The Best Views in Colorado: HeidiTown Style

Here’s the thing… there are “no best views” in Colorado because they are all great! I name a few in this post, but there are so many more (I even have pictures of a lot that I couldn’t share because I don’t have three days to write this post, and you don’t have three hours to read this post). By the way, these are views you can see mostly by car. A few of these view require you to exit the vehicle, but these aren’t backcountry views.

Coloful CO sign HeidiTown

As we drive around the state, I often say, “This is my favorite view in Colorado!” I say it enthusiastically and with enough frequency that my husband has taken to rolling his eyes when he hears it.

The best views in Colorado. HeidiTown.com
San Luis Valley, on one of our anniversary trips (May)

I do mean it at that moment.

The truth is, if asked, I couldn’t name just one. I have had so many times when the breath is taken from me, whether it’s rounding a corner on McClure Pass to a vista of golden aspens, or driving into the San Luis Valley over Poncha Pass and having the Sangre de Cristo Mountains rise of the mist.

The Best Views in Colorado 2. HeidiTown.com
McClure Pass, September 2017

I may say this phrase most often about the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This range in South-central Colorado is one of the most breathtaking in the state. The range goes on and on rising from the valley floor with a near-visible force. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Crestone, a town of at least seven religions, and multiple spiritual centers is located at the base of these majestic peaks.

The Best View in Colorado. HeidiTown.com
Sangre de Cristo Mountains

The area is also home to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Joyful Journey Hot Springs (which I’ve written about), the Rio Grande River, and much more. A fun fact is that the San Luis Valley is the world’s largest alpine valley.

Living History in the San Luis Valley, Part One

If you can’t tell, we’ve been there a lot, and many times I was off the official HeidiTown clock, meaning we were just going there for fun and not a story (although I usually end up writing something anyway).

Another view that always leaves me astounded, every single time, is the view coming over Cottonwood Pass into Buena Vista. The Colliegant Range is revealed like a painting of picturesque Colorado peaks. Occasionally, we’ve pulled over at the lookout area and I’ve taken a few pictures.

Road Trips are not New 7 Reasons to Take One 3, HeidiTown.com
Cottonwood Pass on Hwy 285 coming into Buena Vista, Colorado.

However, we haven’t stopped as often as I would like because we’re always on the way somewhere. This view is on Highway 285, and so are the Sangre de Cristos Mountains. If you’d like some awesome Colorado views, take Highway 285 from Denver to New Mexico. You will not be disappointed with this road trip.

Best View in Colorado Kenosha Pass HeidiTown.com
Going south down from Kenosha Pass into South Park, Colorado.

We used to have a family cabin on this route, a bit closer to Denver but over Kenosha Pass. We went to that house in Indian Hills a lot, and the view coming down into the South Park area of Colorado is spectacular and one that I’ve probably taken more than 100 pictures of over the years. If you follow me on Twitter, you know because I always tweet it (I know it’s called X now, but I still tweet pictures. The world is confusing).

Salida, Colorado is for the Dogs

This reminds me of a view I’ll be seeing in April, but haven’t seen since 2019. It’s the view from Wolf Creek Pass on the way to Pagosa Springs and Durango on Hwy 160.

The Best Views in Colorado. HeidiTown.com
Wolf Creek Pass July 2013

Wolf Creek Pass is in Southwest Colorado, and for many years we drove this route a lot. There is an overlook pullout that’s open in the summer, but in my experience, it is full of snowplow snow in the winter.

The Best Views in Colorado. HeidiTown.com
Wolf Creek Pass April 2015

The views I have listed are probably those that show up in many Colorado great views lists. But there are more!

Cameron Pass between Fort Collins and Steamboat Springs along Hwy 14 affords some fantastic vistas.

The Best Views in Colorado. Cameron Pass, HeidiTown.com
Cameron Pass, Colorado (Hwy 14)

Going even further northwest from Steamboat Springs, the scenes in Dinosaur National Monument are truly one-of-a-kind, especially in May when the area is dripping wet and vividly green.

Dinosaur National Monument. HeidiTown.com
Dinosaur National Monument (May 2016)

Sticking to the same region, we’ve witnessed some outstanding green on the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway outside of Meeker, Colorado. We’ve spent time driving around Rio Blanco County in the spring and this is an outstanding way to spend an afternoon. We spied several Sandhill Cranes on one outing there.

The Best Views in Colorado, Flat Tops Trial Scenic Byway, Meeker HeidiTown.com
Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway between Meeker and New Castle, Colorado.

Close to home, I love driving Hwy 66 from Interstate 25 to Lyons in May. The peaks haven’t shed the snow and the green of the Front Range with a backdrop of white topped with blue skies makes it clear why people have been moving here in droves.

A few other scenes that spring to mind are Mount Baldy across a frozen Grand Lake, and the view from Grand Lake Lodge. Both stand out in my “good view” memory banks.

Best View in Colorado Mount Baldy, Grand Lake, HeidiTown
Mount Baldy, Grand Lake, Colorado
Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (8)
The view from the Grand Lake Lodge.

While the Eastern Plains of Colorado don’t have the “wow factor” of the Rocky Mountains, there are some amazing views to be had especially if you’re on the hunt for Americana or wild sunflowers.

The Best Views in Colorado. HeidiTown.com
The Best Views in Colorado. HeidiTown.com

It’s really hard to boil this down to just a few “favorite views” in one blog post. Let’s face it, many of us are lucky to live in such a beautiful state. Early today I was walking the dog and had a view of Pikes Peak looked crisply white against a cerulean sky. However, many views have been left out. So, be sure to leave me your favorite view below in the comment section.

 

2 Comments


  1. Wow! I’m ready to hit the road this year and check some of these out. Some for the first time! If you’d kept going on the Flat Tops Scenic Byway until it ends, you’d have been about 15 minutes from my house. That’s our go-to in late summer for wildflowers and fall for the autumn colors.

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  2. Cottonwood Pass is our favorite, hands down. There are so many that it’s hard to list them all.

    Reply

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