Scenic Byway: Alpine Loop

Scenic Byway: Alpine Loop 2

In the heart of the San Juan Mountains, the Alpine Loop Scenic and Historic Byway traverses sweeping tundra landscapes and crests two alpine passes. Tiny, fragile flowers hug sheer slopes tinged with cinnamon and saffron hues. On lower elevations, creeks gurgle through forested canyons. The 63-mile backcountry route connects Lake City with Silverton and Ouray. … Read more Scenic Byway: Alpine Loop

Scenic Byway: Highway of Legends

Scenic Byway: Highway of Legends 3

A massive sandstone wall soars skyward from the grassy terrain. As it extends up a slope to the bald, gray Spanish Peaks, its pink, ochre and rust tones shimmer under the afternoon sun. Like spokes on a wheel, the Dakota Wall and more than 400 other rock formations radiate from the towering sentinels. Throughout human … Read more Scenic Byway: Highway of Legends

Scenic Byway: Trail Ridge Road

In an alpine meadow carpeted with lush grasses, newborn white-spotted elk frolic under the watchful eyes of their mothers. Travelers edge their cars onto the shoulder of Trail Ridge Road, opening their windows to gaze at the endearing wildlife “nursery.” Around another bend, snow-mantled Never Summer Range scrapes the sky. Such wondrous sites unfold as … Read more Scenic Byway: Trail Ridge Road

Colorado Golden Nuggets: Autumn’s Sweet Spots

We live in a state that proudly proclaims itself to be “Colorful Colorado,” and it certainly is. From purple mountain majesties to amber waves of grain, summers here treat our eye’s color-receptor cones to a good workout. It only gets better in the fall when autumn alchemy transforms leafy hillsides into mother lodes of gold. … Read more Colorado Golden Nuggets: Autumn’s Sweet Spots

Celebrating a Big Anniversary with Colorado Monument

The year 2011 was a big year for the Colorado National Monument, and a big year for us.  My husband and I celebrated 5 years while we visited Colorado National Monument, and Colorado National Monument celebrated 100 years thanks to John Otto, who was the first custodian of Colorado National Monument. In 1907, Otto wrote, … Read more Celebrating a Big Anniversary with Colorado Monument

Scenic Byway: Mount Evans

Chilling winds whistle as byway travelers leave the comfort of their cars to scale the final 130 vertical feet to the summit of Mount Evans. The trail zigs and zags upward. Although the distance is only a quarter-mile, muscles burn and lungs crave oxygen. Within minutes, though, climbers stand on top of the world. The … Read more Scenic Byway: Mount Evans

Colorado Scenic Byways: Trail of the Ancients

On an arid, sage-studded plain, ancient towers stand like sentinels. Cliff dwellings nestle in alcoves in deep canyon walls. And symbols etched on rocks perplex modern wayfarers. These and other priceless vestiges of prehistoric communities grace the Trail of the Ancients Scenic and Historic Byway. Situated in southwestern Colorado, the 114-mile route forms a semicircle … Read more Colorado Scenic Byways: Trail of the Ancients

Scenic Byway: Cache La Poudre-North Park

Wild waters froth as they roar through sheer-walled Poudre Canyon. Beyond a range of craggy peaks, moose nibble wetland willows and songbirds trill. Along the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic and Historic Byway, sights and sounds vary from wild to serene. The byway stretches 101 miles between Fort Collins and Walden in the north-central part … Read more Scenic Byway: Cache La Poudre-North Park

Colorado Gold: Back Roads to Beauty

Come September, the mountains of Colorado make their annual grand-to-gaudy transformation. Alpine meadows turn straw yellow, and aspen-plastered hillsides become swaths of quaking gold. While virtually any road ascending the Rockies offers glimpses of gilded color, drivers with good tread, a bit of time and a willingness to do dirt will discover that the best … Read more Colorado Gold: Back Roads to Beauty

Scenic Byway: Silver Thread

On the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway, modern travelers view sights that marveled 1870s stagecoach passengers. The mighty Rio Grande carves huge curves through a lush valley. Centuries-old mudslides scar a mountain slope. The jagged profile of the San Juan Mountains etches the western horizon. As the 75-mile route follows Colorado 149 from South … Read more Scenic Byway: Silver Thread

South Platte River Trail: Northeastern Colorado’s Historic Byway

The Rockies disappear in the rear-view mirror. Ahead, Interstate 76 stretches mile after monotonous mile on a northeasterly sweep toward Nebraska. Grandeur is scant. Wheat waves, cattle graze and the loftiest point visible is often the next town’s water tower. The unpretentious plains of northeastern Colorado seem an unlikely place to find a scenic and … Read more South Platte River Trail: Northeastern Colorado’s Historic Byway

Scenic Byway: West Elk Loop

Soaring mountain peaks, fathomless canyons, vast forests, crystalline reservoirs, verdant river valleys, teeming fruit orchards — these diverse sights and more beautify the West Elk Loop. Shaped like a rope with a lasso at its end, the route stretches south from Carbondale for 50 miles and then circles around the West Elk Mountains. Those who … Read more Scenic Byway: West Elk Loop