Denver Day Trips?

Old May 13th, 2006, 12:40 AM
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Denver Day Trips?

Hi, I am looking for advise on day trips from Denver. I will be living here in May & June and looking to explore Colorado on the weekends. Interested in seeing the mountains, hiking and interesting towns. Any advise is helpful - I've only been to Colorado once before to ski Aspen- so beautiful! Thanks for your help!
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Old May 13th, 2006, 05:34 AM
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hi travelgirl, take a look at www.colorado.com - they even have a listing for whats happening throughout the state in may/june.
take a drive up to boulder, then head west on 119, go right on the gold hill/ward road. at ward turn south towards nederland on 72/119. you will go through some very pretty country along this road. you will pass blackhawk/central city where you could stop over night and gamble. then on to I70 and back into denver.
estes park and grand lake are both beautiful.
a trip to leadville is almost required. its the highest incorporated city in the us - surrounded by 14,000' peaks -stunningly beautiful. has great history, fun people and the best mexican food in the state at 'the grill' on elm street. you should stay at the historic delaware hotel. (i used to live in leadville)
vail would be fun. you can ride the chair and hike up on the mtn.
if you can get more than 2 days (like 4) head down to telluride. you will travel over several passes and telluride is a great town. it will be a full day drive each way but the views along the way would be 1/2 the reason to go anyway.
go to glenwood springs to soak in the hot springs pools. you can stay right there at the hot springs hotel or across the street at the hotel denver. really good hiking area at this time of year. and you could shoot up and see what aspen looks like without snow.
colorado springs has the garden of the gods, air force academy, van brigle pottery, cave of the winds, olympic training center, manitou cliff dwellings, miramont castle, pikes peak, royal gorge, and even the cheyene mtn zoo is pretty cool.
grand junction is another long drive but it is in a very different looking part of colo. farm country so flat and wetter. colo national monument is very beautiful - a sort of mini grand canyon, flattops/grand mesa which is the largest flat topped mtn on earth. very good hiking!!
so now i've sent you pretty much all over the state.... hope you find some ideas here and enjoy you stay.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions Virginia! We would like to check out some of the ski resorts - walk around the towns etc. What would be the closest few from Denver that would be worth going to for the day - that is when skiing is not availble this time of year? Would Vail be a good option?
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Old May 13th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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yes vail would be a great day ride. approx 2 1/2 hrs. west of denver. I70 all the way. fun to walk around. loads of shopping. fabulous food. fun bars.
another option is breckenridge, same time frame, also on I70 you just get off sooner - at summit county. you might even want to take the exit over loveland pass just before the eisenhower tunnel entrance. this will drop you down past apraphoe ski area (where they may still be skiing). then past keystone. breck is a very happening ski town year round. restored in a victorian look. very quaint.
or steamboat springs. steamboat is a working ranch town in addition to the skiing. lots going on year round.
plenty of restaurants and shops in all 3. you can probably ride the chairlift at each mtn. the views from the mtn tops are spectacular.
when you take these drives you wiil mostly be leaving denver on I70W. as you start up the hill out of denver you will approach buffalo bill overlook and the spanless bridge. they specially designed the bridge because it is the first real view of the 14ers you get. very dramatic the first time up the hill. and normally there are buffalo hanging around (fenced in) at this exit.
another stunning first view is coming into leadville from copper mountain. you come over climax pass (by a huge mine) down the hill,come around a corner and WOW. the valley stretches out before you with huge mtns all around.
ok, now i'm making myself want to go home.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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I'd recommend Summit County. You can visit Dillon, Keystone and Breckenridge. Rent bikes and ride on the hundreds of miles of paved bike paths. Eat lunch on the lake (the Tiki Bar is the highest of its kind in North America). Rent kayaks or canoes in Frisco. Shop at the interesting shops on Main St. in Breckenridge. More than enough to do in a day.
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