COLORADO, USA — The wonderful season of Fall is fast approaching. If you're new to Colorado or if you're just looking for a new place to explore, this list is for you.

These are the 9 best drives to soak in the most fall colors throughout the state.

1. Peak to Peak Scenic Byway 

This drive is less than an hour from Denver, Boulder or Fort Collins. The well-known 55-mile-long route showcases views of the Continental Divide that can't be matched. The byway is made up of highways 7 (in the north), 72, and 119 (in the south). On the way, check out the Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park and much more.

Close up of fallen aspen tree leaves fall autumn
Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. West Elk Loop 

This 205-mile loop is a ways away from Denver, but the views are worth the haul. The route gives access to the White River and Gunnison National Forest, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreational Area, and Crawford and Paonia State Parks. Heads up: The 31-mile gravel section over Kebler Pass is closed in winter.

Stand of changing yellow Aspen tree in front of dark green pine trees in mountains of Colorado on fall afternoon
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3. Dallas Divide via Last Dollar Road 

If you find yourself in the southwest portion of the state, this unpaved route spanning from Telluride to Ridgway is not to be missed. Last Dollar Road is about 5 hours driving from Denver and you can begin your journey (the road is about 40 miles) at either end of the road. Highlight: A clear view of Wilson Peak, recognizable to anyone who’s ever examined the label on a Coors bottle.

Yellow aspen leaves hang on to it's tree limb during the autumn Buena Vista
AP Photo/Nathan Bilow

4. Castle Creek Road 

This is a 13-mile paved road in Aspen and Ashcroft, a little less than 3 hours west of Denver. It dead ends, but people who have made the drive encourage you to pack a lunch and have a picnic at the end.

Heads up: This is a popular road for bikers to see the sights as well, so drive carefully!

Colorado Fall Colors aspen leaves ward colorado
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

5. Trail Ridge Road 

According to the National Park Service website, this is the Rocky Mountain National Park's heavily traveled highway to the sky. A 2-hour drive from Denver, this road crests at 12,183 feet.

Heads up: This road does close during the winter, so get your leaf-peeping in early. Be sure to check here before making the drive, as the NPS says the status of Trail Ridge Road can change quickly and at any time.

elk, aspen and Longs Peak at Rocky Mountain National Park fall aspen leaves
Roger Wolfe

6. Bear Lake Road 

Also nestled in the Rocky Mountain National Park, this road leads you to a hidden lake that features a short trail that loops around it. The 23-mile round trip is open year round. Be on the look out for foraging elk and other wildlife. Heads up: People say to go early before the parking lot fills up.

Guanella Pass aspen leaves
AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

7. Guanella Pass 

Just an hour from Denver, this trek will take you to Georgetown, a town known as the "Silver Queen of the Rockies". The 23-mile route is one of the most popular places to see. Heads up: People who have traveled here before say there are some tight turns and horseshoe curves, but all cars should be able to negotiate the road.

Early Morning Autumn Aspen along Ridgway Colorado County aspen leaves fall
Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Squaw Pass 

Short on time? This scenic drive is for you. Beginning in either Idaho Springs or Evergreen (which both have quaint downtown areas), you'll see Echo Lake and pass Mount Evans (the road to get here is already closed for the season).

changing Aspen trees yellow Guanella Pass
AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

9. Top of the Rockies scenic and historic byway 

This 115-mile stretch of the high-country is filled with wildlife like you may have never seen before. You'll be surrounded on all sides by 14ers. It takes approximately three hours to drive, although you may allow more time for stops and photo opportunities. Independence Pass is a seasonal road typically open from Memorial Day to Nov. 1.

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