Think “interstate highway” and you’re likely to think “ hours of monotony punctuated by the occasional Stuckey’s.” But America’s ribbons of open road tie together some truly dazzling roadside scenery. Here are seven stunning drives that don’t require you to risk life and limb on hairpin turns.
Environmentalists were concerned that running a stretch of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon would destroy its natural beauty, and that’s why this was among the last sections of road to be built in the entire U.S. Interstate Highway System. Some might still complain, but the drive is a doozy, with the Colorado River raging just below and canyon walls soaring 1,300 feet overhead. Careful: The turns are a lot sharper than they are on conventional interstates.
Things to Do Along the Way
The Eisenhower Tunnel, which bores underneath the Continental Divide 60 miles west of Denver, is the highest vehicular tunnel in the United States.
Celebrate a bison-tennial
Nearly 100 years ago the City of Denver established a bison herd 20 miles west of town; I-70 goes right through it, and the shaggy critters are frequently visible from the road.
Stretch your legs at: Exit 125
From this rest area, hike to the clear water and tumbling falls of Hanging Lake (a 2.4 mile, round-trip trail rated "moderate to difficult"). — Photo by Michael Turek