Nestled in the heart of the American West, Colorado boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country. With its majestic mountains, winding roads, and captivating vistas, it’s no wonder that the Centennial State is a dream destination for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, a scenic escape, or a combination of both, Colorado’s diverse terrain offers an unparalleled riding experience. In this guide, we’re exploring the 10 best motorcycle rides in Colorado, featuring routes that cater to riders of all skill levels and interests. So, rev up your engines and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the stunning beauty of Colorado’s natural wonders.
1. Mount Evans Scenic & Historic Byway
Your journey on the Mount Evans Scenic and Historic Byway begins in Idaho Springs, a charming, historic mining town. From there, head south on Highway 103 until you reach the intersection with Highway 5, which marks the entrance to Mount Evans Road.
As you ride, you’ll pass through dense pine groves that gradually give way to the tree line, revealing an awe-inspiring landscape of glaciated valleys and jagged rocky peaks stretching out toward the horizon.
Distance: 28 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 1 hour
2. Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway
This historic route, stretching approximately 184 miles along Highways 350 and 160, takes riders through a diverse range of terrains, from the rolling prairies and vast plains to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The well-maintained roads, gentle curves, and light traffic make it an ideal ride for those seeking a more leisurely yet engaging experience. The Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway is undoubtedly one of the best Colorado motorcycle rides for riders who appreciate a perfect blend of history, scenery, and an unhurried pace.
Distance: 184 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 4 hours
3. San Juan Skyway Scenic & Historic Byway
The San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway, a 236-mile loop in Colorado, offers motorcycle enthusiasts a thrilling and visually stunning ride through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This breathtaking route, also known as the “Road to the Sky,” takes riders on a journey through charming mountain towns, along winding roads, and past the dramatic peaks of the San Juan Mountains.
With its exhilarating twists and turns, as well as awe-inspiring views of cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and colorful alpine meadows, the San Juan Skyway provides a sensory feast for riders seeking the ultimate motorcycling experience.
Distance: 236 miles (loop)
Travel Time: 6 hours
4. Trail Ridge Road Scenic & Historic Byway
Stretching across the Continental Divide, this impressive highway reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet, providing motorcyclists with a thrilling and challenging ride.
Passing through the twists and turns along Highway 34, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of pristine alpine meadows, rugged snow-capped peaks, and expansive tundra landscapes. The ever-changing weather conditions and limited guardrails at higher elevations add an element of excitement and challenge, making this route a top pick for riders who crave adrenaline-pumping experiences.
Distance: 48 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 2-3 hours
5. Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic & Historic Byway
The Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway in Colorado is a hidden gem for motorcycle enthusiasts, offering a spectacular 133-mile ride through diverse landscapes and geological wonders. This remarkable route takes riders on a journey along Highways 141 and 145, showcasing the contrasting beauty of red sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, lush valleys, and the towering peaks of the Uncompahgre Plateau.
Distance: 133 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 3 hours
6. Frontier Pathways Scenic & Historic Byway
This 103-mile journey takes riders through picturesque landscapes, diverse terrain, and rich history as they twist and turn along Highway 96 and Highway 165. Starting in Pueblo and passing through Westcliffe and Colorado City, motorcyclists will experience the breathtaking beauty of the Wet Mountains, the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the captivating San Isabel National Forest.
Riders can immerse themselves in the region’s captivating past, with stops at Bishop Castle and historic sites like the Beckwith Ranch, while enjoying the open road and camaraderie of fellow riders on this unforgettable motorcycle adventure.
Distance: 103 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 3.5 hours
7. Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic & Historic Byway
Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic & Historic Byway offers motorcyclists an authentic taste of the American West on its 128-mile route through northeastern Colorado. Riders will experience the serenity and openness of the region’s rural landscapes by traversing vast prairies, rolling grasslands, and the iconic Pawnee Buttes.
This less-traveled byway provides ample opportunities for wildlife sightings and immersing yourself in the rich history of the pioneers who once traversed this land.
Distance: 128 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 3 hours
8. Top of the Rockies Scenic & Historic Byway
Motorcycle enthusiasts love Top of the Rockies Scenic & Historic Byway for its thrilling altitude and spectacular mountain vistas. Spanning 82 miles, this high-altitude route ascends over 12,000 feet, providing riders with unmatched views of the Continental Divide, Mt. Elbert, and Mt. Massive.
Adventure-seekers will relish the opportunity to navigate hairpin turns and steep inclines, all while surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado Rockies.
Distance: 75 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 2 hours
9. Independence Pass
Independence Pass, a thrilling 32-mile route through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, is an exhilarating challenge for motorcyclists seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure. At an elevation of 12,095 feet, this iconic pass on Highway 82 between Aspen and Twin Lakes offers daring switchbacks and narrow, cliff-hugging roads.
Riders can look forward to breathtaking views of alpine landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant wildflower meadows during the summer season, making Independence Pass a must-ride destination.
Distance: 80 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 2 hours
10. Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway
This byway is a 129-mile route in southern Colorado, inviting motorcyclists to explore the San Luis Valley’s diverse landscapes and rich cultural history. Winding through charming towns, vast agricultural lands, and sand dunes, riders will experience the area’s unique blend of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American heritage.
Stop by the Great Sand Dunes National Park, marvel at the ancient volcanic formations, and experience the vibrant local culture as you cruise along this storied byway.
Distance: 129 miles (one way)
Travel Time: 3 hours
Experience the Best Motorcycle Roads in Colorado with a New or Pre-Owned Bike from Fay Myers
Of course, you’ll need a great bike before you can start exploring the best Colorado motorcycle rides and routes. At Fay Myers Motorcycle World, you’ll find a vast selection of new and pre-owned motorcycles, with options to suit every budget, experience level, and preference.
Our team is made up of motorcycle enthusiasts, experts, and industry professionals, and we share your passion for riding – who better to help you choose a new bike for your next adventure?