Lariat Loop Scenic & Historic Byway

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Lariat Loop Scenic and Historical Byway
Highway system
Colorado State Highways

The Lariat Loop Scenic & Historic Byway is a 40-mile (64 km) route in the foothills between Golden, Morrison, and Evergreen about 20 miles (32 km) west of Denver, Colorado.

Route description[edit]

The byway includes portions of State Highway 93 between Golden and Morrison, State Highway 74 from Morrison to Evergreen via Bear Creek Canyon, and the same road north to Interstate 70, which bisects the loop. The Lariat Trail connects Golden with the top of Lookout Mountain and Lookout Mountain Road completes the loop back to Interstate 70. This route formed the foundation for the surrounding 150-square-mile (390 km2) area’s designation as a Colorado Heritage Area in 2000; the Byway was so designated by the Colorado Dept. of Transportation and Governor Owens in April 2002. The Lariat Loop connects to the Mount Evans Scenic Byway via Squaw Pass Road.

The Lariat Loop Byway blends natural, cultural, and historic attributes in a route that has been promoted as a tourist destination since 1914 and can be enjoyed in a half-day’s drive from Denver. Along the route are dozens of historic sites, scenic parks, and other attractions (see list below), many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although the Lariat Loop is not listed, it comprises two registered routes, the Bear Creek Canyon Scenic Mountain Drive and the Lariat Trail Scenic Mountain Drive.

The Lariat Loop encompasses parts of Denver’s original “circle drives,” within the unique Denver Mountain Parks system designed by F.L. Olmsted, Jr, in 1914. The diverse geography of the foothills setting offers dense forests, mountain vistas, winding roads, rocky outcrops and ridges, and historic “beauty spots.” Many of these scenic areas have become county or city parks and are accessible to the public.

All roads along the Lariat Loop Byway are accessible via passenger vehicle, with convenient services, year-round. Open Space and Mountain Parks are protected areas and all wildlife and plants are protected.

Lariat Loop attractions include[edit]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Jefferson County.

Location mi km Exit Destinations Notes
El Rancho I-70 east / US 40 east
US 40 west to I-70 west
Morrison SH 74 east Byway continues onto Hogback Road north
Golden US 40 west Byway continues onto US 40 east
US 40 east Byway continues onto Heritage Road
US 6 east Byway continues onto US 6 west
US 6 west Byway continues onto 19th Street west
US 40 east Byway continues onto US 40 west
254 I-70 east Byway continues onto I-70 west
253 Chief Hosa
252 I-70 west
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


External links[edit]