Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful landscape in the world and while hot summer days might seem like the obvious setting for a road trip, the rugged snow-covered peaks that can be found this time of year offer a very romantic backdrop for your winter adventure. After all, road trips are practically an American tradition–so why not enjoy them year-round?

Doing a road trip with your partner is also a really great way to return the spontaneity to your relationship, stopping whenever the mood strikes along the way, and documenting whatever adventures you get up to. In this case, it really is more about the journey than the destination.

Since there is no better way to kill the excitement of a road trip than bumper to bumper traffic, these suggested routes will help you avoid any congestion on your trip (I’m lookin’ at you I-70!).

img_6973_a (1)

1.  Colorado Springs to Pagosa Springs, via Salida (4 hours, 30 minutes)

If you are looking for an easy, meandering drive spent with the one you love, this route will take you through some quieter parts of Colorado ending in a very cute and charming little town. This area of Colorado is known for measuring its snowfall in feet, rather than inches, so don’t be afraid to tuck your cross country skis, snowshoes and snow boots into the trunk before you set off. If spontaneity is your thing, there is no limit to the number of outdoor activities that can be found in this part of our beautiful state. Be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes, as the temperatures tend to run quite low throughout the winter.

Romantic tip: Surprise your other half with a stop off at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa. Whether you want to go for a dip in the hot pools, or enjoy a relaxing couples massage this place definitely won’t disappoint.

dsc_0137 (1)

2.  Denver to Crested Butte, via Buena Vista (4 hours, 15 minutes)

There is no better route than the journey to Crested Butte to help you fully appreciate the rugged beauty of Colorado. With wide open roads, and quaint little towns along the way, the trip is sure to be a hit for both you and your partner. Throw your snowshoes in the back seat in case you spot a good snow-covered trail along the way. If you work up an appetite, snowshoeing or otherwise, Buena Vista offers some great cafes and coffee shops down by the river to refuel.

Romantic tip: Pack a thermos of hot chocolate to enjoy at the beautiful scenic overlook, just off Highway 285 of the Collegiate Mountains. There are plenty of picnic tables to sit and take in the scenery together, though this time of year the spot will mostly be empty.

img_1481_a (1)

3.  Boulder to Estes Park, via Brainard Lake (1 hour, 45 minutes)

While this route to Estes Park is certainly not the quickest, it is by far the most scenic. There are a number of dirt roads that allow for short detours if you want some stunning photo opportunities. If you happen to get bluebird skies and a fairly warm day, crank up your tunes and roll the windows down while you get out to take photos and if the mood strikes don’t be afraid to bust a move! A road trip is a really great opportunity to have fun and be silly together, so don’t hold back.

When you land in Estes Park, head to the Stanley Hotel to grab a delicious cup of hot cocoa and warm up while you have a look around this stunning hotel.

Romantic tip: Since Brainard Lake is just a few minutes off the main road, surprise your partner by taking a short detour for a couples selfie with the stunning lake as your backdrop. Bonus points if you book a charming little bed and breakfast at the end of your road trip.