This article was originally published in Issue 8 of EuroBerge and has been converted into a post on the site for your enjoyment. It was originally published on July 15th, 2010.
While most of us enjoy a nice weekend visit to our favorite college town Fort Collins, the drive up can be quite arduous. C-DOT construction, accidents, and in the fast lane on I-25 are just a few of the many inconveniences of driving up to FoCo. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fun and scenic alternative to the grind? Well, if you enjoy a fun drive, interesting scenery, and a change of scenery, I have the drive for you. This route will take you to places in Colorado you’ve likely never seen; through twisted mountain routes, high desert and winding canyons, and give you plenty of chances to have quality fun and get you to FoCo in time to have a good dinner and enjoy the nightlife. Keep in mind that this route will take you well past your destination before dumping you back in Fort Collins, but along the way you will experience just about every type of terrain Colorado has to offer and beautiful scenery that make it well worth the extra mileage.
Starting from Golden, you’ll head up I-70 for about 20 miles past idaho Springs up to US-40. Once you get off the highway, it may seem a bit slow, but it makes a great chance to soak in the beautiful mountains surrounding you and but you’ll quickly find yourself knee deep in exciting hairpins and mountainous curves. As you drive up towards Winterpark, you’ll see some spectacular views of mountaintops along the sides. Once you get into Winterpark, it slows down it a bit giving you a chance to breathe in some clear mountain air before it gets intense again. Has you approach Jackson County towards Rand, CO you’ll start to see much more interesting driving conditions. Sweeping chicanes and curves will rule for about 20 miles through some breathtaking territory. As you approach Walden, you’ll start to see the high desert that I warned you about and this continues until about Gould, CO where you’ll see more curvy fun. As you continue down towards Fort Collins, you’ll find yourself driving through Poudre Canyon which is undoubtedly the best part of the drive. The curves are perfect and the views of the canyon as you approach sunset are priceless. There are multiple opportunity for hiking, camping, or just plain stopping to enjoyed the river. Once you exit the canyon, you will be on the very north end of Fort Collins where you can enjoy some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the state.
While this might not be your average detour route, I guarantee this road will please every sense in the best ways and leave you quite satisfied.