I’ve hosted several out-of-state visitors recently. Each time another friend comes to stay, they always want to see as much of Colorado as possible over a very short period of time. As a result, I’ve perfected a day-long road trip loop that delivers some of the best of what Colorado has to offer while only taking roughly 6 to 7 hours (pending traffic on I-70 and weather).
GARDEN OF THE GODS, COLORADO
Begin by heading west on Highway 24. This takes us past Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak through Ute Pass and headed toward Woodland Park.
PIKES PEAK FROM WOODLAND PARK, COLORADO
Not only does Woodland Park deliver great mountain views, it has one of the best doughnut shops on the Front Range. Grab a cinnamon roll as big as your face from the Donut Mill plus a few extra doughnut holes to stay fueled for the rest of the trip!
WILKERSON PASS, COLORADO
From Woodland Park, we jump back on 24 past Divide and towards Hartsel. This part of the drive will take you to one of the most beautiful views in the state. When you reach the top of Wilkerson Pass, you’ll look out onto a basin dotted with cattle and ringed by 14ers in the distance. You’ve reached the edge of the Front Range and are well on your way into the mountains. This route is rarely busy, so pull over at the summit and take a couple of pictures.
Wilkerson Pass is also a great spot to pass through during the fall if you’re hoping to spot changing colors.