Southern ColoradoKnown as a heritage town with grand nineteenth-century architecture and brick streets that date to the early 1900s, Trinidad is set in a green valley halfway between Denver and Santa Fe. The town is surrounded by vast state and national recreation areas, including two state parks. Trinidad is the gateway to the Scenic Highway of Legends, where travelers find lakes and stunning dikes that radiate out from the ancient Spanish Peaks. Historic and prehistoric sites abound in every direction.
The Fern Lake trail passes Arch Rock formations, The Pool, and the cascading water of Fern Falls. Two backcountry campsites are located near the lake, and two more are closer to the trailhead. Odessa Lake has two approaches: one is along the Flattop trail from Bear Lake while the other is from the Fern Lake trailhead, along which are Fern Creek, The Pool, Fern Falls, and Fern Lake itself. One backcountry campsite is available. Other lakes are Jewel Lake, Mills Lake, Black Lake, Blue Lake, Lake of Glass, and Spruce Lake.
If you make the quick jaunt to Denver’s neighbor-to-the-north, start with the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Debuting in November 2012, the museum features over interactive 100 exhibits and activities such as the Music & Sound Lab, where physics, technology, history and hands-on playing and composing lead to inspiration. The Environmental Learning Center is a 212-acre site comprised of four distinct ecosystems – wetlands, riparian, cottonwood forest and prairie – and offers plenty of programs for kids. The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program takes in injured birds of prey, and welcomes visitors interested in their rehabilitation and release. Want a free ride? The Fort Collins Bike Library loans bicycles to visitors and residents, from one hour to seven days, at no charge.
The climate change study projects further temperature increases, with greater warming in the summer and higher extreme temperatures by 2050. Due to the increased temperature, there is a projected moderate increase in the rate of water evaporation. Reduced snowfall—perhaps 15% to 30% less than current amounts—and the elimination of surface hail, along with the higher likelihood of intense precipitation events are predicted by 2050. Droughts may be more likely due to increased temperatures, increased evaporation rates, and potential changes in precipitation.
Breckenridge is one of the top names in Colorado getaways, but you have to see the quaint downtown surrounded by towering peaks to truly understand what makes this destination so great. Known for its premiere skiing and beautiful hiking—picture rocky trails and alpine lakes—it’s a Colorado weekend getaway that makes you want to get outside and explore. For those who are interested in cozying up while on vacation, a spa package or winery visit could do the trick.
A small mining camp not so long ago, Boulder is a modern, sophisticated town at the base of the Flatirons, popular among extreme sports folks and lovers of magnificent nature of all ages. Stroll through the charming downtown with the popular Pearl Street Mall. Discover Boulder’s past at the Boulder History Museum located in the beautiful historic Harbeck-Bergheim House. Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art not only has a range of permanent and temporary exhibits, but also popular educational programs.
Located 17 miles from the Winter Park ski resort and 16 miles from Vail, Frisco is the perfect small-town getaway. You can relive life as a miner in the Old West at Frisco’s historic park and museum or take a mountain bike ride that takes you over 55 miles of paved pathways. Strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis for a turn around the Frisco Nordic Center. During the summer, paddle or motor out to the Sentinel Island from the Frisco Bay Marina. Rent a cozy condo at Mountainside, or consider renting a lovely house on the Blue River. Warm up the evening with delicious farm-to-table fusion fare Italian-style at Bagalis Frisco.
Daily bus service into Rocky Mountain National Park is available weekends beginning in Memorial Weekend and then daily from June 27, 2016 to September 7, 2016 and weekends until the end of September, 2016. There are two more routes to help you once you are in the Park for Moraine Park and Glacier Basin (Bear Lake). Sorry, there are no bus routes for Trail Ridge Road or Horseshoe Park.
As of 2010, the preceding one hundred years of records indicated an increase in the average annual temperature of approximately 3 °F (1.7 °C).[a] The average low temperature has increased more than the average high temperature during the same time period. As a result of the temperature increase, snow is melting from the mountains earlier in the year, leading to drier summers and probably to an earlier, longer fire season. Since the 1990s, mountain pine beetles have reproduced more rapidly and have not died off at their previous mortality rate during the winter months. Consequently, the increased beetle population has led to an increased rate of tree mortality in the park.
Zach Zehr, an avid backcountry adventurer, spends a lot of time in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is open but operating with a limited staff since Dec. 22, 2018, due to the federal government shutdown. Because of the shutdown, the roads aren’t being plowed so much of the park is not open to vehicle traffic. Fat bikes, however, work just fine. Zehr, who is also the manager at the Estes Park Mountain Shop, and some friends rode their fat bikes to the Bear Lake Trailhead and did a backcountry ski trip in the park on Jan. 6, 2019. (Provided by Zach Zehr)
Ouray is one of the many historic Colorado mining towns that have re-invented themselves as outdoor playgrounds for adventure sport fanatics. The town is steeped in history, which you can explore at the Ouray County Historical Museum, the Ouray Alchemist Pharmaceutical Museum or on a tour of the Old Hundred Mine, before visiting one of the natural thermal pools that have been attracting visitors for over 100 years.
The park's climate is also affected by the Continental Divide, which runs northwest to southeast through the center of the park atop the high peaks. The Continental Divide creates two distinct climate patterns - one typical of the east side near Estes Park and the other associated with the Grand Lake area on the park's west side. The west side of the park experiences more snow, less wind, and clear cold days during the winter months.
No trip to Estes Park would be complete without a leisurely drive along the Trail Ridge Road at Rocky Mountain National Park, with its winding scenic views of craggy peaks. Park your vehicle and take a hike through one of the many pine-scented trails bordered by forests and tundra. Keep an eye out for elk and other wildlife as you go! Roosevelt National Forest is another wilderness area worth exploring, Meanwhile, you can enjoy the breathtaking views over the valley on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, which connects the town to the summit of Prospect Mountain. Down Estes Park has lots of options for one-off shopping and dining, whether you feel like chowing down on a handmade pizza or a juicy elk burger. Afterward, quench your thirst with a pint of Colorado craft beer at one of Estes' local breweries.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park – Just a few minutes away from Echo Canyon River Expeditions office, you’ll find Colorado’s Natural Wonder – the Royal Gorge. In 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge was built across the gorge and still stands as one of the world’s greatest engineering feats. Buy tickets online or as a rafting package to save a few dollars. The newly rebuilt attractions and visitor’s center enhance your experience of this amazing chasm and expansive view of the Wet Mountain range. There are also trails, located just before the gates of the park at the rest area, that allow visitors to walk or bike a few miles along the rim of the Gorge.
A classic Colorado city just up the road from Denver, Fort Collins is a great spot for a weekend trip in Colorado. The historic college town is artsy and vibrant with plenty to do. Whether it’s bringing the kids to the Museum of Discovery, hiking and kayaking at Horsetooth Open Space, perusing Old Town shops, or biking to Fort Collins’ many craft breweries, there’s something for everyone.
That was not my intention. We planned a trip from Florida to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for one of my freelance writing projects, and originally scheduled a day in Denver (at 5,280 feet in elevation) to acclimate. Frontier Airlines had a different idea. I heard alternatively that our plane had a mechanical issue, that weather in the Midwest grounded the flight, and that the crew went on strike. Regardless, the airline cancelled our original flight.
“This isn’t a furlough for us,” Oropeza said. “There are definitely folks who, if this continues into next week, they’ll have to forfeit their commitment. Some are exploring applying for other jobs. They have student loans, they have car payments and other bills. …There are ripple effects this is having down the road. Our seasonal contracts, we have to have our contracts for summer seasonal work signed soon. All these things are getting backlogged.”
Update on Jan. 14, 2019: A Rocky Mountain National Park spokesman said Monday the park began using recreation fees to temporarily pay about 10 percent of furloughed workers to clean up the park. They’ve been plowing roads, cleaning restrooms and collecting trash since Saturday. Other staff, such as law enforcement rangers, continue to work without pay during the shutdown. The park is expected to reopen to vehicle traffic on Tuesday, said Kyle Patterson, a Park spokesman who is on furlough.