Written by Meteorologist Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – In a state like Colorado, there is no such thing as a bad drive when it comes to seeking out fall color.

Most every mountain highway provides breath-taking views full of yellow, orange, red and the infamous gold.

Here are some of the more popular leaf-viewing routes broken down by region.


  • Lizard Head Pass – Colorado 145 south of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains
  • Kebler Pass – Gunnison County Road 12 in the West Elk Mountains
  • U.S. 160 between Del Norte and Cortez over Wolf Creek Pass and through Pagosa Springs
  • Colorado 135 betweeen Crested Butte and Gunnison
  • Slumgullion Pass – Colorado 149 east of Lake City in the San Juan Mountains
  • U.S. 550 over Red Mountain Pass between Ridgway and Durango
  • McClure Pass – Colorado 133 south of Redstone




  • Flat Tops Trail Scenic and Historic Byway – 82 miles between Meeker to Yampa
  • Willow Creek Pass – Colorado 125 near Granby in the Rabbit Ears Range
  • U.S 40 in the vicinity of Rabbit Ears Pass
  • Maroon Bells near Aspen
  • Colorado 65 over the Grand Mesa




  • Cottonwood Pass – Chaffee County Road 306 west of Buena Vista in the Saguache Mountains
  • Gold Camp Road betweeen Colorado Springs and Victor
  • Colorado 67 through Cripple Creek and Divide
  • US 285 over Kenosha Pass between Fairplay and Conifer
  • Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway – Minturn to Twin Lakes via Leadville
  • Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
  • US. 50 over Monarch Pass


Fall colorDave Thrush took this photo on Sept. 21 near Vail



  • Peak to Peak Highway between Black Hawk and Estes Park
  • Guanella Pass Scenic Byway south of Georgetown
  • Squaw Pass west of Bergen Park
  • Colorado 14 through the Poudre Canyon west of Fort Collins
  • Fall River Road near Saint Mary’s Glacier off I-70 and Exit 238




  • Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway – Colorado 96 west of Pueblo
  • Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway – Colorado 12 between La Veta and Trinidad


RELATED: The Science Behind Colorado’s Fall Color Show

Additional Resources

The following information was released by the Colorado Department of Transportation om September:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers a Rush to the Gold Brochure and other suggestions at cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/SeasonalFall.aspx.


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