Click the “Add to Road Trip” above to start planning your next road trip. Use our free Road Trip Planner to completely plan your adventure. frequently subject to change. We checked out the area around the park and did this drive. Or for added fun, take exit 240 to Idaho Springs where you can take Virginia Canyon Road (T1). Farther off the beaten path, Apex townsite has transformed from 1,000 residents in its heyday to a handful of scattered buildings. The seasons listed are the best seasons for this scenic drive. 1. Explore the Rocky Mountain National Park on this all-day trip from Denver or Boulder. Gravel roads crossing the main highway lead to ghost towns at Hesse and Apex; others lead to high country lakes. Don’t miss Panorama Point, which as you can guess from its name, offers a spectacular panoramic view of the 14,264-foot tall Mount Evans, Denver, Roosevelt National Forest, and the peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. The byway will take you to Estes Park. Back on CO-119, turn left onto CO-72 in the town of Nederland, adjacent the Barker Meadow Reservoir. The original film with Jack Nicolson and Shelley Duvall was not filmed here but the mini-series was. Drivers can visit Rocky Mountain National Park, Allenspark, ghost towns, gold mines and historic Black Hawk. Continuing through dense forest for 10 miles, turn left onto CO-7. Also part of the National Historic Landmark District is the Belvidere Theatre, which once served as the town’s entertainment hub and is now undergoing a restoration. The Byway winds its w, The Peak to Peak Scenic Byway that begins at Black Hawk and continues through Nederland to Estes Park is one of the most beautiful drives in the Fall. The route winds 55 miles in and out of national forest lands through some of the state’s most striking mountain landscapes and is very easily accessible from Boulder and Denver. var date = new Date(); In the town of Ward, turn left onto Forest Road 112 to reach Brainard Lake Recreation Area (H2). All Rights Reserved, Explore Lodging, Activities, Restaurants, & More. : a few gravesites and several buildings, including the Nevada Lodge No. Inside the park, you’ll have the chance to take short hikes or simply relax. In particular, Central City — an official Colorado Main Street community — hearkens back to the Victorian era and a prime example is the decadent Central City Opera House (built in 1878), which remains a big draw for performing-arts lovers in the summer. The twin towns of Central City and Black Hawk are lined with Victorian-era buildings reminiscent of a time long past. Late May to early Oct., access to the popular Hessie Trailhead is best via free shuttle from the Nederland Park-n-Ride (HessieTrailhead.com). After visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, we proceeded on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway that offered scenic views of the Parks highest peaks as well as beautiful fall colors. Skirting the lower ridges of the Front Range and Rocky Mountain National Park, the Peak to Peak byway takes you along the Continental Divide, mining ghost towns, Victorian-era opulence and views of Longs Peak. Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway is a 60.3 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Central City, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. is an arts- and community-focused gem worth a stop. means, without permission in writing from the publisher. As it is open year round, many activities can be enjoyed along this scenic byway. Photo: TheBoyFromFindlay/Flickr Creative Commons. All rights reserved. However, Nederland (the town that was established to supply Caribou) lives on. Definitely the best way to go when making your way up to RMNP. At the south end of the Peak to Peak Byway, the historic gold rush towns of Black Hawk and Central City are now known for their casinos and the Central City Opera House. Today, they offer bright lights and winning sounds of bells and laughter in the numerous bustling casinos while still retaining Old West charm. If Winter is not mentioned, the road may be closed during the winter. Click here for the photo tour. The duration is an estimate of a one-way drive and does not include any stops or side-trips.
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