Peak to Peak Highway, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park
> Scenic Drives
> Peak to Peak Byway

Peak to Peak Byway

The Peak to Peak Highway takes you from Estes Park on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park past towering peaks, pristine lakes and through historic ghost towns.

  • The Peak to Peak Highway takes you past towering peaks, pristine lakes and through historic ghost towns
  • This scenic drive is about 55 miles and takes about 3 hours
  • Visit Caribou ghost towns to see an old silver mining camp
  • Pan for gold at an old gold mine site


Explore Peak to Peak Highway, Colorado to discover one of the oldest and most scenic drives in the Colorado. This byway is used by many to access trailheads, camping spots, lakes for fishing and ghost towns from early mining days.

Driving Directions

This scenic byway begins just east of Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado on Colorado Highway 7, turns south past Allenspark onto Colorado Highway 72, and continues on to Nederland. Here it carries further south on Colorado Highway 119 through Blackhawk and to Central City.


From Estes Park to Central City, the Peak to Peak Highway, CO is about a 55-mile drive and takes about 3 hours.


The highlights of the Colorado Peak to Peak Highway are many. This area was once rich in gold and silver, and historic spots exist all along the way.

  • Ghost towns
    Visit Hesse, Apex and Caribou ghost towns as you travel along the Peak to Peak Highway. Caribou Road takes you to the ghost town of Caribou. It’s deserted today but it used to be a booming silver camp.
  • Gold mines
    You will still find prospectors trying their luck panning for gold in the Colorado creeks. Some of the gold mines along Peak to Peak Highway allow the public to pan for gold, and children (and adults) just love this endeavor. These mines exist mainly along Highways 72 and 119.
  • Viewing magnificent scenery
    Here you get a real look at the Continental Divide and the wildlife that make this area their home. Stands of Aspen display an incredible color in the fall. Stunning vistas of snow-capped peaks welcome you to the Rockies!
  • Hiking and backpacking
    Take the road to Longs Peak or Brainard Lake Road into the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. These areas offer numerous trails for some intense hiking or backpacking. The Peaceful Valley Road also gains you access to hiking trails, lakes and creeks.