scenic colorado byway

Take A Summer Drive on Colorado’s Scenic Byways Near Glenwood Springs

Make Glenwood Springs your home base for day tripping drives this summer. These Colorado Scenic Byways are all within easy driving distance of the famous hot springs town.

Four nearby Scenic Byway excursions offer different perspectives of the Centennial state’s iconic landscapes.

West Elk Loop. This drive starts in Carbondale and follows Highway 133 over McClure Pass, into the fertile growing regions of Paonia and Hotchkiss. Indulge your inner foodie with stops at wineries, distilleries and farm stands. Next up is the jaw-dropping scenery of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, followed by the classic ski town charm of Crested Butte. Return via Kebler Pass to view one of the largest aspen groves in the United States.

Top of the Rockies. Alpine splendor at its most magnificent, this drive will take your breath away.  Head south of Glenwood through Aspen and over Independence Pass where you’ll cross the Continental Divide. Drive highlights include views of some of the state’s highest peaks including Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive. Head back to Glenwood via Leadville, Tennessee Pass and Minturn.

Flat Tops Trail. Connecting Meeker and the town of Yampa, this is the landscape that inspired the U.S. government to preserve untouched wilderness areas.  Development of any kind is banned around Trapper’s Lake which is known as the “Cradle of Wilderness.”  Access it either via Rifle along Highway 13 to Meeker or by taking Highway 131 off I-70 in Eagle County.

Grand Mesa Trail. This drive travels across the world’s largest flattop mountain.  A recreational paradise, the region is home to more than 300 lakes. Be sure to take the short drive to Lands End where there is an observatory built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Take I-70 west to the DeBeque exit and enjoy the drive through Mesa, Skyway and Cedaredge.

To make Glenwood Springs your home base for adventure and book lodging reservations, go to www.visitglenwood.com.