Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

Department of Transportation.

One of the first historic byways in the country, the Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway has provided access to foothills scenery and outdoor experience since 1912-1914, when the City and County of Denver built roads to bring residents and tourists to the new Denver Mountain Parks system. Two portions of the roads that make up the byway are on the National Register of Historic Places: the Bear Creek Canyon Scenic Mountain Drive and the Lariat Trail Scenic Mountain Drive, which serve as the south and north entrances, respectively, to Denver’s historic circle drives and the modern byway. The 36-mile loop runs through the historic towns of Morrison, Evergreen, and Golden, which have maintained their integrity and authenticity over time. These towns supplied the miners and trappers in the 1850s and the early tourists in the early 1900s. Initially, railroads brought tourists to Golden and Morrison, delivering them to the bases of three mountains, where funiculars transported people up to world-class views of the Front Range and the plains. Visit more than three dozen historic sites and buildings that line the route and interpret primary themes of the mountain west, from mining and ranching to homesteads and tourism. The Loop rests on the edge of the Denver metropolitan area where two million people reside. Within 60 minutes, you can drive from Denver to the top of Mount Evans (elevation 14,265, once the country’s highest auto road), and visit 19th-century mountain towns to learn about pioneer culture and railroad history, learn about the discovery of dinosaurs in the west, or hear a concert at the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. You'll find plenty of recreational opportunities as well, including hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and paragliding. Drive the beautiful Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway for a magnificent experience of narrow mountain canyons with views of the Rocky Mountains and the Eastern Plains.


Getting to the Byway:

Denver, CO
- Head west on W 6th Ave Freeway/US-6. - W 6th Ave Freeway changes to W 6th Ave/US-6. - Turn west (left) at the intersection with 19th St. Two stone pillars mark the entrance to the byway.

Navigating the Byway:
* The Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway begins in Golden, CO, at the intersection of 6th Avenue and 19th Street. * Head southwest on 19th Street to Lookout Mountain Road. * Continue south on Lookout Mountain Road to US 40. * Head west on US 40 to I-70 then continue west on I-70 to Evergreen Parkway and southeast to Bear Creek Road. * Drive east to Mt. Vernon Avenue in Morrison, CO. * Once in Morrison, head north on Mt. Vernon Avenue and continue as the road changes to County Road 93/Hog Back Road. * Continue north to US 40. Keep going north to Heritage Road and take that north to US 6. * Continue on US 6 back into Golden, CO, to complete the Lariat Loop.

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