Pair Colorado Wineries & Byways

Combine two favorite activities with a trip along Colorado byways that offer stops at several of the state's wineries for tours and to stock up on local vintages. If you plan to taste the wines, be sure to designate a sober driver.

By: Staff Writer
Updated: February 22, 2024

The scenic and historic byways below can be “paired” with some of Colorado’s award-winning wineries. For even more scenic drives, check out our quick guide to Colorado's 26 scenic byways.

Trail of the Ancients

The 114-mile Trail of the Ancients travels between Mesa Verde National Park and two remote national monuments (Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients).

Wine time: West of the town of Cortez, stop into Sutcliffe Vineyards, at the foot of the Sleeping Ute Mountain, which handcrafts its wines.

Grand Mesa Scenic & Historic Byway

The Grand Mesa byway is EV-friendly and traverses the largest flat-top mountain in the world along 63 miles of picturesque canyons, forests and several of the mesa's more than 300 stream-fed lakes.

Wine time: After traveling southeast on this route from I-70, stop in Cedaredge, where the Neal Family purchased a 50-acre farm in 1989 to establish Stoney Mesa Winery.

Dinosaur Diamond Scenic & Historic Byway

Dinosaur Diamond is a meandering, 486-mile byway weaves through the northwest corner of the state, where dinosaurs were abundant, leaving fossils and footprints.

Wine time: About 10 miles east of the byway’s terminus in Grand Junction is the BookCliff Vineyards in Palisade, where you can sip on gem-colored varietals and even take a tour.

Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic & Historic Byway

The Cache la Poudre–North Park byway leads visitors from Fort Collins along the Cache la Poudre River to the quiet, bowl-shaped valley of North Park, located just west of the Continental Divide.

Wine time: Along the byway in the town of Laporte, check out Ten Bears Winery, which uses a winter-hibernation process (as its name might imply) for a smooth, easy flavor.

Gold Belt Tour Scenic & Historic Byway

The Gold Belt Tour is anchored by the communities of Cripple CreekVictor, Florissant, FlorenceCañon City and several mining ghost towns. A 113-mile circuit, it offers unpaved and paved roadways, as well as a 4-wheel-drive route along Shelf Road.

Wine time: The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Cañon City no longer has monks within its quiet walls, but does offer wine tastings and a gift shop with an extensive array of wine-related items.

South Platte River Trail Scenic & Historic Byway

The only 19-mile South Platte River Trail is the location of Colorado’s only Pony Express station, the Transcontinental Railroad and the Lincoln Highway Loop, the first coast-to-coast automobile road in the U.S.

Wine time: South of Julesburg are remains of the Italian Caves, also reported to be an underground palace, which was dug by Uberta Gibello in the 1880s. He proceeded to dig this palace after his marvel of an irrigation system, complete with concrete-lined ditches, did little to help the vineyards survive. Though the wine dried up long ago, the area’s history still can be enjoyed. 

Tracks Across Borders Scenic & Historic Byway

The newly recognized Tracks Across Borders byway boasts big fun, from Durango to Chimney Rock National Monument, with its rugged mountain scenery and Old West appeal. You’ll travel along historic railroad routes and the Animas River, spotting towering rock formations as you go.

Wine time: Stop at Fox Fire Farms Winery in Ignacio for an afternoon of wine tasting high-elevation varietals. You’ll love the rural backdrop, a 910-acre livestock farm run by the same family for more than a century.

West Elk Loop Scenic & Historic Byway

Drive the West Elk Loop byway for its massive wilderness and cute lil’ mountain towns, pausing in Crested Butte, Gunnison, Paonia and Carbondale along the way. Make time for Curecanti National Recreation Area and Black Canyon of the Gunnison while you explore.

Wine time: Hop on the West Elks ­­­­Wine Trail to discover Western Slope wineries worthy of your well-stocked vino cellar. Stops include Paonia’s Black Bridge Winery and The Storm Cellar in Hotchkiss.

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