At about 68 million years ago, the Front Range began to rise again due to the Laramide orogeny in the west. During the Cenozoic era, block uplift formed the present Rocky Mountains. The geologic composition of Rocky Mountain National Park was also affected by deformation and erosion during that era. The uplift disrupted the older drainage patterns and created the present drainage patterns.
Central ColoradoFind yourself in Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak. We have five historic trains to transport you back to the days of cowboys and gold mining. Endless trails allow you to enjoy the abundant sunshine and spectacular scenery. A family vacation in Colorado Springs is the smart choice – great lodging values, a long list of low-cost or no-cost activities, and adventure around every corner. Order your free guide today.
Great Sand Dunes National Park- A few hours south from Cañon City will take you to this fascinating and inspiring park. Towering sand dunes as far as the eye can see offer hours of entertainment as you explore the rolling hills, flowing creek (visit in May or June for the best chance to see flowing water), and the visitor’s center. Kids can even earn their Junior Rangers badge! The park has a campground and is a perfect place to get away from the lights, hustle, and bustle of everyday life. That’s what your Colorado Vacation is all about, right? Additional overnight accommodations are located nearby.
Getting to Ouray is a spectacular adventure in itself, especially if you take the Million Dollar Highway that follows a 25-mile stretch of US 550 from Silverton to get here. The road’s endless twists and turns, many at the edge of sheer cliffs, brings some of the most jaw-dropping vistas in the world. As you turn each corner, the views of the soaring, jagged peaks of the San Juan Mountains seem to keep getting better – providing a pretty big clue as to why Ouray is often called the “Switzerland of America.” It’s an ideal spot for soaking in natural hot springs, gazing at countless waterfalls, and even exploring old mines. For an in-depth knowledge of the town’s gold and silver history, head to Bachelor-Syracuse Mine where you’ll find out what it was like to be a miner back in the day. There are also lots of interesting shops on the main street, historic walking tours and even a ghost tour if you’re brave enough.
^ This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document: "Majestic view from the old, one-way, dirt Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Front Range of the spectacular and high Rockies in north-central Colorado". Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
An alpine village peppered with an array of modern resorts, Beaver Creek is the perfect weekend getaway destination. A laid-back ambiance of unhurried travelers, here visitors can get away from it all with the area’s world-class skiing and resort amenities. With gorgeous Rocky Mountain views, Beaver Creek is located in the Vail Valley and offers plenty of activities to fill a weekend itinerary. Many people come to try their hand at the 1,815 acres of skiable slopes, catering to both novice and experts alike. The area has plenty of other things to do, however, as visitors can take in a show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, or indulge in anything from golf courses to pampering spas, shops and restaurants, with the city even home to a large outdoor ice rink in its city center.
Catering to couples and perfect for honeymoons or weekend getaways, each cabin at Annie’s Mountain Retreat has its own private, outdoor hot tub. Just three miles from Estes Park, three of the buildings are located along the Big Thompson River with water access, and the fourth borders Rocky Mountain National Park with access to hiking trails just steps away!
There are several Front Range towns that have fun winter attractions that are worth experiencing. Next time you’re passing through Idaho Springs, relax at Indian Hot Springs or go snowshoeing in the Arapaho National Forest. Georgetown hosts ice races on its frozen lake. While in Evergreen, make use of the giant frozen lake by ice skating or fishing.