Scenic Drives & Byways

Montrose, Colorado, is located in the center of some of the country's most scenic and historic drives, making it the perfect home base for all kinds of day trips.  There is never a wrong time of year to take in the amazing scenery while on a drive.  Just don't forget your camera!  Use our online map to find your way or request a map at the Visitor Center or call 1-855-497-8558 and we’ll mail one to you.  

Alpine Loop Back Country Byway
Explore 65 miles of spectacular peaks and narrow glacial valleys, including 12,000 foot passes and well-preserved remains of stamp mills, tramways and ghost towns from the mining boom of the late 1800s. Portions of the route may be visited in normal passenger cars, but beyond these points, off-road vehicles must be used. The Alpine Loop also provides access to exceptional high-country hiking, fishing, mountain biking, camping, and other outdoor adventure. Download the Alpine Loop map.

Bachelor Historic Loop
This 17 mile loop takes visitors through Creede's unique silver mining district and two ghost town sites. The tour begins at the kiosk at the fork of East and West Willow Creek in the canyon north of town and ends at the kiosk on Highway 149 in Creede.

Grand Mesa Byway

This "playground in the sky" climbs from the rugged Plateau Canyon floor to the cool evergreen mesa forests, 11,000 feet up. Featured are hundreds of sparkling lakes, wildflower meadows, and forests of shimmering aspen and pine. Take a side trip to Lands End Overlook where the Grand Valley unfolds below.

San Juan Skyway
Travel the "road to the sky" which offers views of the towering 14,000-foot San Juan Mountains to rolling hillsides speckled with ancient Indian pueblo ruins. Victorian towns offer both excitement and relaxation. Soak in hot springs, ride the narrow-gauge railroad, and sleep under the stars or in a cozy lodge.

Silver Thread Scenic Byway

The colorful old mining camps of the Silver Thread offer history, scenic beauty, and a heavy dose of authenticity. The heights around Creede and Lake City remain strewn with abandoned mining structures, most of them accessible via rugged backcountry roads.

Trail of the Ancients
Explore the long and intriguing occupation of the Four Corners region by Native American peoples. Travel through the archaeological heartland of America while crossing the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. World-renowned Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley Tribal Park, and Four Corners Monument are highlights on the trail.

Unaweep / Tabeguache Scenic & Historic Byway
A fabulous journey through history, geology, culture and nature awaits you on the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway. Consisting of Highways 141 and 145, the vast scenery along this byway will keep you inspired along your journey. Visit the historic Driggs Mansion or the Hanging Flume and step back into history to a much simpler time.

West Elk Loop
The twin summits of Mount Sopris and the incomparable Black Canyon of the Gunnison anchor the ends of the West Elk Loop. This magnificent landscape has been home to uncounted generations of Native Americans, most recently the Utes. White settlers originally came in search of minerals and stayed to farm and ranch. The coke ovens at Redstone bear witness to the toil that built the communities of today. Carbondale, Hotchkiss, Crawford, Gunnison, Crested Butte, and other towns offer a slice of Colorado's rich history, varied lifestyles, and natural beauty. The route gives access to the White River and Gunnison National Forests, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, Curecanti National Recreational Area, and Crawford and Paonia State Parks.