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5 Most Scenic Drives in Colorado
Colorado is home to the iconic Rocky Mountains, whitewater rapids, thick pine forests and red rock canyons. Our state has won a genetic lottery of sorts, making it difficult to drive far without passing through jaw-dropping scenery. This summer, pack a picnic lunch, fill up your gas tank and head out to explore some of the state’s most stunning corners. We’ve chosen five Colorado road trips that will have you pulling your car to the side to get a better look. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
1. Desert Meets Snow
This unlikely pair of landscapes set the backdrop of the San Luis Valley. The 46-mile journey from the town of San Luis will bring you through a valley and end at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This natural wonder will have you convinced you’ve been transported to the deserts of a faraway land. The snowcapped Rocky Mountains tower just beyond the desert sands and create a rare juxtaposition. If you’re up for a little side trip, continue through wetland refuge in Alamosa to find yourself in a bird-watching paradise. This road trip will show you three distinctly different climates, though you won’t cross any state borders.
2. Drive on Top of the World
For the best panoramic views of the Rockies, Trail Ridge Road can’t be beat. Be sure to plan this road trip for summertime because come winter, it is closed. This 48-mile road stretches east to west from Estes Park to Grand Lake, and reaches an altitude of just over 12,000 feet. It will bring you past meadows of wildflowers as well as glacier-carved valleys. If you don’t want to stay in the confines of your vehicle, lace up your hiking boots and explore one of the many trailheads that will have you singing Imagine Dragon’s “I’m On Top of the World!”
3. Go off the Grid
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and aren’t afraid to get a little gravel under your tires, Rampart Range Road is just the journey to satisfy your cravings for a rugged adventure. The 60 miles of gravel road snakes north from Colorado Springs to Sedalia, and passes through forests, prairies and mountains. Dotted along the way you’ll find Devil’s Head, Garden of the Gods and Queens Canyon, just a few of Colorado’s prime attractions.
4. Travel Back in Time
Though it stretches just 23 short miles from Fruita westbound to Grand Junction, Rim Rock Road offers motorists some of the most scenic views in all of Colorado. Park your car and wander down one of the many short trails that’ll let you take in the rugged terrain in all its glory. Some of the rock layers you’ll brush up against are nearly 2 billion years old! Just imagine how different life was back then. You certainly wouldn’t be able to reach this place on four wheels!
5. Adrenaline and Adventure
San Juan Skyway is a 236-mile loop, with a great starting and ending point in Durango. This stretch of road is carved through some of southwestern Colorado’s most legendary towns. Ride next to shimmering rivers, cross high mountain passes and stop in mining towns that look the same as they did a hundred years ago. This eastern stretch of this loop, from Silverton to Ouray, is famously known as the Million Dollar Highway and is etched into the mountainside. It may be hard, but try to keep your eyes on the infamously dangerous road because the hairpin turns are relentless and the drop down is steep.
Being on the road for long hours on end can be tiring. When you’re ready for a break, stop in at Isle® Casino Blackhawk to relax and reenergize. Charge your batteries on the game floor, and satiate your hunger at one of the three onsite dining establishments.
If you’re worried that your set of wheels can’t handle all the road you’re planning to cover this summer, we’ve got just the solution for you. Isle Casino Blackhawk is hosting a Win a Jeep® a Week promotion on Saturdays in July. End your week with a chance to win a Jeep® Wrangler. We’ll be giving away a free Jeep® every Saturday in July!
- Start earning entries June 1.
- Earn one free entry each day you visit and additional entries for every 100 tier points.
- Earn bonus entries based on your tier every Tuesday:
- 10X: Club and Select
- 20X: Gold
- 30X: Platinum
- 40X: Millionaire.
That’s right; you could win a brand new Jeep® to take you on all the scenic road trips Colorado has to offer! Stop by today to enter!