Scenic USA - Colorado

Top of the Rockies Byway

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Top of the Rockies Byway, Colorado

Photos by Marilyn Porter
Marilyn's PBase Gallery

     It’s funny how much excitement a Road to Camp Hale - Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, Colorado tiny chunk of the Earth’s rare elements can generate, and to what great lengths men will work to find it. Just the mention of gold and silver during the mid 1800s brought miners, prospectors and entrepreneurs in by the thousands. Towns sprouted up like weeds. Roads and railroad beds were cut over impossible mountain passes, and occasionally money flowed like water.
     What remains of these gold rush days in Summit and Lake counties is a rich mining history, traces of old mining towns that wouldn’t completely die, plenty of mysterious ghost towns and a web of high Camp Hale - Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, Colorado altitude mining roads. Colorado's four wheeling enthusiasts live for their weekends in the mountains, exploring these challenging high altitude routes. Once yesteryear’s only avenues for mining commerce, today these Rocky Mountain backcountry routes lead to some of Colorado’s most remarkable mountain scenery and exciting drives. (The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition advocates and promotes the responsible use and conservation of our public lands, asking all to do their part).
      For those not so enthusiastic about a rugged and somewhat hair-raising adventure, the Top of the Rockies Byway may be just the answer. Copper Mountain - Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, Colorado This well named route, tallying about 75 miles, seldom dips below 9000 feet. Beginning in Summit County’s town of Aspen, the byway follows Route 82 over 12,095 foot Independence Pass to U.S. Route 24. Heading north to Leadville where the byway splits, one northwest fork on Route 24 climbs over Tennessee Pass, on to Camp Hale Memorial (training site for WW II's 10th Mountain Division) and the towns of Redcliff and Minturn. The northeast fork follows Route 91 to Climax, Freemont Pass and the ski resort at Copper Mountain.

           Byway Map

Nearby Points of Interest



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