Idaho Springs: Tons of Scenic Drives Near Denver
Enjoying the beauty of Colorado has never been easier! There are protected areas that are specifically meant for you to travel just to marvel at the preserved beauty of the mountains. There are so many incredible scenic drives near Denver for you to take in, and Idaho Springs is ready to provide. Because this mountain town is only 30 miles west of Denver, these drives make a perfect day trip to enjoy the Rockies.
MT. EVANS 2021 UPDATE!
The Mt. Evans Scenic Byway was closed for all of 2020 due to state COVID restrictions. With summer here, the road is once again open for visitors! However, you MUST make reservations prior to the day you wish to drive Colorado’s most beautiful road. While reservations were not required prior to 2020, they are now.
You can make those reservations here!
Oh My Gawd (This) Road!
We’re starting off with a drive that makes you feel like you’re living on the edge – literally. The “Oh-My-God” road (also known as Virginia Canyon Road) boasts an exhilarating experience and beautiful views. Thinner than most 2-lane roads and with a steep edge (and no railing – yikes!), you may need a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and a bit of skill to go with it! But these views and this experience are so worth it.
As you drive on the side of a mountain, you can see the whole mountain range in every direction. This 8.5 mile road has a history to it as well – there are abandoned mines, ghost towns, and more along this route from Idaho Springs to Central City. Surrounded by nature, this is one of those scenic drives near Denver that you won’t want to miss.
Scenic Byway, On Your Way
Idaho Springs also flaunts the gorgeous Mt. Evans Scenic Byway as well. There is no better way to experience the Rocky Mountains and Colorado beauty in general. From Denver, just take I-70 to Idaho Springs and take Exit 240. When the road is fully open, it reaches higher than 14,000 feet and boasts panoramic views of the mountains. Along the way, you can see stop at beautiful lookout points such as Echo Lake, Summit Lake, and others. And don’t forget to look for the classic Colorado wildlife! You may see bighorn sheep, elk, birds, and more!
The full scenic drive is open in the summer only, typically from Memorial Day to Labor Day to ensure safety, as freezing rain happens at the high elevation throughout the year. A portion of the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway route stays open a bit later in the year, so you can continue to enjoy the drive from Echo Lake to Summit Lake for just a little longer. If you’re live in Denver, this scenic drive is one to do over and over!
The Beauty in the Journey
The area in and around Idaho Springs is home to many other trails too! The Barbour Forks Trail is a heavily wooded drive just south of downtown Idaho Springs off of Soda Creek Rd., that is for a higher skill level, but certainly just as fun! The Guanella Pass Scenic Byway is another fantastic option! This 22-mile road provides spectacular views of the Rockies. Take your time with a quick detour to enjoy the views, the animals, and natural Colorado beauty.
Tons of Scenic Drives Near Denver
Idaho Springs is perfect for a day or weekend trip from Denver! All of these scenic drives offer a variety of views, difficulty levels, and FUN! We’ll catch you on the road for these scenic drives near Denver! Colorado scenery never gets old!