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family6 May 2nd, 2008 12:06 PM

4kids (8,6,4 &1) in colorado in June: we can stay free in Canon City, Salida & Breck; Can someone suggest an inexpensive itenerary?
My husband and I are driving from Wichita, Ks. on June 5th to Colorado. Our brother can get us hotels for free in Canon City, Salida & Breckenridge.
We have to be in Denver on June 11th for a wedding.
Can someone suggest an itenerary for 5-6 days?
I would like to at least see the Great Sand Dunes, Co. Springs area, Alpine slides, a gongola, a train, a mild hike (with a stroller, if possible), Glenwood Springs and of course, Casa Bonita.
I need help with planning the itenarary!
mom of 4

family6 May 27th, 2008 08:44 PM


fmpden May 28th, 2008 08:19 AM

You do need help. Because what you are asking about is all over the place. Hard to get an idea of what you want to do. Get a Colorado and put pins in all of those locations. Some are separated by a couple hundred miles or more. Other than free hotels I don't know the attraction for Canon City and Salida. You could use Canon City as a day base for trips to the Great Sand Dunes and the Colorado Springs. In CS you have the cog rail road to the top of Pike's Peak. Salida is best known for the jumping off point for white water rafting in Brown Canyon which would be high on the don't miss list.

Casa Bonita is in Lakewood (west Denver) so you could catch it during the wedding.

Georgetown has the Georgetown Loop railroad which is terrific and the old kids would love it especially the optional mine tour.

Breckenridge has an Alpine slide, Breckenridge has a new gondola but don't know if it is running in the summer. Vail's gondola does. You could day trip from Breck to Glenwood Spring and canyon and Leadville.

Hiking with a stroller requires a paved path -- not common on most trails. The path along the Colorado River in Glenwood canyon is paved. Leadville has a paved path, relatively flat, called Mineral Belt Loop which is very close to an outdoor museum. Kids would love it.

With only five or six days, I think I would be inclined to park in Breckenridge being closer to meeting everything you want to see and do. Save the sand dunes for another trip.

PeaceOut May 28th, 2008 08:41 AM

fmpden gives good advice. Your wish list needs to be trimmed down. I agree with staying in Breckenridge and Denver. With four kids, I would not want to pack up and drive everyday.

Skip sand dunes, Colorado Springs. Substitute things to do near Breckenridge: visit Vail, hike, bike, do the Georgetown train, etc. Go to Glenwood Springs as a day-trip, if you really want to.

hansman May 28th, 2008 03:49 PM

Canon City has the Royal Gorge Railroad. If you could get a pack that you could put your child in rather than a stroller, that would open up alot more hiking options to you. I have camped in the Salida area and the white water rafting as already mentioned is great. There are some hot springs in the area too.

fmpden May 28th, 2008 04:19 PM

We have never done the Royal G railroad but a number of our friends have and think it is over prices and just so so.

family6 Jun 2nd, 2008 05:29 PM

As it turns out, we have free hotel options as follows:
Thursday night - Canon City
Friday & Saturday nights - Manitou Springs
Sunday night - Salida
Monday & Tuesday nights - Frisco
Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat nights _Denver

We thought we would cover the Pike's Peak/ Col. Springs/ 7 falls/ Royal Gorge areas Thursday evening through Sunday at 3:00ish and end up in Salida Sunday late afternoon.

If we do decide to go to the Sand Dunes, we would go early Monday morning. I just don't know what the baby and I will do while the older kids explore with their dad?

Is their a Sand Dunes Hot Springs in Hooper?
I saw something about an alligator farm?

How long does it take to drive from the Sand Dunes to Frisco? (If we stopped for 1 or 2 hours in Leadville?) Where does Georgetown fit in?

Tuesday we could do the Alpine slide
and the gondola.

We aren't going to Glenwood.

We are trying to do alot, but we are used to that.


family6 Jun 25th, 2008 07:02 PM

We had a blast! Any moms with lots of young kids planning a trip to Colorado, ask me; it was wonderful!

5alive Jun 30th, 2008 11:11 PM

Hi, family6, could you do a little trip report? I also have kids and am reading up on a Colorado trip. What did you end up doing each day on your itinerary?

What things did the kids like, and I'm especially interested in your thoughts on Colorado Springs and Canon City.


family6 Aug 16th, 2008 01:00 PM

Day 1: (2 hours) We went to the Focus on the Family Visitor Center; I even went down the 3 story slide.
Next, we went to The Garden of the Gods VIsitor Center and took the bus tour ($12 for our family). They loved it! Then we drove to the picnic area and had p&B sandwiches, gatorade, and chips in the shade and there were MANY rocks for them to climb. We put the baby in a shaded backpack and hiked a easy horse trail (full of horse droppings, which disgusted my 5 year old !) pack disinfecting wipes to wipe down shoes before getting back in the car. WE drove on to the balancing rock and took some fun pictures. We were at the Garden of the Gods for 5 hours.

We checked into our Hotel - Travel Lodge in Old Colorado City (basically Manitou Springs) and had dinner in adorable Manitou Springs and swam at the hotel, great indoor pool! (only 70 a night! AAA discount or entertainment book discount!)

The next morning we took the Cog railway to the top of PIkes's Peak. Make sure you reserve this in advance on the internet. I think it was linked to Pike's Peak
It was 70 degrees at the bottom and a whopping 8 degrees at the top!
There is a store and cafe at the top, but you only have about 25 minutes until the train goes back down. All in all it was a 4-5 hour excursion, and we all loved it!
We packed beef jerky and Snickers to eat at the top. We usually eat healthier, but you know how it is.

Then we had lunch in Manitou Springs at a Greek Sidewalk Cafe; Yummy!

Next we spent the reat of the day at 7 falls! GREAT! It gave the kids a wonderful sense of accomplishment to climb the 200+ stairs to the top of the falls. At the top, there were hiking trails. We stopped and had oranges, grapes, carrots and gatorade. I even nursed the baby on a tree stump.

You would think we would call it a day, but we had dinner in Manitou Springs and played at the PEnny Arcade. Great Fun!
The older kids even went swimming with their Dad until the hotel pool closed!

Day 3 We went to Church in Old Colorado City, packed a lunch and spent 5 hours at Santa's Workshop (northpole at the base of Pike's Peak) LOVED IT! They had a great picninc area. Our kids were the perfect ages (8,6,3, and a baby).
If you go to Pike's Peak Attractions, you can find an admission coupoun for $11.95/person)

Then, we drove to Canon city and had dinner at Pizza mania or madness or something like that, and the kids loved it because they had pinball machines.

Day 4 Royal Gorge; we just looked and took pics from the parking lot, because it ws too expensive.
We continued west to Salida; Wow! what a gorgeous drive! We stopped twice to take pics.

In Salida, we spent the nightat the Super 8 with 3 beds.

Day 5 we woke up early and drove 1.5 hours to The Great sand Dunes! AWESOME! Much to my surprise everyone but the baby and I made it to the top! The sand is hot, so wear tennis shoes. I wouldn't recomend taking a sled; it just gets in the way, but bring a backpack with water and beef jerkey and oranges (or whatever)

Then in the afternoon, we went to the Sand Dunes Hot Pool in Hooper. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth it. Great food there too, but it would be less expensive to bring your own.

We drove to Frisco.
Day 6
explored the paths around Lake Dillon. "did Breckenridge"

day 7
outlet malls in silverthorne. drove to Denver for a family get together at CASA Bonita resteraunt. Wow! super fun!!!!!!!!!1

hope this helps

ElendilPickle Aug 16th, 2008 02:14 PM

Thanks for coming back and posting a trip report. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Lee Annn

LN Aug 16th, 2008 05:59 PM

Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. And it also sounds like you have a great brother-in-law!!

wtm003 Aug 17th, 2008 12:03 PM

Thanks for taking the time to post a trip report. I'm glad that your family had a fun trip!

5alive Aug 17th, 2008 10:36 PM

family6--thanks for posting the trip report. I am glad to know I need to reserve the cog train to Pike's Peak; I wouldn't have done that.

I also thought Royal Gorge looked expensive and it doesn't get great reviews on this site; my inlaws keep pressuring me to go there.

I will also check out the coupons. Is Santa Workshop also one of the places that has mining for gold, or was that another one? I looked at so many possibilities I'm a little overwhelmed.

family6 Sep 11th, 2008 11:37 AM

No, the "panning for gold" was aoutside Cave of the Winds, but I read about it in the Royal Gorge Ad as well.

It wasn't that exciting at the cave of the winds unless your're kids are gullable, like mine...

5alive Sep 11th, 2008 11:14 PM

Thank you-- we are back. I was working on my trip report and need to get it posted. I appreciate all of the help!

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