Plan Your Colorado Escape
Lucky you! You live in one of the most naturally beautiful states in our nation, so a “staycation” is super easy to make happen. Your next getaway is just minutes away!
Pike’s Peak, Colorado Springs
It plays a starring role in “America the Beautiful” for good reason, this 14,110-foot mountain inspires everyone who visits. For those looking for a hike, you can climb to its summit, and for those who want the view without the blisters, you can take in that purple-mountain majesty by driving to the top or riding via a cog railway. Check out rates at www.cograilway.com.
Red Rocks, Morrison
There are plenty of performances to take in at the one-of-a-kind, acoustically ideal amphitheater in Morrison. Those massive, slanting red-rock outcroppings serve as a backdrop for everything from the symphony and classic films to yoga and rock concerts. Check their calendar at www.redrocksonline.com
Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs
Head west toward Glenwood Springs to find the trailhead for the awe-inspiring destination of Hanging Lake. It clings to the edge of a mountainside and is surrounded by moss-covered rocks and a meandering trail. Plan your hike to this natural wonder at www.visitglenwood.com/hanging-lake.
Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride
Stop in Telluride to get your fix of a well-preserved Victorian-era mountain town, wedged in a postcard-perfect glacial canyon at the base of the San Juan mountains. Then take in the 365-foot Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest free-falling falls in Colorado, by hiking, biking or four-wheeling. www.visittelluride.com
Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park
Redefine your Sunday drive! Hop in the car and take the kids on a unique road trip right in your own backyard. Trail Ridge Road cuts through Rocky Mountain National Park between Estes Park and Grand Lake, both towns are worthy of spending your time, and the drive provides plenty of dramatic views along the way. Drivers can see all the way to Wyoming to the north, to Colorado’s eastern plains to the Colorado River to the west. www.rmnp.com
Summit County may be your favorite destination during the winter months to hit the slopes, but it offers just as much in the summertime for the whole family. Spend a day in the Victorian town of Breckenridge, go mountain biking at Arapaho Basin or hit Lake Dillon for boating and fishing. www.summitcountycolorado.com
Boulder Canyon, Boulder
Spend the day in Boulder Canyon and you’ll get a heavy dose of what makes outdoor enthusiasts so enthusiastic. Here is where you can scale cliffs, kayak the rapids and mountain bike to your heart’s content. And that’s all before lunchtime. Finish out your day with a visit to Pearl Street Mall and you should feel like a true native. www.bouldercolorado.gov
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Head due south to the San Luis valley and you’ll find yourself in the state’s best sandbox ever. Give your legs a workout climbing to the top of the dunes then sled down the sand at top speed. Who says you have to book a ticket to the Sahara when you’ve got this just a few hours from Denver! www.nps.gov/grsa
This is one place you can feel like you’ve stepped back into the gambling days of the old west, even if you are pulling the handle of a modern-day slot machine. Enjoy the ambiance, take in a performance at the Opera House and listen to the historic stories of Colorado’s mining days. www.centralcitycolorado.com
Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins
Just west of Fort Collins, you can visit Colorado’s only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River as it makes its way down Poudre Canyon. Sign up for white water rafting trip and see it from a completely different perspective when you go over the “Devil’s Staircase”. Stop in Fort Collins after your day on the river at one of the nine microbrewery favorites in the area. www.visitftcollins.com