The Experience: Located in a Western ghost town in the Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs is the rustic escape for families that want to experience the great outdoors without compromising luxury or comfort. Dunton offers perma-tents, tepees, and cabins for lodging. This remote destination hotel will get you off the beaten path and out of your comfort zone in the best, most luxurious way possible.
Reminiscent of the grand mountain lodges built at the turn of the 20th century, the Wild Horse Inn is handcrafted from 400-year old logs and moss covered rock, and it boasts grandiose windows that look out over the valley. This beautifully rustic inn is the perfect winter escape with luxurious log cabin rooms, crackling fireplaces, en-suite bathrooms with showers and jetted tubs, and private balconies or decks. Guests are treated to a full gourmet breakfast each morning and can enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies all day.
Depending on when you choose to stay in an Estes Park vacation rental, you may be able to catch family-friendly events like the annual Teddy Bear Picnic or Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival. If you aren't able to make it to those events, don't worry: you can always pick up some local history at the Lula W. Dorsey Museum or Stanley Steam Car Museum. Visit the local shops and galleries like the Wild Spirits Gallery or Alpenglow Images & Accents to see some local photography, woodworking, jewelry, and other crafts or pick up a souvenir or two for friends and family back home.
Rocky Mountain National ParkAt the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is the deepest natural lake in Colorado, dipping to 265 feet. Fed by high mountain runoff, the lake is clear and pristine. In the summer, you can rent a boat, bring your own or simply enjoy the gentle lapping of the waves from the sandy shore. Grand Lake connects with Shadow Mountain Lake via a canal, and just down the road is Lake Granby, the second largest body of water in Colorado.
When it comes to the best weekend getaways in Colorado, Colorado Springs is a top choice with a little bit of everything—numerous hiking trails, interesting museums, an artsy historic district, and plenty of restaurants and breweries. It’s also home to Garden of the Gods, a National Natural Landmark featuring hiking, climbing, and stunning views at the foot of Pikes Peak.
“If my internship changes and I’m not able to do what I expected to do, that’s not a huge deal in comparison to others’ problems. My concern is for the more established park rangers,” said Burkey, who hails from Ohio. “I don’t have a family and kids to provide for. My future coworkers, my supervisor, they do have a family, bills and a mortgage. And they’re the ones not getting paid.”
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The highest you can hike is Pikes Peak at 14,115 feet, the highest in the Rockies. With so much great climbing opportunities, Colorado Springs is a great place to learn to rock climb. Front Range Climbing Company and First Ascent Mountain School offer classes for any skill level. Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site offers a glimpse into the past with the 1860 log cabin and the 1880 farm house. Western Museum of Mining & Industry tells the story of the mining in the area and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers a home to more than 950 animals, 30 of them endangered.
Another one of the state’s most popular skiing and snowboarding destinations, Steamboat Springs may be a winter wonderland during the chillier months of the year, but the summer brings an endless landscape of green dotted with brilliant wildflowers. This is when this Wild West town really comes alive, with visitors enjoying fly fishing, inner tube rides and rafting trips on the Yampa River, endless scenic hiking and mountain biking trails, and natural hot springs that are ideal for soothing sore muscles afterward. If you can be here around late June/early July, you can attend the legendary annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park festival which boasts an extensive display of colorful hot air balloons along with some 50 artist vendors, live entertainment, food and drink vendors, and an interactive children’s art area.
Loveland is called so for a reason. Romantic getaways in Colorado are blessed with vast views of Big Thompson Canyon and its inhabitants – sheep, deer, and the odd eagle. Don't miss out on Loveland Brewery, which is a bastion of Colorado's brew culture. Meanwhile, Telluride is overlooked by sky piercing peaks and retains a sense of seclusion from the outside world, making it ideal for weekend getaways in Colorado for couples. Mountain Village presents visitors with a horde of glittering attractions, while a charming "free box" is still used to exchange items.
19th-century ghost town, and hosts its own fabulous mineral hot springs. The five-star property enjoys a backdrop of aspens and the dramatic San Juan Mountain Range, situated about 30 miles southwest of Telluride. It’s the perfect place to disconnect from the chaos of the modern world and connect with the one you love. Nearby you can go heli-skiing, rock climbing or hike miles and miles of scenic trails. It hosts a ring of historic log cabins that now serve as luxurious retreats as well as other historic buildings that house a lavish spa, a well-stocked library and a saloon with wagon-wheel chandeliers.
A popular high-altitude town with a bustling downtown scene and a diverse array of activities to choose from, Boulder is a fun place for everyone. It has many great restaurant offerings, in addition to outdoor sports, and is home to the University of Colorado at Boulder. It also has a thriving nightlife, as well as numerous art galleries, shopping, breweries and so much more.
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.
While it is possible to travel through Rocky Mountain National Park and not catch sight of any wildlife, we venture to say that is an unlikely experience. From everyday sightings of chipmunks and mule deer to the moving experience of viewing elk in rut (the mating season), the animals in the park let you know that you are part of something truly wild. Some of these critters are harder to spot than others - they might camouflage themselves in the trees or hide in the underbrush - but look closely and you may have an encounter unlike any other.