Scenic Drives & Byways:
Jaw-Dropping Drives in Western Colorado
Montrose 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. Make sure you don't forget your camera!
Use our online map to find your way or request a map at the Visitor Center or call 970-497-8558 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
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, blossoming wildflower meadows, and shimmering aspen and pine forests. 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, beauty, and 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
Unaweep / Tabeguache Scenic & Historic Byway
A fabulous journey through history, geology, culture
West Elk Loop
The twin summits of Mount Sopris and the incomparable Black Canyon 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, Black Canyon National Park, Curecanti National Recreational Area, and Crawford and Paonia State Parks.