West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

From the AARoads Wiki: Read about the road before you go
Jump to navigation Jump to search

West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length205 mi[1][2] (330 km)
Major junctions
North end SH 82 / SH 133 Carbondale
South end US 50 / SH 135 Gunnison
CountryUnited States
CountiesDelta, Garfield, Gunnison, Montrose, and Pitkin counties
Highway system
  • Colorado State Highway System

The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway is a 205-mile (330 km) National Forest Scenic Byway and Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway located in Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Montrose, and Pitkin counties Colorado, USA. The byway reaches its zenith at Kebler Pass, elevation 10,007 feet (3,050 m), between Crested Butte and Paonia.


The northern end of the Byway begins at the intersection of SH 82 and SH 133 in Carbondale. The route follows SH 133 south down the Crystal River Valley past Mount Sopris and Redstone to McClure Pass, with an official detour option to Marble.[3] The true Loop portion of the Byway begins and ends below Paonia Reservoir and The Raggeds where Kebler Pass intersects SH 133. The west side of the Loop passes through Somerset, Paonia, and Hotchkiss on SH 133, and through Crawford on SH 92. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, and Blue Mesa Reservoir are all accessible from SH 92.[4] The southern portion of the loop follows SH 92 to its intersection with US 50 near Blue Mesa Reservoir, continues along US 50 to Gunnison, and then returns north to Crested Butte via SH 135. From Crested Butte, one can only complete the full loop back to SH 133 in summer months, when unpaved Gunnison County Road 12 is plowed over Kebler Pass.[5]


Carbondale and the Byway running south via SH 133 past Mount Sopris
Crystal River Valley and Chair Mountain along SH 133
Riot of Fall Colors at Kebler Pass
3rd and Grand in downtown Paonia
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, accessible from SH 92
Blue Mesa Reservoir, near US 50
Crested Butte, where Kebler Pass meets SH 135

See also



  1. ^ "West Elk Loop". Colorado Department of Transportation. 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  2. ^ "West Elk Loop". America's Scenic Byways. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  3. ^ "West Elk Loop".
  4. ^ "West Elk Loop".
  5. ^ "Colorado Scenic Byway: West Elk Loop". 13 January 2023.

External links