It might seem redundant in a place as beautiful as Colorado to label a byway “scenic.” After all, practically every highway west of Denver offers great views. But there’s just something special about certain roads. That’s why Colorado came up with the Scenic and Historic Byways designation (coloradobyways.org) three decades ago to recognize routes with “exceptional scenic, ecological, cultural, and historic attributes.” The 26 drives within this program span the state (11 are also nationally recognized as America’s Byways), and the ones closest to Aspen may be among the most scenic of all, offering a wide range of things to do and see. So set aside a couple of days, pick one of the itineraries on the following pages, and hit the open road to celebrate 30 years of byway bliss.

Image above: Fall foliage on Kebler Pass, part of the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway

 

In This Feature:

Top of the Rockies and Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byways

Iconic peaks, a monumental river, hot springs, ghost towns, and more

07/30/2019 By Todd Hartley Photography by Daniel Bayer

West Elk Loop Scenic Byway

A grand tour of Colorado’s own grand canyon and classic mountain scenery

07/30/2019 By Todd Hartley Photography by Daniel Bayer

Where to Camp Along Three Scenic Byways

Because sometimes you just want to sleep under the stars

07/30/2019 By Todd Hartley Photography by Daniel Bayer

Grand Mesa Scenic Byway

Expansive views and loads of lakes on a really big mountain

07/30/2019 By Todd Hartley Photography by Daniel Bayer