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Nederland, Boulder County, to Central City: The House That Gold Built!

 A Scenic Journey: Driving from Nederland to Central City, Colorado

The drive from Nederland, Colorado, to Central City along the Peak to Peak Highway is a scenic adventure through the heart of the Rockies. This route is not just a drive; it’s a journey through Colorado’s vibrant history, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse attractions.

 Starting Point: Nederland’s Charm

Nederland, a quaint mountain town, is our starting point. Known for its quirky charm, Nederland boasts attractions like the famous Ferris wheel, a unique sight nestled among the mountains. A fully restored carousel in Nederland is a symbol of the town’s whimsical spirit.empty road pavement
The Enigmatic Rock Store

As you head out of Nederland, you’ll pass the iconic rock store. This store, a relic of the past, stands as a testament to the town’s rugged and independent spirit. It’s a great spot to explore local crafts and perhaps pick up a unique souvenir.

Rollinsville: A Gateway to Adventure

Continuing south, you’ll encounter Rollinsville, a small community that serves as a gateway to the grand outdoors. Rollins Pass, also known as Corona Pass, is a significant route that once served as a vital link over the Continental Divide. This pass is not only historically important but also offers stunning views and a glimpse into Colorado’s rich railroad history.to The Peak to Peak Highway: Nature’s Masterpiece

Driving along the Peak to Peak Highway is a treat for nature lovers, especially during the fall when the Aspen leaves change color. The highway winds through dense forests, open meadows, and rocky terrains, offering a display of vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. Wildlife is abundant here; keep an eye out for elk, deer, various large cats including mountain lions, and a variety of bird species that thrive in this biodiverse region. Remember to have the local driving and the visitors in the other seats. The driver can watch the road and narrate while the visitors can ogle without fearing that the driver is not looking at the road. Our drive starts in Boulder County and ends up in Gilpin County. If you come down Clear Creek Canyon to come back to Boulder, you’ll go back and forth between Boulder and Gilpin Counties. That makes traffic enforcement challenging! 

Arrival in Central City: A Hub of History and Entertainment
As you approach Central City, the landscape transitions from serene wilderness to a bustling hub of activity. Central City, once a booming mining town, is now famous for its historic charm and modern casinos. The drive takes approximately an hour, but with so much to see, you might find yourself wanting to take it slow and savor the journey.a casino table with a lot of chips on itCasinos and Beyond: Entertainment Galore

Central City’s casinos are a major draw, offering a range of gaming options for those feeling lucky. However, gambling is just one of the many activities available. The town is rich in history, with well-preserved buildings and museums that tell the story of its gold rush past.

The Face on the Barroom Floor
A notable attraction in Central City is the “Face on the Barroom Floor,” a painting in the Teller House that dates back to the 1930s. This unique piece of art, painted directly on the floor, depicts the face of a woman and adds a touch of mystery and folklore to the town’s vibrant history. And do not overlook the famous Teller Opera House, which is still performing operas.

A Drive to Remember

The drive from Nederland to Central City is more than just a scenic route; it’s a journey through time and nature. From the whimsical attractions of Nederland to the historical and entertaining heart of Central City, this drive offers a little bit of everything for adventurers, nature lovers, and history buffs alike. Whether you’re drawn by the changing Aspen leaves, the rich wildlife, or the allure of the casinos, this route is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

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