Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

State: Colorado
Length: 40 miles / 64.0 km
Time to Allow: an hour or two.

The Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway is the shortest byway in Colorado at just 40 miles long. Driving this byway will only take an hour or two and offer scenery of foothills along with mountains. The loop takes you through three different towns filled with history from mining, railroads, and more around the west of Denver.

The city of Golden offers something for everyone, including breweries, bars, a dinosaur museum, and a historic downtown with multiple landmarks. Go rafting or kayaking at Liquid Descent and an impressive river tucked between giant boulders. Take the kids to the Butterfly Pavilion or the Geology Museum. You can even take a ghost tour or visit a gold mine. The town offers endless options for everyone making this a great place to spend a week and explore.

Next on the docket, the town of Evergreen offers incredible green valleys and mountainsides. Visit Evergreen lake for a pristine gem ready to supply adventure all year long. Mount Evans is nearby, as is a gorgeous waterfall called Maxwell Falls that cascades for 76 impressive feet down a rocky canyon.

Evergreen offers more than landscapes with a fantastic downtown. Go golfing, shop, visit galleries, dine at exclusive restaurants, or enjoy a night on the town. Check out one of several museums or venture out for the Annual Dam Duck Derby. The historic town used to supply lumber and had ranches and farms. Now the city boasts an eclectic community with local arts and music.

Escape to the canyon community of Idledale with interesting locations for a picnic or wander by the local creek before hiking around the hills above the town. From the trails, you can see Mount Evans and even as far as Denver. People interested in fly fishing will find this site to be a haven. Keep in mind the area does not offer restaurants or hotels, so you will need to plan accordingly.

Follow the byway to Bear Creek Canyon and the town of Morrison. Check out the Red Rocks Amphitheater, where you can watch the stars in a unique venue. In warm weather, try out a yoga class on the rocks. This location offers an outdoor theater with gorgeous scenery where you can enjoy music, movies, plays, and more in tandem with nature. Grab a bite to eat, bike or hike nearby, or even exercise in the theater when not in use.

People who live in Denver or decide to vacation in the city may need an escape to beautiful mountain landscapes to escape the hustle and bustle of busy life. Along the way, stop to visit the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum. Lookout Mountain is another necessity on this byway located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with a peak elevated at 7,377 feet. Enjoy the natural scenery and see where the Ute tribe of Native Americans lived.

More Colorado Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Colorado by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Colorado Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.