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lookout points and views

Although the whole trail is a glorious visual experience there are some points which are particularly spectacular and the park services have set up facilities for visitors to enjoy the amazing scenic views.

  • Deer Ridge Junction 8,940 ft – the official start of the road and marker #1
  • Hidden Valley 9240 – closed ski resort – marker #2
  • Beaver Ponds East
  • Many Parks Curve e 9620 – marker #3
  • Rainbow Curve (elevation 10,830ft – or just over two miles_ = marker #4
  • Forest Canyon
  • Rock Cut (elevation 12,090)
  • Tundra Communities Trailhead
  • Iceburg Pass
  • Lava Cliffs
  • Highest Point on the Road
  • Gore Range
  • Alpine Visitor Center elevation 11,796
  • Medicine Bow Curve
  • Milner Pass
  • Continental Divide
  • Lake Irene picnic area
  • Fairview Curve
  • Colorado River Trailhead
  • Timber Lake Trailhead
  • Beaver Ponds West
  • Timber Creek
  • Holzwarth Historic Site and Guest Ranch
  • Bowen / Baker Trailhead
  • Coyote Valley Trailhead
  • Onahu Trailhead
  • Green Mountain Trailhead
  • Harbison Meadows Picnic site
  • Grand Lake Entrance Station
  • Kawuneeche Visitor Center

From the West
Driving west from Estes Parks the first such major lookout point is about 10 miles out of town and is named Many Parks Curve after the many parts of the park you can see!

Coming from town drive around the curve itself, even while trying to keep your eyes on the road, and just past the curve is a place to park safely off the road. You can then walk back to the big sweep of the curve. Signboards explain the view and let you appreciate what you are seeing from the edge of the road.

In normal years it should be possible to drive as far Many parks Curve even when the rest of the road is closed for the winter as the gate is not closed until the next major point, rainbow curve

From the East
Heading out of Grand Lake northwards along Highway 34 is though the Kawuneeche Valley for the first part before starting to climb the mountains. The first major lookout point is Fairview Curve at 10,120 feet where you can look down the valley. It is about 16 miles drive outside of Grand Lake.

Due to heavy snowfall the parking area and historic rock wall at Fiarview Curve were damaged in the 2010/2011 winter but repair work has been done during the summer and the area is now reopened.

From the curve you can see the Never Summer Mountains, the streams that form the headerwaters of the Colorado river, and Holzwarths ranch – a historic guest ranch in the style of the 1920s.

Highest lookout Point

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Lookout points

Famed for its views all along the road there are nevertheless some key points that shouldn't be missed, and which are great places to stop for that photo op:

  • Deer Ridge Junction
  • Hidden Valley
  • Beaver Ponds East
  • Many Parks Curve
  • Rainbow Curve
  • Forest Canyon
  • Rock Cut
  • Tundra Communities
  • Iceburg Pass
  • Lava Cliffs
  • Highest Point
  • Gore Range
  • Alpine Visitor Center
  • Medicine Bow Curve
  • Milner Pass
  • Continental Divide
  • Lake Irene
  • Fairview Curve

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