Colorado’s only Relais & Chateaux dude ranch offers a seemingly endless list of things to do, but creature comforts abound, too — from the elegant Western accommodations nestled in aspen groves to the haute mountain cuisine that has been hailed by Bon Appétit and Gourmet. In addition to adult weeks offered August through October, Home Ranch in Clark also hosts yoga and horseback-riding retreats, perfect for girlfriend getaways.
Just outside the towns of Grand Junction and nearby Fruita is Colorado National Monument. A scenic road snakes its way through some outstanding scenery. This is not typical mountain scenery, but a landscape of huge rock spires, cliff walls, canyons, and desert-like surroundings with small trees and scrubby bushes. Most people drive through the monument along Rim Rock Drive and stop at the lookouts that peer over the landscape below. The road is also a popular road biking area, with hearty souls peddling their way up to the lookouts. A number of day hikes access some scenic areas of the monument, most of which involve moderate elevation changes that range from approximately 300 feet to more than 1,000 feet.
Your first stop should be the Quarry Visitors Center from where you can access the main attraction at the park, the Quarry Exhibit Hall, built over the Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry. A huge wall of windows allows in natural light, making it feel more like an excavation site than a museum. Fossils are in various states, from still encased in the stone wall to fully assembled skeletons.
Colorado is a year-round destination that piques the imagination and inspires the soul with its dramatic landscape and natural beauty. The state is nothing less than stunning, with a diversity that ranges from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the rolling hills, rivers, streams, and high desert of the Colorado Plateau. Mountain towns beckon skiers, hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all types, but are also great places to soak up some tranquility and enjoy the mountain vibe. Scenic drives through parks and along state highways are some of the best ways to see the amazing sites that the state has to offer. Remnants of the cultures that inhabited the area and the dinosaurs that once roamed the land can be seen and better understood by visiting some of the national parks and monuments. Colorado is an unbeatable destination that will make you rethink your future travel plans.
Say hello to the historical, chic and boutique – The Maven Hotel, just one block from Coors Field, between 18th and 19th Streets on Wazee in LoDo (Lower Downtown). The lobby sets the stage for a lovely stay with its chic boutique feel, and the lobby bar serves up throw-back “speakeasy” style drinks. Playful, modern, hip and just a fun place to stay, don’t miss an opportunity to stay at The Maven.
The weather in RMNP is highly variable. To avoid being caught off-guard, pay attention to the weather report (especially afternoon thunderstorms in the summer or heavy snow during the winter). The NPS also warns that wintertime visitors planning on cross-country skiing should be aware of the risks of avalanches, and should consider completing an avalanche training from places like the Colorado Avalanche Information Center before hitting the trails. For more safety tips, consult the NPS website .
Another of Colorado's fourteeners, Mount Evans reaches an elevation of 14,271 feet. Almost equally impressive is the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which extends almost to the summit. This is the highest paved road in the United States, reaching over 14,130 feet. The views from the top and on the way up, above the tree line, are outstanding, with meadows, lakes, and rolling mountains extending out into the distance. The area is so open and exposed that you have a good chance of seeing wildlife, particularly bighorn sheep.
Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark, is a unique landscape of jagged stone towers and fins jutting up 300 feet from the earth, and giant balanced boulders and rock piles dotting the landscape, with distant mountains completing the scene. Fifteen miles of trails, most of which are short and easy, allow you to get up close to the dramatic rock formations and wander through the surreal scenery. The park is a popular area for rock climbing, but other activities in the park include road biking in designated biking lanes, mountain biking, horseback riding, and Jeep and Segway tours.
The first week of the park shutdown brought little financial impact, said town manager Frank Lancaster, probably because most tourists had already booked their Christmas stays and couldn't cancel. Along the town's main street Wednesday, tourists peered in candy store windows, shopped for T-shirts and rented snowshoes, and there was little sign the nearby park is largely inaccessible.
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.
Dinosaur National Monument, in northwest Colorado, combines dramatic scenery with natural and cultural history to create one of Colorado's most interesting sites. Dinosaur remains embedded in exposed rock walls reveal evidence of the giants that once roamed these areas. Petroglyphs offer insight into the cultures and people that lived here long ago, and surrounding it all are cliff walls and the Green and Yampa Rivers snaking through the otherwise dry landscape.
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).
Guests are treated to a delicious gourmet three-course breakfast every morning along with complimentary bedtime snacks. An intimate library and comfortable lobby offer the perfect place to curl up with a book, an experience that is even nicer when it’s done in front of a crackling fire. The adjacent Rocky Mountain National Park provides a variety of activities from hiking and mountain biking to mountain climbing, fishing, and wildlife watching.
A city that conjures up images of a magical winter wonderland, Aspen boasts beautiful surroundings, where visitors can soak up panoramic views of the Colorado Rockies against the area’s abundance of mountain chalets and popular ski areas. A mecca for winter sports enthusiasts, visitors can also find a wealth of high-end boutiques, interesting museums and excellent hiking trails. Whether you choose to climb to the summit, spot diverse wildlife or simply soak in your surroundings, the Maroon Bell peaks is a must on any itinerary. After a day of adventure at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands or Buttermilk, relax at the world-famous and therapeutic Glenwood Springs.
Crested Butte may be off the beaten path, but it’s worth the trip as one of the most stunning mountain towns in all of Colorado. The atmosphere is one that combines the charms of a historic mining town with hippy flair. Set at the base of the Rockies, it’s world-renowned for skiing, but in the warmer months, it becomes a top hiking and mountain biking destination, as well as drawing countless visitors for the chance to take once-in-a-lifetime whitewater rafting adventures through the Taylor Canyon. A true mecca for mountain bikers, there are hundreds of miles of trails linked together to create an endless day of touring from Gothic to Mt. Crested Butte, Irwin to Gunnison, or even from Crested Butte all the way to Aspen. If you don’t have a bike, stop by Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven and rent one for the day or for the length of your stay. In addition to riding the trails, you can ride around town and check out all the historic buildings and funky alleyways.
A spectacular scenic drive stretches from the old mining town of Silverton, to the town of Ouray, along what is called the Million Dollar Highway. This is a 46-kilometer two-lane highway that hugs the mountainside in places and looks out over jaw-dropping cliffs and across valleys to inspiring mountain peaks. It is one of the most spectacular mountain drives in Colorado. If you have time, you can extend this into a longer route and drive the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. The Skyway is a full-day trip that you will want to do in good weather, but can be done in winter or summer.
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 »
If you wish to have a romantic dinner outside of the hotel or resort you are staying at in Colorado Springs, you have to go to the Pepper Tree Restaurant. Its stylish architecture makes the restaurant one of the most beautiful in Colorado. You can enjoy spectacular views of the city skyline from the restaurant while feasting on a romantic dinner with your love. The restaurant serves high quality seafood, steak,s and legendary wines. Dining at the Pepper Tree Restaurant is a romantic and memorable culinary experience.
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.
With over 1,800 acres of skiable terrain in Beaver Creek, it’s no wonder this resort town is a top choice for a weekend trip in Colorado. Beaver Creek is home to the Birds of Prey downhill course, too—a difficult run that’s often included in World Cup races in early December. Not up to the challenge? No worries. There’s plenty more to do like catching a show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center or hanging out at the Beaver Creek Resort. Swing by in the afternoon for a taste of their fresh-baked (and free) chocolate chip cookies.
The Olives Aspen restaurant, run by Chef Todd English, serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a local flare. The Lobby Lounge features beautiful views, and offers a light menu with cocktails, aperitifs, wines, and beers. Doubles from $725 per night. The hotel is located 10 minutes from the Airport. You can contact the hotel to arrange transportation. Doubles from $725 per night. The hotel is located 10 minutes from the Airport.
Located south of the town of Avon, Beaver Creek is a family-friendly town that combines the convenience of a modern resort with the quaint charm of an alpine village. The long list of activities available here includes outdoor fun like fly fishing, hiking, wine tasting and panning for gold, in addition to mountain 4×4 tours, rafting, skiing and golf. The town also hosts fun activities like movie nights under the stars, kids activities and various group tours.
Visitors come from far reaches to travel America’s highest continuous paved highway. Not for the queasy and open only between Memorial Day — pending the towering walls of winter snow have melted — and Labor Day, two-lane Trail Ridge Road takes explorers across the Continental Divide, past weathered tundra overlooking sweeping valleys and into the clouds at 12,183 feet. The ribbon of a road covers the 46-mile stretch between Estes Park on the park’s east side and the marine town of Grand Lake at the park’s western entrance. There Peak to Peak Highway is another byway near the park, starting in Estes and going through Nederland, Black Hawk and Central City.
Glacial geology in Rocky Mountain National Park can be seen from the mountain peaks to the valley floors. Ice is a powerful sculptor of this natural environment and large masses of moving ice are the most powerful tools. Telltale marks of giant glaciers can be seen all throughout the park. Streams and glaciations during the Quaternary period cut through the older sediment, creating mesa tops and alluvial plains, and revealing the present Rocky Mountains. The glaciation removed as much as 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of sedimentary rocks from earlier inland sea deposits. This erosion exposed the basement rock of the Ancestral Rockies. Evidence of the uplifting and erosion can be found on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park in the hogbacks of the Front Range foothills. Many sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras exist in the basins surrounding the park.
Good morning, I am Judy Hall my family and I just stayed at Brynwood June 8th – 14th. We stayed in the Bunkhouse. We had a great time. Your place is absolutely wonderful. The grounds are beautiful. I will definitely recommend Brynwood to others. All of the employees were so friendly and kind. Took care of all of our needs. I wish I was still there!
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.
Brown’s Canyon National Monument – It’s one of Colorado’s newest national monuments, and also one of it’s most beautiful. A pristine, natural canyon, Brown’s Canyon offers visitors the opportunity to hike, raft, or camp in the headwaters of the Arkansas River. Towering ponderosa pine trees and monolithic boulders greet you along this amazing stretch of white water. We may be biased, but we think the best way to see it is by raft. There is also fantastic camping along the river at various locations. Browns’ Canyon is also close to the small town of Nathrop, which offers a number of hot-springs resorts that are perfect for relaxing after a day of adventuring, including Antero Hot Springs Cabins, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort, and Cottonwood Hot Springs.
A gorgeous mountain town that is not as well-known as its counterparts, Salida offers a variety of historic attractions to fill up a weekend itinerary. Take the Monarch Scenic Tram to soak in stunning Rocky Mountain views, go for a dip in the Salida Hot Springs or explore the area’s local history and culture at the nearby Salida Museum. When the weather warms up, grab a kayak or tube and head to the Arkansas River, and active travelers can utilize one of the many scenic mountain bike trails to explore the region further. A certified Colorado Creative District, visitors can also browse the area’s abundance of impressive art studios and galleries.
Salida is known for its white-water rafting and gorgeous mountain scenery in southeastern Colorado. Nature-lovers, adrenaline-junkies, and ski-bums alike will all enjoy this Colorado weekend getaway. Those who want a mellow weekend trip in Colorado can stroll through downtown galleries and museums, while adventure seekers will find no shortage of heart-thumping excursions.
In winter you can try cross-country skiing and snowmobile trails and after an energetic day out there is nothing better than a soak in one of the natural thermal springs. You can visit the Buena Vista Heritage Museum or go on a Ghost Town adventure, visit several working art studios and galleries, or quench your thirst at a local brewery. Things to Do in Buena Vista