Peak to Peak Scenic Byway: Nederland


Colorado’s oldest scenic byway traverses the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains, just a few miles in from the plains, and a few miles away from the high peaks along the continental divide.  In other words, it’s sort of a compromise between the 14ers and the flatlands.  The hills are milder here, but still beautiful, and you can easily spend hours driving around the curves between Estes Park and Interstate 70.

On this day, I was only enjoying part of the Peak to Peak Byway, between Black Hawk and Nederland.  Then, my route turned towards Boulder, following Highway 119 instead of Highway 72, which continues north from Nederland towards Estes Park.

Nederland is located at the end of the Barker Meadow Reservoir, a source of drinking water for people downstream in Boulder.  It’s also a nice place to stop for a quick stroll along the shore, or a picnic.

Highway 119 runs along the north side of the Barker Reservoir…

… before heading into Boulder Canyon.  For the rest of the drive towards Boulder, the road curves between rocky outcroppings and squeezes alongside Middle Boulder Creek.  It’s a fun drive, with one must-see attraction along the way, Boulder Falls (we’ll visit it on the next page).

Drivelapse Video

You can watch the drive up 119 from Black Hawk to Nederland in the Drivelapse video posted on the previous page.  The time-lapse video below will take you from Nederland into Boulder.  You can also see more of the Peak to Peak Byway in my 2010 trip to the Rockies.


  1. Michael Lohr 23 February, 2016 at 21:16 Reply

    My neck of the woods!! I am up this way at least once a week for work. This summer it will be an almost daily visit. If you’re ever in this area again give a holler and I’ll show you some amazing places to see that are just off the peak to peak. 🙂

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