The Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway, designated in 1993, offers excellent access to recreational opportunities in vast mountains, streams and lakes of the Central Rockies. At altitudes that seldom drop below 9,000 feet, the Byway boasts exceptional scenery, crisp mountain air, and pleasant summer temperatures.
Copyright: Zander Higbie-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Bridge over the Eagle River along the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
The Top of the Rockies Byway passes through the towns of Leadville and Twin Lakes, where visitors see two commerce centers for the 19th century industrial west. Some of the highlights of the byway include Camp Hale and Ski Cooper,home to the 10th Mountain Division; Climax Mine, early molybdenum mine; and the Sawatch mountain range, which harbors 15 of Colorado's 54 fourteeners.
Directions from Interstate 70: Exits 171 (Minturn Highway 24 ) and 195 (Copper Mountain Resort Highway 91) will place you on the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. The byway leads south from both exits.
Directions from Buena Vista: Drive north on Highway 24. When you reach the junction for Highway 82 Top of the Rockies Byway begins. From this point you may travel west on 82 to Twin Lakes and Independence Pass or north to Leadville.
April through October
(NOTE: Independence Pass will be closed during the Winter and Spring months. Late Spring and Early Fall storms may close access to Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway. Please call the State Highway information line for current information.)