As a short note to self, I drove back from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Boulder, Colorado area yesterday on Route 285. Amazing, 285 runs right from the front door of the hotel I stay at in Santa Fe almost right to Golden, Colorado, so the drive is Route 285 north to Route 6 north in Colorado, and then onto Route 93 to Boulder.
The drive itself is a little mixed, but the last several hours are beautiful, so overall it’s worth it. It starts very slowly in New Mexico, working its way through a few small towns. Once the road finally opens up, it’s a simple drive, though the road is rough in one stretch, and there are no bathroom stops for the first 2.5 hours. Other than that, the only issue is that the road is a two-lane highway for hours, so if you get behind other slow drivers, you have to do what you have to do to pass them.
Also, the drive took well over seven hours, so the Google Map time/speed is not accurate. I also basically parked on a mountain in Colorado for an additional 45 minutes because of an accident; another potential drawback to this drive. That being said, I didn’t have to drive through Colorado Springs or downtown Denver, and the scenery was beautiful in many places, so I’ll be taking this route the next time I drive back and forth between Boulder, CO and Santa Fe, NM.
I recommend taking this route at least once; you get to see the “real” Colorado -- farms and ranches -- that you won’t see on the expressway (I-25).