I just spent two days traveling through parts of Colorado that I haven’t seen in many years. In my humble opinion, we do live in the most beautiful! I’ve lived in Winter Park Colorado for the last 30 years and still marvel at the vistas that surround me.
Within the Fraser Valley itself, the views span from the Continental Divide, to Indian Peaks, to Byers Peak, past Winter Park Resort and all the way to James and Perry Peaks at the south end of the valley. In the Grand Lake area, there are views to be found of Mt. Baldy and Grand Lake, then on into Rocky Mountain National Park. They are truly phenomenal. Trail Ridge Road will provide the traveler with wildlife, mountain views that will take your breath away, wild flowers and tundra hiking.
These areas are in my backyard, and I do count myself as incredibly lucky to be able to see these views on a daily basis. However, my travels this week took me down to the Snowmass/Aspen area and if you haven’t seen that area recently, it’s gorgeous. Mt. Sopris is a commanding presence and while I think the skiing at Ajax, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass is amazing, the summers are truly spectacular. From that area I then drove into Crested Butte via Carbondale. I have not driven McClure Pass, from Carbondale to Paonia State Park, in a very long time. Redstone is still amazing but McClure Pass is magnificent. From the state park, I took a lesser traveled road called Kebbler Pass into Crested Butte. The vistas weren’t as grand but the forest of beautiful trees was a sight to behold.
From the Crested Butte area, I took Taylor Road over to the bottom of Cottonwood Pass. I have never been through that area and it is amazing. It seemed to be a true fisherman’s paradise. Not being a fisherman, I decided to just enjoy the Taylor River for the beautiful river that it is. The Taylor Reservoir was just as wonderful. Cottonwood Pass impressed me, most importantly because I remember world-class cyclists riding this road during the Pro Challenge Cycling Tour. Finally, coming up through Buena Vista to Leadville with the Collegiate Peaks on my left was a great way to bring myself back to Grand County. Traveling back to I-70 from Leadville is common to me now, as I have taken that route many times recently yet it never fails to impress me. Then back up Berthoud Pass to my hometown of Winter Park is still one of the most beautiful drives in the Rocky Mountains.
I hope you get to meander on some of these incredible Scenic Byways of Colorado, It is well worth the trip!