a VirtualTourist member from Miami
Hello all, I'm taking my girlfriend and friends to Colorado in March and id like to know of any scenic roads and sights open at that time. We'll be staying in Estes park but im willing to drive about 3.5hrs just to get there since ill be in CO for a week. Thank you in advance and im open to any suggestions.
Probably the most scenic drive in Colorado is through Rocky Mountain National Park, just past Estes Park. But, you're coming in March, and that road will be closed. It doesn't open until June, at the earliest.
You'll find the same will be the case for most scenic roads. Honestly, it's just not a good time to be driving around in the state. If your goal is scenic touring and not skiing, then I would suggest you go later in the year.
Failing that, consider taking Highway 7 south from Estes Park to reach Highway 72, the Peak to Peak Highway. That will take you to Nederland. It skirts the highest peaks and winds through some beautiful country. At Nederland, you can continue on to Boulder through Boulder Canyon, which is another gorgeous drive.
But will any of these roads be open? No telling. You also have to be really wary of snow and ice and, if you're driving a rental car, note that you're not allowed to use snow chains so, when you hit one of those restricted areas, you just have to turn around.
It's true that the most beautiful roads will no doubt be closed, but get on the Interstate and visit Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen if you can drive there. They're great towns and fun to walk around, shop, eat etc.
You should be able to take some lovely drives in the week's time that you will be here. It is true that Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park will be closed, but you will still be able to access the eastern part of the park from Estes Park. The Peak to Peak Highway as suggested in the prior comment would be a good drive to take from your location. Also, if you continue south from Nederland instead of east towards Boulder, you can take a scenic drive through Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Exit the park at Highway 93, and head back north towards Boulder. South of Boulder, you will see a sign for Eldorado Canyon State Park, which has interesting rock formations. From Boulder you should be able to swing left (west) on Canyon Boulevard and head right back up to Nederland and continue north to Estes Park.
Another scenic route a little bit farther afield is to drive from Fort Collins through Poudre Canyon on Highway 14. If you have a full day, you can keep on that road all the way to Steamboat Springs, but you may want to turn around at Walden instead.
And, as someone suggested, I-70 west of Denver is very scenic. If you don't want to take it all the way over the Continental Divide, stop at Georgetown. It's a very quaint and historical mountain town.
Here's hoping the weather cooperates. I can't imagine the roads being impassable the entire week you are here. I think the odds are in your favor that you will be able to enjoy at least a little mountain driving.