Secret Summer Drives
5 Scenic Colorado Roads for the Perfect Summer Drive
If you’re like us, you’re counting down the days until the rain stops and the sun permanently comes out for summer. There’s nothing like a drive in a MINI when it’s sunny and Colorado is the perfect place to hit the road. Whether you’re a city dweller or we can find you in the mountains most days of the week, there are several drives throughout our beautiful state that are worth planning ahead for. But what about the non-obvious drives? We’ve put a list together of some of the best secret summer drives. Maybe you’ve passed by these places, or have even ventured them before, but you’re going to want to make a bucket list for driving this summer.
Top of the Rockies
Red Cliff, CO 80461
If you have the whole day to spend driving around, the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway is definitely the road to visit. In its entirety, this byway is 115 miles long. You can get through it in just about three hours, but you’re going to want to stop and get some memory photos with the MINI. If you want to do more than just drive, there are hiking trails, off-road 4WD tours and more summer activities awaiting.
Highway of Legends
309 Nevada Ave., Trinidad, CO 81082
For a history lesson while on your drive, you’ll want to visit the Highway of Legends. During this drive, you’ll get to see volcanic formations radiating outward from the Spanish Peaks, while also viewing ranch land and forest areas. This is a southern Colorado trip that could even take you to New Mexico if you wanted to keep exploring.
Gold Belt Tour
3170 E. Main St., Cañon City, CO 81212
For another history lesson in itself, head to Colorado’s largest mining district during your drive through the Gold Belt Tour. You’ll drive through Cripple Creek, Victor, Canon City, Florence and Florissant, and get to see where the mining industry was once booming. There are museums to visit, historic gold camps to explore, and even fossils to be found.
The Lariat Loop
987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Rd., Golden, CO 80401
For a drive that’s not too far from downtown Denver, head west to Golden for a quick drive through the foothills. The Lariat Loop is about 40 miles of tight twists and turns, among places to pull off for a fantastic view of the city below. On this drive, you can also visit Lookout Mountain where you can see just about everything for miles on a clear day.
550 Jurassic Court, Fruita, CO 81521
The longest route in this list is Dinosaur Diamond, with 512 miles of wonder and free-range driving. This route will take you through Colorado into Utah territory, but you’ll want to explore each of the 512 miles. The road is long and even has historic stops like scenery fossil quarries. Why is it called Dinosaur Diamond, you ask? Well that’s because the road forms a diamond-shaped loop with vertices at Moab, Helper, Vernal and Grand Junction.