, in total and takes drivers over Tennessee Pass.

Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway
Start and end points: Boulder to Black Hawk
Drive time from Denver: Varies, depending on point of entry
Notes: This is Colorado’s oldest scenic byway (it was established in 1918!). It winds about 60 miles though national forests along the Front Range. There are multiple spots along the way — including Rocky Mountain National Park and Golden Gate Canyon State Park — where you can get out to see more golden aspens on foot.

Peak to Peak Highway

San Juan Skyway
Start and end points: Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Rico, Dolores, Durango, Silverton
Drive time from Denver: 5 hours, 40 minutes
Notes: This 230-mile looped byway travels through multiple southwestern towns and the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests. Experts recommend spending at least two days soaking in the area and scenery.

Guanella Pass Scenic Byway
Start and end points: Georgetown to Grant
Drive time from Denver: 50 minutes
Notes: If you’re itching to see the changing aspens sooner than later, Guanella Pass is your go-to. The leaves usually start changing here earlier than other places. The new road makes the going easy for this drive — nice and smooth riding. If you want to stretch your legs, you can hop out to walk on the Bierstadt Trail (or go all the way to the summit, at 14,065 feet).

Guanella Pass Sept 21 2019_SButzer_changing aspens

Poudre Canyon via Colorado Highway 14
Start and end points: Gould to the intersection of Colorado Highway 14 and Colorado Road 63E
Drive time from Denver: 2 hours
Notes: Head up to Fort Collins and then turn west to head toward the aspens! You’ll need to be a little patient as you wind your way west on Colorado 14, but you’ll be rewarded with the beautiful views once you pass Colorado Road 63E on your left. If you want to spend more time up here, there are plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds along the way.

Highway 103 + Mount Evans Road
Start and end points: Get on Highway 103 from Idaho Springs or the Squaw Mountain area
Drive time from Denver: 40 minutes
Notes: Want to see beautiful aspens and breathtaking views in one go? Jump on Highway 103 and take it to the Mount Evans Road, which starts at Echo Lake. Enjoy the drive in the yellow leaves before you start climbing, leave the colorful leaves behind and trade them in for skyscraping views from the top of Mount Evans.

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