As we climbed up into the mountains of Colorado, suddenly you could only hear the tires hitting the road and the chattering of aspen leaves. Not only can you hear the aspens along Guanella Pass Scenic Byway but you also can’t miss them for their good as gold color during the fall. Colorado fills with autumn drives, but perhaps one of the most accessible and convenient is that of Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. If you are looking for a nice fall drive in Colorado or merely just an afternoon jaunt up into the hills, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway won’t disappoint.
Where Is It: Guanella Pass Scenic Byway rests in between the South Platte and Clear Creek watersheds. It connects two major roads into the mountains, US Highway 285 and Interstate 70. You can reach the 22-mile byway from Denver in around an hour by car. You can begin traversing the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway from the town of Georgetown along I-70 or from the town of Grant along 285.
What You’ll See: What makes Guanella Pass Scenic Byway so appealing is the wealth that you can see along this stretch. From babbling brooks to expensive meadows, the route entertains for all 22 miles. Guanella Pass is guarded by both Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans, lending plenty of mountainous backdrops for photographs. Crossing over Guanella Pass Scenic Byway is also about following Colorado’s history. The route follows the original wagon road that linked the mining towns of Georgetown and Grant. The byway also provides a taste of both the Pike and Arapaho National Forests.
Why Go in the Fall: There are plenty of fall drives across the country, including in Colorado. However, Guanella Pass makes for a fine fall drive due to the wealth of aspens and the variety of landscapes to capture behind the lens. With a number of pullouts and stops along the route, you can easily get lost in an aspen grove glowing in gold. In order to see this drive at its peak time in the fall, it is best to consult local news websites to find out how the colors are faring on your visit.
Where To Stop: Aside from all of the pullouts, summit photograph opportunities and expansive meadows, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway is also about stopping in its neighboring mining towns, specifically Georgetown. The preserved Victorian settlement was once known as the Silver Queen of the Rockies due to its abundance of silver. Its National Historic Landmark District is home to a number of restored structures from Georgetown’s days as a booming mining community. You can begin or end your drive with lunch or dinner in town.
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