Sleep helped the altitude sickness, and after a full night in one of the research site’s cabins, I felt much revived. Brian fished in the morning and I scrambled up a rocky outcropping with a graduate student studying pikas through their poop (a non-invasive way to analyze stress levels of this small mammal that looks like a cross between a rabbit and a mouse): but our afternoon was free. What to do?
For mountain bikers, Colorado is a haven, with great trails all over the state. Unfortunately, the mountain climate limits the season in many areas. But the town of Fruita, near Grand Junction, has the climate to enable you to stretch out your mountain biking season through the shoulder seasons and into the winter months. It's also a quirky little town with enough character to make you want to stay a while and return.
Would you like to stay in a historic red barn, a former milk room, or an original historic log cabin and get an idea of how the original Colorado settlers lived? Converted to the luxury Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, this former 1885 homestead is a quaint reminder of the area’s adventurous past. With its main lodge building, old converted barn, and two log cabins, the Bed and Breakfast today offers rustic luxury and unparalleled comfort. The rooms are furnished with antique pieces and fireplaces, with luxurious bathrooms featuring claw foot tubs, conveying a sense of times gone by while providing entirely modern comfort and amenities.
Gem Lake is high among the rounded granite domes of Lumpy Ridge. Untouched by glaciation, this outcrop of 1.8 billion-year-old granite has been sculpted by wind and chemical erosion into a backbone-like ridge. Pillars, potholes, and balanced rocks are found around the midpoint of the trail, along with views of the Estes Valley and Continental Divide. Potts Puddle trail is accessible from the Black Canyon trail.
Fishing was a popular pastime for early visitors to the park, and it remains so today, with anglers catching several types of trout, including brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat. Note: A valid Colorado fishing license is required for all persons 16 years of age or older to fish in Rocky Mountain National Park. For current Colorado fishing license fees visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.
Nature lovers can go hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding or climbing in one of the surrounding national parks, or you could choose to explore historic archaeological sites such as Hovenweep, Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a highlight of any visit and you can combine various adventure sports packages with your scenic train ride. Keep reading for more Colorado points of interest. Things to Do in Durango
Beaver Mountain Loop, also used by horseback riders, passes through forests and meadows, crosses Beaver Brook and several aspen-filled drainages, and has a great view of Longs Peak. Deer Mountain Trail gives a 360 degree view of eastern part of the park. The summit plateau of Deer Mountain offers expansive views of the Continental Divide. During the winter, the lower trail generally has little snow, though packed and drifted snow are to be expected on the switchbacks. Snow cover on the summit may be three to five feet deep, requiring the use of snowshoes or skis.
All this and more just moments from your dream mountain town home. Or, venture further into Rocky Mountain National Park and nearby high mountain ranges to find scenic drives and trailheads — with wild flower fields, lush basins and snowcapped massifs, world famous hiking, backpacking and mountaineering, pristine trails up bubbling brooks and cascading waterfalls, through chaos canyons to stair-stepping alpine lakes, frozen tarns, imposing glaciers, tantalizing 13’ners and 14,000′ sawtooth ridges — an adventure-filled vacation you’ll always remember.
The park has a total of five visitor centers with park headquarters located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center—a National Historic Landmark designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West. National Forest lands surround the park including Roosevelt National Forest to the north and east, Routt National Forest to the north and west, and Arapaho National Forest to the west and south, with the Indian Peaks Wilderness area located directly south of the park.
Our warm and inviting Beaver Creek accommodations feature premium amenities that will make guests feel right at home, such as our Hyatt Grand Beds® with crisp linens, large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and rich alpine views. Indulge in one of our luxury suites and enjoy extra perks, like a 500 sq. ft. terrace overlooking the entire valley, a kitchenette, and cozy fireplace for chilly nights.
Designated as an All American Road, Trail Ridge Road crosses from beautiful pine forests to alpine tundra at some of the highest points in Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive is so high, that visitors will climb 4,000 feet in a matter of minutes! Outside of the car, plant and wildlife flourish throughout the drive -- moose, bighorn sheep and around 200 species of alpine plants are a few of the amazing sights that you might see. With a top altitude of over 12,000 feet, slow speeds and deep breaths are recommended. Janine Dawley, www.sharetheexperience.org
Other interesting summer activities include guided tours of Chimney Rock National Monument, hot air balloon adventures and paddling, tubing or rafting along the San Juan River. In winter you can go dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, snow tubing and more at the Wolf Creek Ski Area, enjoy some brewery-hopping or simply relax in the natural Pagosa Hot Springs. Things to Do in Pagosa Springs
The Experience: If Aspen isn't quite your mountain town scene, head to Vail instead. It's equally as idyllic (it was modeled after European mountain resorts), pedestrian-friendly, and lovely, but the town itself is more of a square in a village with a small collection of boutiques and restaurants for visitors. Ride up and down the gondolas for mountain views in every direction and ski the unique back bowls. It's also closer to Denver, making it easier to get to and, therefore, a little more crowded during peak seasons.
Thank you for a wonderful stay at Brynwood. Our plans were last minute, but you were so nice to accomodate us. Even moving our luggage after the first night so we could go hiking! We loved the location so close to RMNP, and town. And you even had a bear in the tree across the street for our entertainment : ) I am so glad to have met you during our stay at Brynwood. Talking to you helped me to feel that our goal of hiking Longs Peak was attainable. I hope you will be able to make the hike yourself one day soon. Here are a couple pics of us at the top. As I mentioned to you, we should have gotten a victory picture when we got back to our car...but we were too tired! I hope we will see you again...soon!
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Imagine taking a trip on a train with your partner, very Old World romantic, isn’t it? The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad offers several options for guests who are looking for romantic getaways. The railroad runs between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado. There are several trips available for you to choose including a full-day trip, a half-day trip, a sunset trip, and galloping goose #5. The sunset trip is probably the most romantic option of all. Depending on the route you choose, the fare starts from 95.75 USD.
Brush up on your Lindy Hop and head to this one-of-a-kind ball that celebrates all things 1940s each June. A hangar at the Boulder Municipal Airport is transformed into a dance hall befitting the USO, with 1940s cars, celebrity impersonators, swing dance lessons, live music and an authentic-attire contest that’ll make you feel like an extra in “Casablanca.”
Old-fashioned hospitality is the specialty at Sylvan Dale in Loveland. During August and September, the guest ranch offers great grown-up getaways complete with home-style meals and a personal horse for your stay, plus options for overnight trail rides, trap shooting and more. Guests lend a hand with ranch chores, but come nighttime, you can kick back by the campfire to toast s’mores and mingle with fellow guests who might just feel like family by the end of your stay. Find more dude ranches in Colorado >>
Split down the middle by the vast Rocky Mountains and jam-packed with national parks and wilderness areas, Colorado is an ideal travel destination for outdoor pursuits in every season. From skiing and whitewater rafting to hiking, biking and camping, outdoor activities are a way of life in the Centennial State. The state’s fun-loving culture attracts visitors looking for a laidback vacation too. After all, Colorado produces more beer than any other state and is one of only two states in the Union that has legalized marijuana for recreational use. Rich in historical and cultural attractions as well as in natural beauty, the best places to visit in Colorado have something special to offer every visitor.
Located in Southwestern Colorado, the Gunnison National Park is best known for the narrow gorge called the Black Canyon. With a depth that reaches 2,700 feet (820 meters), the canyon was carved by thousands of years of erosion by the Gunnison River. Scenic overlooks along the 6-mile (10 km) South Rim Road offer views of the canyon. The Cedar Point Nature Trail off South Rim is an easy-to-navigate hiking trail that includes signs about the area’s plants. It leads to a great view of the 2,250 foot (7,380) high Painted Wall, the tallest cliff in the state.
There's more to Michigan than its natural legacies. Ann Arbor's University of Michigan is a must-visit for its Law Quadrangle, the Power Center for the Performing Arts, Natural History Museum, and a series of Gothic structures. One of the longest suspension bridges in the world is the Mackinac Bridge, which joins the Lower Peninsula at Mackinaw City to the Upper Peninsula at St. Ignace. Frankenmuth in mid-Michigan is an interesting replica of a German town, where visitors make a customary stop at Zehnder's or The Bavarian Inn, known for their luscious fried chicken.
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)
Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and westerns slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region. The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.
The Trail Ridge Road, which itself reaches an altitude of more than 12,000 feet, is the main driving route through the park and offers easy access to this incredible terrain. You can sightsee from the comfort of your car or stop off along the way for a hike or easy walk. The park has an extensive system of hiking trails that range from paths of less than a half-mile to full-day and multi-day hikes. If you're lucky, you may see elk, bighorn sheep, deer, and other critters.
If you're looking to splurge during ski season, Aspen is the place to be. This small town is conveniently tucked between four renowned ski spots that offer quality slopes for all levels of skiers. Not only that, but the town features the crème de la crème of luxury resorts that whip up an après-ski scene so appealing it'll be pretty tough to leave. Read More »
Rising from 7,800 feet to 12,000 – even 14,000 feet in some places – RMNP is a high-elevation park and if you don't give yourself time to adjust to the thinner atmosphere and lower oxygen levels, you could run the risk of getting the headaches, nausea and disorientation characteristic of altitude sickness. Along with taking a day or so to acclimate to the high altitude, you should make sure to consume plenty of water and food to ward off symptoms.
Nicknamed the “Mile High City,” Denver is a haven for outdoor-lovers year-round, making it one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado for any type of travelers. Bring your camera along to capture views of urban and natural scenery alike—Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall are two essential sightseeing destinations for first-timers, and Mount Elbert is always looming large in the background. The real Denver attraction, though, is the culture, which you can discover on a walk through the city’s distinct neighborhoods, on a Denver sightseeing tour, or a bike and brewery tour (it doesn’t get more Denver than that).