Colorado RV Vacation Scenic Byways

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Written by bike posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

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The Colorado Rockies offer RV vacationer a perfect paradise. You’ll find 25 scenic byways in this state, some of which are among the highest in elevation in the U.S. The views of the tall peaks and wide valleys are astounding. Along the way, you’ll find culturally interesting towns to visit, great trails to explore, and activities, such as rafting, mountain biking and kayaking to try out.
Below you’ll find a couple great byways to check out on your Colorado RV vacation.
Trail of the Ancients Scenic and Historic Byway

RV camping near a mountain lake in southwest Colorado. (Colorado Tourism Office)


Here you’ll find a other-worldy of reddish brown sandstone, buttes, mesas and hills are dotted with the dark green of piñon juniper pine. In the distance, the deep blue San Juan Mountains cut the horizon. Along the way you’ll find cliff dwellings tucked away in canyon alcoves and rock art decorating the sandstone are a few of the many highlights to investigate along this byway.
Highlights
Mesa Verde National Park, Dolores, Anasazi Heritage Center, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Yucca House National Monument, Cortez, Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez,
Facts and Figures
Beginning/Ending Points: Colorado/Utah border
Distance (one way): 114 miles
Estimated Driving Time Without Stops: 3 hours
Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway
Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway zigzags through Colorado’s San Luis Valley. The route eventually rises into the southern San Juan Mountains, where evergreens dominate the landscape.
Highlights
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway, San Luis and Stations of the Cross Shrine, Fort Garland, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, San Luis State Park, Alamosa
Beginning/Ending Points: Cumbres Pass, Alamosa
Distance (one way): 129 miles
Estimated Driving Time Without Stops: 3 hours
Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic and Historic Byway
It won’t take long to be amazed by the Pawnee National Grassland. Meadowlarks sing from their perches, pronghorn graze in the distance and the flat tops of the Pawnee Buttes jut up, dominating the horizon.
Note: Much of this road is packed dirt and caution should be exercised in heavy rain or snowy conditions.
Highlights
Ault, Pawnee National Grassland, Pawnee Buttes, Fort Morgan, Sterling , Overland Trail Museum
Distance (one way): 128 miles
Estimated Driving Time Without Stops: 3 hours
Beginning/Ending Points: Ault, Fort Morgan, Sterling
Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway
The Santa Fe Trail was one of the nation’s first major routes west. While a good portion of the trail runs through Colorado’s prairie, the original path spanned 900 miles and reached from Missouri to New Mexico. This route was so heavily used and integral to the country’s western migration, that original wagon ruts left by pioneers more than 150 years ago can still be seen along sections of the trail. While traveling this historic byway, watch for pronghorn on the prairie – the fastest land mammal in the western hemisphere.
Highlights
Welcome Center at Trinidad, Trinidad, Trinidad State Park, Comanche National Grassland, Fort Carson, La Junta, Rocky Ford, Bent’s Old Fort, Las Animas, John Martin Reservoir State Park, Welcome Center at Lamar
Facts and Figures
Beginning/Ending Points: Trinidad, Lamar
Distance (one way): 188 miles
Estimated Driving Time Without Stops: 4 hours
Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway
Route Summary: Dinosaur Diamond travels through Colorado’s Western Slope, where vineyards spread beneath the foot of tawny-colored mesas. The northern tip of the route passes near Dinosaur National Monument, where, in addition to spectacular fossil finds, rivers oxbow through the land, inviting river rafters to take paddle in hand and ride the rapids. Outside Fruita, along the southern section, take a detour into Colorado National Monument to marvel at its sandstone spires and bluffs.
Highlights
Grand Junction, Colorado National Monument, Fruita, Colorado Welcome Center at Fruita, Highline Lake State Park, Canyon Pintado, Dinosaur, Colorado Welcome Center at Dinosaur, Dinosaur National Monument
Facts and Figures
Distance (Colorado section, one way): 134 miles
Estimated Driving Time Without Stops: 4 hours
Beginning/Ending Points: Grand Junction, Dinosaur

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