We love to go hiking in the mountains of Colorado, but sometimes we just need to drive through them on our way to someplace else. There isn’t a single time that we do that we don’t marvel at the beauty of our state. We have a sort of love-hate relationship with driving through the mountains, though, especially if we have to take I-70 west from Denver as we did in order to get to Moab, Utah. It doesn’t take long before a scenic mountain drive turns into a gridlock of vehicles all trying to head west at the same time. Fortunately, we usually account for the extra hour or so of traffic, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t stressful at times.
Once we get through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which takes you under Loveland Pass, things start to improve. After Frisco and Dillon Lake, things get remarkably better and the rest of our drive west was pretty much easy going. As you drive west through all of our favorite resort towns filled with tourists for the holiday weekend, beautiful golf courses, and people on bicycles everywhere, you get a true appreciation of why people travel to Colorado from around the world. Sometimes we take the magnificence of the state for granted and it is drives like these that remind us not to.
It isn’t just a scenic drive, but it is also a feet of engineering that creates a road that makes its way through the rugged wilderness. Between Denver and the border of Utah, you will pass through about five different tunnels, many bridges, and winding roads that take you through steep canyons. The mountains themselves also change as you make your way through the heart of the Rockies, from steep mountain peaks, green valleys, to intense cliffs with the river flowing below. It is certainly an impressive drive if you ever get the opportunity to take it. All of these photographs were taken from within our car as we drove west through the Rocky Mountains.