Scenic Drives A Short Drive From Denver


Mt. Evans Scenic Byway

The highest paved road in the northern hemisphere
Take I-70 to Exit 240 and follow the signs to Highway 103 and Mount Evans. Drive South 14 miles and turn onto Highway 5, which will take you approximately 14 more miles to the Mount Evans Summit* (From Exit 240, it is about a 1 hour drive to the Summit)

Just before Highway 5 you will arrive at Echo Lake. Be sure to visit the Echo Lake Lodge Restaurant and Gift Shop for a bite to eat, or to pick up a few souvenirs. It is also the the last stop for water and restrooms before reaching the Summit. While you are here, you will need to check-in at the Forest Service Station and pay the Mount Evans Summit fee of $10 per vehicle to proceed driving up the remaining 14 miles on the highest paved highway in North America!

On your drive up you will pass several mountain lakes, and wind through the gorgeous Alpine Meadows, an ancient Bristlecone Pine forest with miles of undisturbed tundra, amazing plant life, and plentiful wildlife. You may even see Mountain Goats, Marmots, and many more animals along the way – We only ask that you DO NOT FEED any wildlife on your adventure.

Once you reach the Summit of Mount Evans, you will be at 14,265 feet with incredible views of the entire Front Range and the Continental Divide. Many of the flora and fauna life zones at the Summit are the same as those found at the Arctic Circle.

* The Mount Evans Summit, or the upper section of the road way is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day weather permitting. A small fee is charged for the upper section of the byway to help maintain this incredible road.

Guanella Pass Scenic Byway

Take I-70 to Exit 228 in Georgetown and follow the signs through Historic Georgetown to the Scenic Byway. 23 miles long, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway follows the original wagon route that linked the mining towns of Georgetown, Colorado and Grant, Colorado on US Highway 285.

Along the way you will experience clear mountain lakes, water falls, incredible flora and fauna, animals, and trail heads. The byway is a spectacular drive in the fall, as the aspens put on their autumn best and shower the byway with leaves of gold.

The byway is paved from Georgetown to just past the Summit, but not all the way to US Highway 285. Guanella Pass typically opens Memorial Day Weekend and remains open through late November – Weather Permitting.

“Oh My Gawd” Road aka Virginia Canyon

“Oh My Gawd Road” is the breath-taking, hair-raising shortcut to nearby Central City, another historic gold rush town known as the “richest square mile on earth” – This scenic dirt road gets its name from its spectacular views as well as its narrow and curving lanes. The canyon is filled with old mining sites, and like the travelers of yesterday, many people drive the road in search of gold as they travel between Idaho Springs and the gambling communities of Central City and Blackhawk. Open year round.

Take I-70 to Exit 241 in Idaho Springs. Follow Colorado Boulevard into town, and stay to the right at the fork, take the second right onto Virginia Canyon Road and follow the road up through the residential neighborhood, which then curves to the right onto the dirt road.

For local traffic information and webcams throughout Clear Creek County please visit or download the CDOT Mobile App for up to date traffic information. All information is provided by of the Colorado Department of Transportation.