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The trail is still in use today, but as the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway, taking travelers through a history-laden slice of Colorado.At certain points, you can even see the wagon ruts of original pioneers winding their way through the prairie grasses.Distance: 184 miles (one way)Route: Trinidad to Lamar Travel time: 4 hours Mountains here look as if they were painted.Crimsons bleed into purples and grays with vibrancy nearly unmatched by other peaks.The ride then takes you to the town of Westcliffe at the base of this range, then doubles back to the southern passage through the forest and ends in Colorado City, where flat-topped prairie buttes jut out from the prairie.Distance: 103 miles (one way)Route: Pueblo to Westcliffe to Colorado City Travel time: 3.5 hours Two of the most well-known buttes in Colorado’s prairie stand stark against the flat surroundings, the Pawnee Buttes.Groves of pine trees first greet you on this section, but gradually give way once the timberline is breeched.Riding along the exposed mountainside, you'll get a magnificent view of glacier-cut valleys and a seemingly endless horizon of sharp rocky peaks.
The grandeur of rocky peaks and lush blankets of pine trees accompany you through this route.
For more, view the quick guide to Colorado's Scenic and Historic Byways.
As the highest paved road in North America, the Mount Evans Road rises to a height of 14,130 feet above sea level.
Distance: 133 miles (one way)Route: Whitewater to Placerville Travel time: 3 hours The Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway charts a course through an area that was once a true cultural crossroads.
These foothills to the Rockies were used by Ute Indians, Spanish and American explorers, fur trappers, ranchers, prospectors and now by visitors seeking stunning mountain views and prairie buttes.