4 COLLEGIATE PEAKS
Length: 57 Miles Driving time: 90 Minutes
As the name of this scenic byway suggests, several of the peaks in this collection of giants are named for prominent universities. In fact, nine in this collection are over 14,000 feet and together make up the largest concentration of 14ers in the US as well as being part of the Continental Divide. The spectacular drive is as short as it is amazing and will take you through one of the state's most beautiful areas that is both rich in history and also offers a bounty of recreational opportunities.
Start at the foot of the Sawatch Range in Salida. After you've wandered around the town's historic district - the largest in the state - you can either drive west to Poncha Springs or follow the Arkansas River (the most commercially rafted river in the entire country) north, returning to your start point using the other route. Alternating between distant mountain peaks and the banks of the Arkansas, the route offers plenty to see and do, including long-abandoned mining towns and excellent beer at Elevation Beer Company in Poncha Springs and Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista.
Weary travelers might want to consider stopping for a few hours (or a night) near Mount Princeton. With several hot springs and places to spend the night (including the beautiful Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort and Deer Valley Ranch), it is worth considering before heading to the quaint community of Buena Vista the following morning.