State Route 83 in Colorado

State Route 83 in Colorado


Get started Colorado Springs
End Denver
Length 77 mi
Length 124 km
  • Colorado Springs
  • Franktown
  • The Pinery
  • Parker
  • Foxfield
  • Aurora
  • Denver

According to, State Route 83, commonly known as State Highway 83 or SH 83 is a state route in the U.S. state of Colorado. The road forms a north-south route between Colorado Springs and Denver. SH 83 is 124 kilometers long.

Travel directions

SH 83 at Castle Rock.

SH 83 begins in the north of the city of Colorado Springs on SH 21. The road then heads north through an area of ​​steppe and forest some distance east of Interstate 25. Although portions of the route pass through sparsely populated rural areas, there is significant exurbanization on the fringes of the Colorado Springs and Denver metropolitan areas, particularly in Douglas County. Few east-west roads cross, the most important being SH 86.

From The Pinery, the road has 2×2 lanes and is already an urban arterial. However, it is still more than 15 kilometers before reaching the Denver ring road, the E-470. Due to the distant suburb Parker, SH 83 already has 2×3 lanes. In the Foxfield suburb, SH 88 crosses grade- separated. SH 83 is a busy city road through the large suburb of Aurora, with 2×3 lanes and major intersections. Aurora also has a connection to Interstate 225. From Aurora to Denver, SH 83 follows Parker Road, a five-lane road with a center turn lane. In eastern Denver, SH 83 then ends at SH 2.


SH 83 is one of Colorado’s original 1920s state highways. The exact terminus in Denver has changed quite a bit during the 1930s-50s. In 1938, the route between Parker and Denver was asphalted. The section south of Franktown was not paved until the 1960s, the major through traffic route between Colorado Springs and Denver at the time was US 85/87 and later I-25. In 2007, the portion in Colorado Springs was handed over to the municipality, leaving SH 83 on SH 21 on the north side of Colorado Springs.

With the enormous growth of the suburb Aurora and later the southeastern suburbs around Parker and in Douglas County, SH 83 had to be upgraded from a single carriageway to a divided highway with mostly 2×3 lanes. In or before the early 1990s, SH 83 between Parker and Aurora was widened to 2×2 lanes, even though the area was not yet suburbanized at the time. In the late 1990s, SH 83 was extended at the junction with I-225 in Aurora. In 2012, the grade-separated intersection between SH 83 and SH 88 opened in Foxfield.

Traffic intensities

17,000 vehicles drive daily near Colorado Springs, dropping to 3,500 vehicles further north of the city. This increases again to 7,000 vehicles at Franktown and 30,000 vehicles from The Pinery. This first peaks at 55,000 vehicles when it connects to the E-470 at Parker. Thereafter, 45,000 vehicles circle Foxfield, peaking at 82,000 vehicles at the junction with I-225 in Aurora, making SH 83 one of the busiest non-freeways in the United States. The section further from Aurora to Denver processes 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles per day.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

SH 5
Get started Mount Evans
End Echo Lake
Length 15 mi
Length 24 km
Mount Evans
Height (ft) 14,130 ft
Height (m) 4,310 m
Mountains Mount Evans
Traffic intensity 850 mvt/day
Location Map

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a National Scenic Byway, state route and the United States ‘ highest paved highway, located in the state of Colorado. The 24 kilometer long road leads to Mount Evans at 4,310 meters altitude.


The Mount Evans Scenic Byway, also known as State Highway 5, runs from an intersection with State Route 103 at 3,250 meters to just below the summit of Mount Evans at 4,310 meters. Mount Evans is the 13th highest mountain in Colorado. The nearest larger town is Idaho Springs and the road is a relatively short distance from Denver. The road is not technically a mountain pass as it is a dead end.

From the intersection with State Highway 130, the road rises sharply over a few kilometers to an altitude of 3,500 meters and from that moment it runs above the tree line. The road is a bit longer above the tree line than the Pikes Peak Highway at Colorado Springs, which is 7 meters lower. Mount Evans has no permanent snow cover or glaciers, but consists of a rocky environment. From the parking lot at the highest point one can easily walk to the top of Mount Evans, which is about 40 meters higher at 4,348 meters. It is the highest mountain near Denver and in good weather you have a phenomenal view of the area.

The road will only be kept open if weather conditions permit. In winter there is a thick layer of snow and the road is closed.


The road was built as a tourist road in 1915. The road was originally numbered State Route 130, but since 1955 as State Route 5. In 1993 the road became part of the National Forest Scenic Byways.


The road was originally a toll road, but since 2012 you only have to pay if you park in one of the parking spaces on the higher part.

Traffic intensities

Every day, an average of 850 vehicles use State Highway 5.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway