Denver/Breckenridge/Dillion Area

Old Jun 25th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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Denver/Breckenridge/Dillion Area

DH and I are hoping to fly into Denver for a long weekend (3 days) in the mountains. We are hoping to find a home base in or around the area of Breckenridge or Dillion; however, we are open to considering another area as well.

We are not skiers. We would enjoy driving scenic roads/byways and enjoy the scenery/sights/viewpoints/wildlife. We are open to stopping along the way to take short hikes to further view points, etc. We do not mind driving far as long as we are able to enjoy the beauty of the mountains.

Are there any areas in the mountains that sound like would appeal to us? I guess we just need a little help getting started on the exact area.

thank you!
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 09:13 AM
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Also, we are planning on going in mid-October (15th-17th).
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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Breckenridge is a nice place to stay as a home base. We've stayed there several times, sometimes we just go up for the day from Denver. (we are not skiers either)

Go to www.breckenridge.com and find out about lodging, places to eat etc. There is a nice bike path from Breckenridge to Keystone.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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I meant bike path to Frisco, not Keystone. Also, I prefer to stay in Breckenridge, then Dillon.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Have you considered Rocky Mt National Park instead? It's far more scenic than Summit County (where Dillion and Breck are), and a national park sounds tailor made to what you want to do (wildlife/viewpoints/short hikes/scenic drives). And it's certainly close enough to Denver to be an easy weekend.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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If you are coming from close to sea level, you will gain 9,000 feet of elevation in the day you travel from home to Breckenridge, so do not expect to do anything very strenuous. You might be OK, or you could feel very winded and tired just walking up a single flight of stairs. We were there in mid-October several years ago and arrived at Denver airport to find nearly a foot of fresh snow. It was a beautiful drive, but a bit icy in spots once we got to the mountains.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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Christy,
Yes, we're open to any of the national parks in the area. Where would you suggest to stay within the Rocky Mt National Park?

Kayd,
Thank you for the warning. We are coming from Fort Worth, TX. Five years ago we traveled to Banff, Alberta, Canada and we did not experience anything like this; however, I do not know what the elevation difference is.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 07:25 PM
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That's the only national park in the area! Colorado's others are quite a ways from Denver. I've only camped or done day trips from the Denver area, so I can't recommend lodging, but I bet trip advisor or another post here (or a search for old posts) can help.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 09:19 PM
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There is no lodging within RMNP, so your best bet is Estes Park. My husband and I have stayed there the second weekend in October for going on ten years, so I can tell you it's a great time to visit! Sometimes, there are still aspen turning gold, other years it's a little late. One great aspect of that time of year is the elk rut. Large elk herds congregate in the lower areas of the park and "bugle" to attract mates, especially around dusk and dawn. It is an amazing spectacle to see and hear! The summer and fall crowds have mostly dissipated, so lodging is usually more available and cheaper. Check out Boulder Brook or the Woodlands on Fall River Road for excellent condo-type lodging in a very convenient location. It will be on the chilly side too; some snow is no unheard of, although daytime temps can be in the 60-70s too.
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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The elevation at Banff is only 4800 ft, so Breckenridge at 9600+ is significantly higher (Denver is 5200). Some experts say 8000 ft is where effects begin to be felt by most people (but everyone is different and it is not always related to your level of fitness). Here's a helpful website with links to hiking info along with altitude guidance
http://www.skisilverthorne.com/adapt...on-changes.php
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Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 06:02 AM
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I'd use caution about planning a trip to Rocky Park that late in the season. Trail Ridge Road, the main artery through the park, closed in early October last year due to snow, I think within the first weekend of the month. But as Tekwriter says, if you can go that time of year and the road is open, it is beautiful.

If you use Breck/Dillon/Frisc/Vail area as a base, Vail Pass would be a lovely place to visit and hike, but as someone else mentioned, you want to take it easy the first day or so and hydrate well. Also be prepared for quickly changing weather; it could be 75 or 80 one day in the fall and the next (or that afternoon) a blizzard. As people often joke here, if you don't like the weather, stay where you are in 10 minutes and it will change...

For wildlife viewing, there is a good spot near Idaho Springs (keep you eyes open for the sign indicating Wildlife Viewing Area) for spotting goats and doll sheep, Genesee for bison/buffalo, and Evergreen's Elk Meadow is great to spot elk (just watch the driving!!). And if you do make it up to Rocky Park, you'll see most of these animals.

Just watch for those bugling elk; they are amazing to watch, but they are in an aggressive rutting state and it would be best to keep a good distance.
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