Scenic drives near Fort Collins

Did you know Fort Collins, Colorado, is surrounded by stunning scenery? It has rolling mountains, wide nature reserves, and historic spots. This area is full of breathtaking drives, perfect for exploring.

The scenic drives near Fort Collins are great for anyone. If you love nature, history, or just want an adventure, there’s something for you. You can see beautiful mountain views, find hidden gems, and even spot wildlife.

In this article, we’ll show you the top scenic routes and must-see driving spots. You’ll be amazed by the natural beauty close to Fort Collins.

So, get ready for unforgettable road trips. You’ll see stunning landscapes and have experiences you’ll never forget.

Scenic Drives with Mountain Views

Looking for beautiful mountain views on a road trip? The drives near Fort Collins are perfect. You’ll see winding mountain roads and wide vistas. These drives are ideal for anyone loving nature or seeking adventure.

The Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway is highly recommended. It’s a 101-mile journey full of breathtaking views. You’ll follow the Cache la Poudre River and pass through the Roosevelt National Forest. Expect to see towering peaks, deep forests, and clean lakes.

The Peak to Peak Scenic Byway is another gem. It covers 55 miles between Estes Park and Central City. This drive offers views of tall peaks, meadows, and forests. Don’t forget your camera to capture this beautiful area.

“The scenic drives near Fort Collins offer a truly immersive experience, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes and reconnect with nature.”

For a longer adventure, try the Trail Ridge Road. It’s the highest paved road in the U.S., spanning 48 miles. This road connects Estes Park with Grand Lake through the Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll see amazing mountain views, wildlife, and more. It’s a trip you won’t forget.

Scenic Drives with Mountain Views

Scenic Drive Distance Highlights
Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway 101 miles Spectacular mountain scenery, Cache la Poudre River, Roosevelt National Forest
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway 55 miles Panoramic views, Rocky Mountains, alpine meadows
Trail Ridge Road 48 miles Highest continuous paved road in the US, Rocky Mountain National Park, alpine tundra

Go on these drives near Fort Collins for unforgettable mountain views. Whether you’re by yourself, with friends, or your family, you’ll make great memories. You’ll come to love Colorado’s natural beauty.

Scenic Drive with Mountain Views

Must-See Driving Destinations

Fort Collins offers scenic drives and getaways that are breathtaking. These driving destinations are perfect for nature lovers and history fans. If you love driving through beautiful landscapes, Fort Collins is perfect for you.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Do you love mountain views and the outdoors? A trip to Rocky Mountain National Park is a must. The Trail Ridge Road takes you through the park, offering amazing views. You might also see some of the wildlife that lives there.

Boulder Canyon Drive

Looking for a stunning drive that’s a bit shorter? Try Boulder Canyon Drive. This road follows Boulder Creek and has beautiful views. You’ll see waterfalls and cliffs along the way.

Estes Park

Estes Park is a scenic town near Fort Collins. It’s surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and is near the famous Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive along the Big Thompson River to get there is beautiful.

Poudre Canyon Highway

The Poudre Canyon Highway is breathtaking and near Fort Collins. It follows the Cache La Poudre River and has amazing cliffs and fall foliage to see. It’s perfect for a picnic with many areas to stop.

Glenwood Canyon

Head to Glenwood Canyon south of Fort Collins for a drive you won’t forget. The drive on Interstate 70 beside the Colorado River is beautiful. Stop for a hike at Hanging Lake Trailhead to see a turquoise lake.

San Juan Skyway

For a longer adventure, try the San Juan Skyway. This 233-mile loop shows off Colorado’s beauty. You’ll see mountains, towns, and beautiful fall colors. Don’t miss the chance to drive the Million Dollar Highway and visit Durango.

These driving destinations near Fort Collins are unforgettable. Get ready, play your favorite music, and start your adventure. You’ll see stunning natural beauty that will amaze you.

Driving Routes for Nature Lovers

Fort Collins offers stunning drives for those who love nature. The area features big mountains, green forests, and calm lakes. These picturesque routes let you dive into the beautiful scenery around the city.

Rocky Mountain National Park is a top spot to visit. It’s not far from Fort Collins and has amazing mountain views, clear lakes, and lots of animals. The Trail Ridge Road is a scenic drive that shows off the park’s beauty.


To get up close with nature, try the Poudre Canyon drive. It follows the Cache la Poudre River through tall cliffs and forests. You can hike, fish, and camp here, and the views from Highway 14 are not to be missed.

For a wilderness adventure, visit the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. Scenic byways like Cache la Poudre-North Park and the Peak to Peak Scenic offer beautiful drives. You’ll see tall trees and stunning nature all around.

The Lory State Park is another great place near Fort Collins. It has routes that lead to beautiful views and quiet spots for picnics. The West Valley Trail shows off amazing views of Horsetooth Reservoir.

While on these routes, make sure your camera is ready. You’ll see breathtaking views and might spot some wildlife. Whether you love taking photos, walking, or just being in nature, these drives will amaze you.

Driving Routes for Nature Lovers

Driving Routes Main Attractions
Rocky Mountain National Park Spectacular mountain views, alpine lakes, wildlife spotting
Poudre Canyon Scenic overlooks, hiking trails, fishing spots
Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests Towering trees, diverse landscapes, wildlife viewing
Lory State Park Panoramic viewpoints, picnic areas, Horsetooth Reservoir

Get ready to enjoy these amazing drives near Fort Collins. Let the beauty of nature surround you as you explore.

Driving Routes for Nature Lovers

Road Trips to Historic Sites

Love history? The roads near Fort Collins are perfect for you, with stunning views leading to fascinating historic spots. These trips offer more than just pretty sights. They take you through intriguing stories of the past.

The Rocky Mountain National Park is a key stop, rich in history. Drive through Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the U.S. This area shows old mining sites, Native American hunting spots, and tales of the early settlers.

There’s also the Estes Park Museum close by, which captures Estes Park’s history. It’s a must-see on your way. You’ll learn about Native Americans, early settlers, and the town’s growth from the exhibits.

“Exploring the scenic drives near Fort Collins is a journey that allows you to connect with the past and immerse yourself in the rich history of the region.” – Amy Johnson, History Enthusiast

For a different historic site, head to the Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs. It has scenic drives to Cheyenne Mountain, home to a military post from the Cold War. Go on a guided tour to understand its important role.

Don’t miss the Fort Garland Museum in the San Luis Valley. This adobe fort from the 1800s offers a look at frontier life in the Southwest. You can see how it was involved in battles with Native Americans and as a living space.

Scenic Drive to Historic Site

Historic Sites near Fort Collins

Historic Site Description
Rocky Mountain National Park A national park known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich historical background. Explore old mining camps and Native American hunting grounds.
Estes Park Museum A museum showcasing the history of Estes Park, from its early Native American inhabitants to the development of the town.
Cheyenne Mountain Complex A military installation located atop Cheyenne Mountain. Take a guided tour to learn about its role during the Cold War.
Fort Garland Museum A historic adobe fort offering insights into frontier life in the American Southwest during the mid-1800s.

Journey these scenic roads near Fort Collins for a history-filled adventure. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes and learn from the past. It’s a great mix of nature and historical tales, perfect for those who love both.

Hidden Gems Along the Scenic Routes

Exploring the scenic routes near Fort Collins reveals more than just beautiful views. You find hidden gems like small towns, quiet trails, and old historic spots. These add a special wonder to your journey.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations

Estes Park is a must-see, not far from Fort Collins. It’s surrounded by the Rockies and a short drive from Rocky Mountain National Park. Walk downtown, check out the shops, and enjoy local food.

Don’t miss the Cache la Poudre Scenic Byway. It’s full of waterfalls, cliffs, and flowers beside the river. Stop at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre for live music in a natural setting.

Quaint Mountain Towns

Lyons is perfect for a visit. It’s where two creeks meet and is known for its art, beer, and food scene. A walk by the river lets you soak in the local vibe.

Nederland offers a quiet escape. It’s great for outdoor fun, culture, and friendly mountain town charm. Don’t miss the unique Carousel of Happiness and trails for walking and hiking.

Hidden Natural Wonders

Don’t overlook Red Feather Lakes. It’s a peaceful mountain area with lots of outdoor activities. You can hike, bike, or go fishing and enjoy the calm of nature.

For a unique outing, visit Soapstone Prairie and Red Mountain. They give open prairie views and a chance to see lots of wildlife. A hike or drive here shows off truly beautiful, untouched landscapes.

Finding these hidden gems near Fort Collins is a chance to discover new beauty. Let the adventure of visiting these places enchant you. Exploring these spots will make lasting memories.

best scenic routes

Scenic Drives for Outdoor Activities

Fort Collins and its nearby areas are perfect for outdoor lovers. They offer many scenic drives for activities like hiking, cycling, fishing, and camping. These routes are ideal for weekend trips, getting you closer to nature.

Hiking Trails for Nature Enthusiasts

Looking for great hiking trails? Journey through the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway. It shows off the beautiful Cache la Poudre River Canyon. Plus, you can find trails leading to stunning mountain and lake views. Get ready for a wild hiking adventure.

Biking Routes for Cycling Enthusiasts

Love cycling? Try the Horsetooth Reservoir Scenic Drive. It’s perfect for biking, with amazing views of the Horsetooth Reservoir. The area has trails for all levels, letting you enjoy nature and great cycling.

Fishing Spots for Anglers

If fishing is your thing, check out the Poudre River Canyon Drive. It runs along the Cache la Poudre River, known for its great trout spots. Bring your fishing gear and enjoy peaceful fishing with beautiful views.

Camping Sites for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Peak to Peak Highway has stunning campsites for campers. Camp under the tall pines with mountain views. Do activities like hiking or biking during the day. At night, enjoy the stars and a warm campfire.

“These scenic drives near Fort Collins are more than beautiful. They offer unforgettable outdoor fun, from quiet wilderness to exciting adventures. There’s something for everyone.”

Get ready for an adventure. Pack your gear, fuel up, and hit the road to Fort Collins. You’re in for an amazing outdoor experience.

top driving trails

Autumn Foliage Drives

See the stunning fall colors by taking a drive near Fort Collins. You’ll find amazing sights of colorful leaves creating beautiful scenes. We have a list of the greatest routes for enjoying autumn’s beauty.

1. Poudre Canyon

Poudre Canyon, near Fort Collins, is a lovely drive in autumn. It’s lined with golden aspens, dark evergreen forests, and high peaks. Catch the colors from late September to early October for the best views.

2. Peak to Peak Highway

Drive the famous Peak to Peak Highway between Estes Park and Black Hawk. You’ll see Rocky Mountain views and aspens turning a riot of colors. Visit from late September to mid-October for the brightest foliage.

3. Pawnee National Grassland

Head to Pawnee National Grassland for a different fall landscape. Its golden prairies mix with trees and shrubs that change color. Visit from late September to early October to see the best of autumn.

scenic drives near Fort Collins

4. Lory State Park

Lory State Park, next to Fort Collins, is perfect for a fall drive. See aspens, oaks, and cottonwoods in brilliant colors. Drive through for the best views from late September to mid-October.

5. Red Feather Lakes

Drive out to Red Feather Lakes for a glimpse of autumn’s beauty. Flanked by dense forests and clear lakes, it’s a scenic spot. Late September to early October is the prime time to go.

Scenic Drive Best Time to Visit
Poudre Canyon Late September to early October
Peak to Peak Highway Late September to mid-October
Pawnee National Grassland Late September to early October
Lory State Park Late September to mid-October
Red Feather Lakes Late September to early October

Scenic Drives for Wildlife Spotting

Fort Collins is a great spot to enjoy nature from your car. There are many beautiful driving routes for nature lovers. You can see amazing scenery and a variety of wildlife.

The Pawnee National Grassland is a top spot for seeing wildlife. While driving, watch out for pronghorns, coyotes, and all sorts of birds. This big grassland is perfect for those who love nature and taking photos.

Driving Routes for Nature Lovers

Make your trip unforgettable by visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park. This famous park is home to lots of animals like elk and black bears. Drive on Trail Ridge Road for spectacular views and a chance to see animals in the wild.

Next, check out the Cache la Poudre River Canyon. This drive has views of the river and big cliffs. It’s also a good place to see bighorn sheep and birds. Enjoy the peaceful atmoshpere of this secret spot.

Plan for a safari at the expansive State Forest State Park located just west of Fort Collins. This park is filled with animals like moose and elk. Drive along Colorado State Highway 14 to see these creatures and experience a unique adventure.

When viewing wildlife, drive carefully and follow the rules. Stay a safe distance, be quiet, and never feed or bother the animals.

Seeing wildlife in their natural home is a special experience. These scenic drives around Fort Collins show the amazing diversity of Colorado’s wildlife.


Congratulations on finding the beautiful drives near Fort Collins! You can go on these scenic road trips to see stunning landscapes and make great memories. No matter what you like – nature, history, or adventure – you’ll find something fun.

Enjoy drives with amazing mountain views or find hidden treasures. Fort Collins has a lot of places to see. In the fall, you can see colorful leaves or watch wildlife in their homes. You can also visit important historic spots to learn about the area’s past.

But what’s really cool is the journey itself. Driving along the winding roads, you’ll see vast views and feel close to nature. This is how you really see the beauty of Fort Collins and its nearby areas.

Don’t wait any longer. Get in your car, pick a route, and start your adventure. Whether you’re from here or just visiting, these drives are a great way to experience Colorado’s beauty. They will make your trip special and different from usual.