This drive used to be the only way to get to Grand Lake and to the highway that is the highest continuous highway in the US. From Estes to Grand Lake is just under 50-miles. It's cold at the top! Should be. It is more than 12,000 ft. The view is spectacular. If having the side of the road drop off to hundreds of feet below bothers you, reconsider. Before May or after October may find the road closed because of snow. I've been to the top in July and found snow to play in!