The Best Scenic Drives For Your Colorado Vacation
Pagosa Springs is home to some of the best scenic roads in Colorado. With more than 3 million acres of National Forest and wilderness areas, you are almost guaranteed to fall in love with these views as you head down the road. Below is a list of some of the best scenic drives Pagosa has to offer:
- Mill Creek Road – Turn off of Hwy 84 onto Mill Creek Road, next to the county fairgrounds. At 32 miles round trip, this road provides great panoramic views of Squaretop Mountain, as well as the upper San Juan Valley and the Blanco Basin. All but the last mile or so is accessible with any conventional vehicle, however 4wd is recommended if it has been raining. The road dead-ends, so you must return via the same route.
- Blanco Basin Road – Head south down Hwy 84 to the Blanco Basin Turnoff (CR 326) for amazing views of the Continental Divide, Squaretop Mountain, and Oil Mountain. If you have time for a quick (6 mile) side trip, I recommend taking a right turn onto Castle Creek Road (FS 660) across the Rio Blanco to Fish Creek. These roads dead-end and are approximately 40mi round trip.
- Lobo Overlook – Accessible from June to September, this spectacular overlook is located on the summit of Wolf Creek Pass on the North side of the road. With restrooms and a picnic area at the top, this is a great place to stop for a quick photo-shoot or just a lunch break! Accessible by conventional vehicles.
- Plumtaw/Piedra Loop – This 35 mile long Forest Service Access road begins in town as Four Mile Road and soon transitions into one of the highest forest roads in the area; making for great vistas and fall foliage opportunities. As Plumtaw transitions into Piedra Road (CR600,) you will cross over the Piedra River, and pass by the beautiful Piedra Gorge. This dirt road is accessible by all vehicles in the summer and fall months.
- East Fork – Located 10 miles down Hwy 160 on the right, East Fork provides incredible scenic views of “beehive” rock formations, as well as many valley and river views. The drive includes 2 river crossings, as well as some technical terrain so 4 wheel drive and high clearance is required. At the upper end of the valley there is a fork; going left will take you over Elwood Pass all the way to Summitville.
These are just a few of the many scenic drives Pagosa has to offer. It is recommended to check road conditions and closings here ahead of time so your drive goes as smoothly as possible. Drive Safe and don’t be afraid to explore!