Autumn in Colorado: the San Juan Skyway

Ohhhhh, Telluride. Never have I stared so intently at my surroundings, with serious concentration, trying desperately to understand how something so unimaginably beautiful could exist. My camera’s a few years old now, but generally produces photos I’m pretty happy with — and never have I been so mad at its inability to capture the full, intensely overwhelming magic of a place. Never have I actually had my breath taken away by a natural sight like the mountains in Telluride (k this didn’t really happen here either, but with the altitude, etc… it maybe could have).

Telluride is well-known in this part of the country and is a very touristy place, and it’s an expensive town for those with expensive taste (I read that Tom Cruise and Oprah have had homes there… among other members of the rich & famous). When I arrived in Telluride on a golden Saturday afternoon, I completely understood why.


The San Juan Skyway, named for the heart of the mountain range it runs through, has been designated as a National Forest Scenic Byway, a Colorado Scenic Byway, a Historic Byway, and an All-American Road. It’s 233 miles in length and runs all the way down to Durango, Colorado, but I stuck to section that ran through Telluride and all of its colorful woodsy goodness. While driving on yet another one of Colorado’s scenic byways, I concluded that byways of the scenic variety are my favorite kind of byways and hope to see many more of them in my lifetime.

Here are a few snaps from the weekend along the San Juan Skyway:


Have you ever driven on the San Juan Skyway? Which of America’s (or any in the world!!!) scenic byways should I add to my list?

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  • Reply shmamyhopf

    GOOD LORD THE FOLIAGE. We definitely don’t have those colors yet. Peak for SE Penny (nickname I just created) is Oct 24-31!

    but again, good lord. AMAziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing pictures.

    October 16, 2015 at 8:40 am
    • Reply Kristen

      SE Penny. LOVE iT. Thanks for the support, <3 lil sis <3

      October 16, 2015 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply kyle

    Did that drive just a few weekends ago…hard to beat some of those views!

    October 16, 2015 at 10:12 am
    • Reply Kristen

      How great was it??? Agreed! Those views were incomparable.

      October 16, 2015 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Meghan

    Stunning views!! If you ever get out to Utah there are an abundance of scenic byways but this one looks amazing!

    October 16, 2015 at 10:33 am
    • Reply Kristen

      Thanks for the tip! Where is Utah do you suggest? I’ve been to Moab and that was gorgeous but I know there’s lots more to see in that state!

      October 16, 2015 at 4:09 pm
      • Reply Meghan

        For fall foliage drives I heard anything in the Wasatch Range/Uinta Forest near Salt Lake is lovely, but I can tell you from personal experience that Scenic Byway 14 (and spurs Rt. 148 and 143) are FANTASTIC. Lots of yellow and orange aspens all over the mountains.

        October 16, 2015 at 6:11 pm
        • Reply Kristen

          Thanks for the tips 🙂

          October 16, 2015 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply CPA Adventures

    Beautiful pics!

    October 16, 2015 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply mytravelbugbite

    Your camera did a more than adequate job, looks stunning.

    October 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Hannah Myer


    October 19, 2015 at 6:41 pm
  • Reply Margie

    The foliage colors are gorgeous! Love me some bright orange and red leaves!!

    November 12, 2015 at 11:26 am
  • Reply Notes on leaving & delayed withdrawal | skyward eyes

    […] could in one year. I drove 8 hours to the opposite corner of the state just to take in the changing colors of the aspens. I slept alone in my car next to a peaceful little lake in Telluride and watched the super moon […]

    December 22, 2015 at 7:27 am
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