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Have you been to both Canadian Rockies as well as those in Colorado?

Have you been to both Canadian Rockies as well as those in Colorado?

Jan 6th, 2006, 01:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 649
Have you been to both Canadian Rockies as well as those in Colorado?

Have a long drive to Breckenridge from Calif planned for a family celebration in June. Not sure whether to go off the beaten path of our 'route' to include Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park since we were just in the Canadian Rockies twice in the last 3 years.

Would you? Do you think the Colorado sites in Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park rival in their beauty?

I know the Colorado Rockies are nice, but not sure they are as *dramatic* (in appearance) altho' I know they are taller. I esp. love all the glacial lakes in Canada...from Moraine to Lake Louise to Emerald Lake in Yoho.

I've seen Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park 2-3x (as well as the Tetons) but it's been many years since I was there, so I can't really remember. (and once was when I was just 6)
I do recall thinking the Tetons were incredibly beautiful! (so can't remember if Colorado's are more like our Sierras...very tall in spots but don't stand "out" as much, if you know what I mean?)

I just wonder whether we'd be better off slowing down once in Breckenridge region & seeing that area more? (since we have a lot of driving to even get there)

Someone recommends a loop drive through Aspen too which I could see doing (altho' I wish this drive could be in Autumn...that must be spectacular!)

Mesa Verde also holds interest but is *way* off the path...so pondering whether to allocate time for that instead of Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park. I was *only* at Mesa Verde when 6. (32 yrs ago!)

And then there is always a potential stop at Zion on the way home, too, which ALSO would involve more driving.

Thanks so much for your opinions!

Daydreamer is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 03:29 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 31
Driver here. I haven't been but am going to Canadian Rockies (see last post before yours!) based on all the good news I've heard and the photos I've seen.

My wife and I have been to the Colorado Rockies however, when we used Breckenridge as our base. Breck was delightful - more so than Vail in our opinion - and one day we drove through the Rocky Mountain NP via Estes Park.

Although we thought the drive quite spectacular, it was a long day and as a keen photographer I expect the Canadian Rockies to outstrip it for sheer beauty. Much depends on the weather at the time of course. Our day was overcast so the colours were a little flat.

My advice - slow down and stay closer to Breckenridge in Summit County. There are some wonderful drives nearby and just up the road is Lake Dillon if you want to park up and enjoy a picnic or a walk on some good trails. You can even cycle from Breck on flat cycleways if that appeals. Nearby Silverthorne has some factory outlets if you want some retail therapy. In Breck itself is Peak 8 with cable cars to the top and a summer Alpine slide if you have the nerve. We really enjoyed a cowboy breakfast horseback ride, albeit on mounts that knew exactly where they were going and wouldn't deviate no matter how hard we tried to make them.

If you like twisty mountain roads, try Independance Pass or drive to Pike's Peak (14,192ft) but be prepared for a headache in the rarified atmosphere there, and test your brakes on the way down.

Er, sorry - you'll gather I remember the area fondly. Now I want to go back. In a nutshell, there's plenty to see and do in and around Breckenridge and I doubt the Rocky Mountain NP will match the splendour of Banff and Jasper.

Have a good trip!
Driver is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 03:41 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 31
Oh yes, Zion - splendid. Do that if you can - superb. Bryce too.
Driver is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 228
Having spent time in both areas of the Rockies, I would say the Canadian Rockies are the most dramatic and breathtaking of the two. If I had to choose, I'd pick the Canadian Rockies any day. The US Rockies don't really compare.

However, there is much to see and do around the area you'll be in, and seeing you have been to the Canadian Rockies, I would take time to explore Colorado or the surrounding area more. Bryce would be a wonderful detour.
Mazey is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 05:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 649
Thanks so very much, guys!!
I LOVE the Canadian Rockies...have been 3x now (driving 2x all the way from California no less, so you KNOW we were motivated!!)

Nothing has matched them in my experience yet for sheer wonder, but as others mention, weather too can influence a lot how much you enjoy a place.

I really appreciate your advice & am glad to hear there's plenty to explore & hike through near Breckenridge. (as some slowing down time makes sense w/long drives)

I also LOVE Bryce, but since been there before several times, thought if we could only include one Utah park we might try Zion this time, as we've merely done very quick drive-throughs in the past twice. (literally! on the way to Vegas airport both times) ;-)

It looked like it might be a bit like Yosemite here (just gorgeous) but w/more color to the rock faces.
Daydreamer is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,220
Daydreamer: since you've been to the Canadian Rockies a number of times, I wonder if you're able to help with the question I posted elsewhere, viz whether there are excellent QUIET places to stay in the CR. We've had terrific luck finiding very lovely and very restful and quiet accommodations in places like Grand Canyon (both rims), Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonland, etc. But I keep reading that the accommodation scene in the Canadian Rockies is somewhat inferior-- i.e. considerably higher prices, plus difficult to find truly peaceful and quiet rooms. Any knowledgeable in-put much appreciated.
poss is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 05:23 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 31
Bryce - "..helluva place to lose a cow...".

Zion - yes, more like Yosemite. Quite dramatic in places and plenty to see and do. There's free park transport between all the key car parks, trailheads and features within the park if you want to use it, but it's quite possible to amble between many of them too. Don't forget your camera!
Driver is offline  

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