Colorado's mountainous landscape is breathtaking all year-round. However, there is something especially stunning about the majestic snow-capped peaks during the winter months.
If you’re in search of stunning places to enjoy some cold-weather vistas, consider these popular pull-offs in and around Colorado’s Grand Valley.
This paved drive travels up and over the beautiful Grand Mesa, the world's largest flattop mountain.
Following State Highway 65, the road is surrounded by the Grand Mesa National Forest, which runs along the rim of the mesa for most of its length. You'll see snow-dusted forests and dozens of frozen lakes, along with fascinating wildlife and blankets of pristine snow. The Grand Mesa also offers winter activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, and skiing and snowboarding at legendary Powderhorn Resort.
Colorado National Monument's Rim Rock Drive is a sight to behold during the snowy season. The 23-mile journey includes clear blue skies, gorgeous red rock canyons, and spectacular views the entire way. It also includes numerous signed viewpoints, the informative Saddlehorn Visitor Center, a winter campground, and 14 hiking trails.
During the cold season, you'll want to allow for about an hour of driving time, so you can navigate the weather conditions and have time to stop at viewpoints for photos. This scenic drive is also a great place to watch Colorado foliage change colors during fall.
Cutting through snow-dusted red sandstone canyons, this incredible drive makes a scenic loop around the Uncompahgre Plateau.
Marvel at a striking landscape known for its quiet beauty and lovely views of one of the state's biggest national forests, the Uncompahgre National Forest. In addition to its gorgeous vistas, this area also includes backcountry camping, hunting, and fishing sites. The flat to hilly drive is 133 miles and takes a full three hours to complete. That said, you can cut it short at any point and still get a full dose of winter beauty.
The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway takes you through an incredible landscape that used to tremble beneath the feet of ancient titans. Once prolific in the area, dinosaurs have left their mark on the land, which is laden with preserved footprints and fossils.
You’ll see colorful red and ochre canyons and dramatic red rock formations as you make your way through the 22-mile, one-way route. The route cuts through gorge-studded areas, wide valleys, and the very tops of the canyons – which look out over a mesmerizing winter landscape.
During the winter, road conditions in Colorado can become dangerous very quickly. Before setting out to enjoy winter views on any of these roadways, it's important to be aware of potential snow, ice, and dangerous winds.
You can research road conditions at CDOT's Travel Center or by using this other helpful resource. If there is any risk of inclement weather, consider rescheduling your drive. If you do choose to drive on wet or snowy roads, be sure to travel at slower speeds and leave plenty of room between your car and other vehicles. You should also read over these winter driving tips for Colorado.