We left Las Vegas and headed toward Chicago. The first day took us from Vegas across Southern Nevada, into Utah and then on to Grand Junction, Colorado.
The sections in Nevada and Utah were scenic, with desert valleys surrounded by mountains. All hot and dry. Then, nearing Grand Junction, the landscape began to get greener, with some actual trees.
We stayed overnight in Grand Junction, then the next day we headed to Denver. The route you would normally take would be Interstate 70, which links Grand Junction and Denver. But as we had driven that route several times a couple of years ago, we chose to divert through Aspen, Colorado. That was a very interesting drive, especially the section on route 82 past Aspen, toward Leadville, Co. We were no aware that the route would take us up and over such a high mountain ridge. The road crosses the Continental Divide, on Hwy 82, at Independence Pass. The official elevation there was 12,095 Ft.
This from our GPS:
This was nearly as high as we drove a few years ago when we drove up Mt Evans, Colorado. That drive took us on the highest paved road in the USA to an altitude above 13,000 ft.