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Suggestions for a Colorado Trip

Suggestions for a Colorado Trip

Old Apr 26, 16, 9:08 am
  #1  
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Suggestions for a Colorado Trip

Probably heading out to Colorado again this summer for a week travelling by car from Illinois. In the past we have spent extended time in RMNP / Estes Park, and a few days in Breckenridge, Grand Lake, and Steamboat. Have also done a day trip to Ft. Collins for brewery tours, which I really enjoyed. We like all of those destinations and could happily spend time there again this trip, but wondering what other parts of the state are worth spending time visiting.

A few details...
- Would be travelling either late June or 2nd half of July.
- Would have 6 or 7 days to spend in Colorado
- Willing to split the trip between a couple of destinations, but don't really want to pack up and change lodging every night.
- 2 adults and girls ages 12 & 6.
- Like sightseeing, day hiking, watching wildlife, National Parks, brewpubs, boutique shopping.
- Would like to go whitewater rafting. Have seen that some trips down the Arkansas river allow kids as young as 6.

Open to all kinds of suggestions for destinations. Thanks.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 9:02 pm
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I would spend some time in Salida. Right on the Arkansas River, near the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, good distilleries there and and up the road in Buena Vista.

Also nowhere near as crowded as the RMNP or Breck.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 9:50 am
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If you have done Estes/Ft Collins area, I would suggest focusing on the west and south portion of the state.

assuming you have 7 full days in Colorado

start from Walsenberg (drive thru Dodge City to here)

day 1 drive to San Dunes NP, night Alamosa or Pagosa Springs
day 2 to Durango then to Cortez (get tickets for Mesa Verde for next day)
day 3 Mesa Verde NP, night in Durango
day 4 drive to Ouray
day 5 dallas divide area, black canyon of Gunnison NP then to Buena vista
day 6 browns canyon rafting trip, night Cripple Creek
day 7 Pike PEak and Colorado springs (Garden of the gods)
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Old Apr 27, 16, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by djp98374 View Post
If you have done Estes/Ft Collins area, I would suggest focusing on the west and south portion of the state.

assuming you have 7 full days in Colorado

start from Walsenberg (drive thru Dodge City to here)

day 1 drive to San Dunes NP, night Alamosa or Pagosa Springs
day 2 to Durango then to Cortez (get tickets for Mesa Verde for next day)
day 3 Mesa Verde NP, night in Durango
day 4 drive to Ouray
day 5 dallas divide area, black canyon of Gunnison NP then to Buena vista
day 6 browns canyon rafting trip, night Cripple Creek
day 7 Pike PEak and Colorado springs (Garden of the gods)

Before I read down to this post, I was thinking along the same lines. Depending how much time you want to spend at Sand Dunes, you can drive from Denver to Sand Dunes to Durango in a day and then base yourselves in Durango for several nights. Pagosa Spring, Cortez, and Mesa Verde are all within about an hour of Durango. Chimney Rock Mesa between Pagosa and Durango is good for light hiking, but like all of these areas, you will want to start the day early given the potential afternoon heat.

Basing in Montrose (or Delta) would give you easy access to Black Canyon and wineries around Grand Junction and Palisade. Colorado Nat'l Monument near Grand Junction is worth a drive through.

If you want to do Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods, I would suggest doing that on the front end and staying around I-70 for your return trip, possibly including Glenwood Springs and Idaho Springs (rafting available there and in Durango, not sure of other locations).

Tip: I have been advised to take large pieces of cardboard, especially waxed or glossy cardboard, to Sand Dunes to slide on.

Enjoy.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 2:47 pm
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Having a home in Ouray, I'm kind of partial to SW Colorado. I don't like hotel hopping so I would try to base myself in Ouray. Rent a jeep for a day or two, excellent four wheel drive routes, spectacular. Go to Telluride for a day. Go on a mine tour, swim in the hot springs. Take the Durango/Silverton railroad one day. There is so much to do and Ouray is a wonderful town.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 3:52 pm
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+1 to the suggestions so far for southwestern Colorado. I've had great times visiting Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods, Pike's Peak, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Ouray, etc. A trip of 6-7 days is about the right length to pack in visits to several locations-- not necessarily everything suggested here, but several of your pick-- while balancing your time well between driving and activities.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 4:12 pm
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And if in/near Alamosa at lunch or dinner, do not miss Cavillo's restaurant; the 2nd best New Mexican style Mexican food I've ever had. Have made a couple of cross-country detours just to eat there again:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura..._Colorado.html
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Old May 3, 16, 11:51 am
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Thanks for the continued suggestions. Should be able to nail down our dates this week for either mid-June or the end of July and I will then dig deeper into the suggestions. Thanks.
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Old May 8, 16, 12:52 pm
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Last summer I took a road trip from Denver down to Sand Dunes. It was absolutely worth the trip, Sand Dunes is one of the most incredible things I've seen in my life. Plus, Alamosa has some decent dining and hotels for an overnight stay if you need to make one.
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Old May 8, 16, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
...Plus, Alamosa has some decent dining and hotels for an overnight stay if you need to make one.
One of the very nicest Hampton Inn rooms I've ever had.
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Old May 21, 16, 5:23 pm
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Crested Butte is another gorgeous area of Colorado to consider.
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