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Two New Designations Added to the The Colorado Electric Byways Program

Colorado Electric Byways


The Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways Commission designated Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway and Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway as new additions to the Colorado Electric Byways Program. The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Tourism Office, and Colorado Energy Office have partnered with the Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways Commission to achieve the goal of electrifying all 26 of the state’s Scenic and Historic Byways.

Colorado Electric Byways must have sufficient charging infrastructure in place for electric vehicle travelers to complete a journey along the byway. The specific requirements for designation as a Colorado Electric Byway include:

  • Dual-port DC fast charging stations located at least every 100 miles within the start and terminus of the byway
  • When byways are less than 100 miles, a dual-port DC fast charging station must be available within 15 miles of the start or terminus of the byway

Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway includes four stations in Georgetown and runs twenty-two miles. The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway also includes stations in Lake City and Ouray, and is sixty-three miles long. The Alpine Loop requires four-wheel-drive capable vehicles with high clearance. This is the perfect byway to check out for those driving newly released and available vehicles, such as the Rivian R1T or Ford F150 Lightning, as they meet all necessary vehicle requirements to complete this route. The addition of these two new designated byways brings the total count up to ten.

The Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways that are currently designated as Colorado Electric Byways include:

  1. Alpine Loop (high-clearance and 4WD vehicle required)
  2. Collegiate Peaks
  3. Colorado River Headwaters
  4. Flat Tops Trail
  5. Grand Mesa
  6. Guanella Pass
  7. Lariat Loop
  8. Silver Thread
  9. Top of the Rockies
  10. Trail Ridge Road

“Traveling in an electric vehicle on Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways not only improves air quality in these beautiful locations but also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change,” said the Chief of CDOT’s Office of Innovative Mobility,  Kay Kelly. “Making charging available on these corridors gives travelers more confidence in choosing an electric vehicle.”

Electric vehicle travel is an emerging trend in the U.S. tourism and transportation industries and Colorado is seen as a national leader in advancing experiences related to it. As a part of the 2021 Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, the State of Colorado has laid out a pathway to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions targets of 26 percent by 2025, 50 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050. A key focus of this goal is on the electrification of the statewide transportation system.

“Not only does electrifying our scenic byways make Colorado a great place to explore in an electric vehicle, it also expands the feasibility of EV travel across the state, including rural communities on the western slope,” said Colorado Energy Office Transportation Fuels & Technology Managing Director Christian Williss. “To meet the state’s goal of 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, rural communities in Colorado must be a part of the transition away from gas-powered cars. Expanding EV charging infrastructure to meet the needs of these communities helps ensure that EVs are a practical option for all Coloradans and our visitors.”

In addition to increasing the number of electrified byways, expanding the number of electrified corridors is part of the Regional Electric Vehicle West (REV West) Partnership. This partnership provides a framework for creating electrified corridors and would give EV users the opportunity to travel seamlessly across Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

“The statewide effort to electrify our twenty-six Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways further establishes Colorado as a leader in destination stewardship,” said Timothy Wolfe, director at the Colorado Tourism Office. “Our commitment to Care for Colorado is evidenced by these efforts, and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of electric vehicle owners as they enjoy the unique experiences that our state has to offer with a lighter footprint.”

For more information on the Colorado Electric Byways Program please visit