Highlights of the Grand Mesa Verde Scenic Byway
The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway offers a unique experience to travelers seeking an alternative to the typical fast-paced travel routes. Highway 65 provides for safe, comfortable year-round passage along this nationally designated byway. Lands End Road provides a safe travel experience seasonally, offering magnificent vistas from a 10,000-foot elevation.
The byway passes through shimmering aspen and aromatic pine forests, by meadows of wildflowers, and among endless sparkling lakes. You have the opportunity to observe major changes and diversity in the landscape, from desertlike approaches to dense forests atop the Grand Mesa. Scenic overlooks, rest areas, trails, and picnic areas are clearly marked along the byway.
You can begin your scenic drive along the Grand Mesa Verde Scenic Byway in the Lands End Observatory and proceed south.
Lands End Observatory: This spur of the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway ends at the spectacular views around the Lands End Observatory. This structure, which is listed on the Register of Historic Sites, was built in the late 1930s as a public-works project. It is perched on the edge of Grand Mesa and offers views of the valley 6,000 feet below and the LaSal Mountains in Utah to the west.
Land-O-Lakes Overlook: When you return to Highway 65, proceed south to the sign for the Land-O-Lakes Overlook. Due to the area's geology, the Grand Mesa is dotted with more than 300 streams and reservoirs. A 100-yard trail to this overlook provides a great view that displays many lakes and the West Elk Mountains in the east.
Grand Mesa Visitor Center: This beautiful log structure is located at the intersection of Highway 65 and Forest Development Road 121. The Grand Mesa Visitor Centerprovides information and an interpretive hiking trail.
Pioneer Town : These facilities are located together in the town of Cedaredge. Exhibits are open to the public daily, Memorial Day to late September. The facilities provide visitor information, exhibits, and a tour of a reconstructed town that depicts the lives of pioneers in the area.
Whether you're in search of incredible skiing or some breathtaking views, the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is the route for you.
Find more useful information related to Colorado's Grand Mesa Scenic Byway:
- Colorado Scenic Drives: Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is just one of the scenic byways in Colorado. Check out the others.
- Scenic Drives: Are you interested in scenic drives beyond Colorado? Here are more than 100 scenic drives throughout the United States.
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park: Colorado is home to these two National Parks. Learn about visiting them.
- How to Drive Economically: Fuel economy is a major concern when you're on a driving trip. Learn how to get better gas mileage.