Six Days in CO Surrounded by Bossy Women

Jun 13th, 2008, 11:25 PM
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Six Days in CO Surrounded by Bossy Women

We (myself, the brighter of this partnership and our two daughters - 15 & 13) plan on spending a single week in July experiencing Colorado. The current choice seems to fall somewhere between RMNP/Estes Park and Summit County/ Breckenridge. My preference would be to move around and keep things interesting. On the other hand, my three travel mates are more inclined to live the week much like catfish – floating around and taking it easy, but if a plump worm came along, say hiking, or rafting, or biking, or site seeing, maybe, just maybe, they’d bite and Dad may have some input on the next family vacation. Your advice could simply reinforce that I’m a dork, or that maybe I know what I’m talking about, “with a little help from my friends.” Paul
Goodwins_Of_Iowa is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 12:41 AM
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Beware the elevation sickness! Giggle me timbres it is real!
gyppielou is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 05:13 AM
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Two days in Estes Park area and the rest in Breck, with the possibility of heading further west from there for sightseeing, etc.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Agree; two days in RMNP area, and then find a ski resort (Breck, Vail, Winter Park) with summer reduced price nice (condo)lodging and facilities, and you can use it as a base to raft, bike/hike down a mountain (after an easy ride up the chairlift), and enjoy day trips to ghost towns or other (I think Vail would be esp. good, since Glenwood Springs and Glenwood Canyon would be easily done; or Winter Park, a beautiful drive through RMNP after visiting there, lots to do in the area).
sylvia3 is online now  
Jun 14th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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BTW, In the summer Vail is also within easy day trips like Leadville and Aspen (Maroon Bells, Glenwood) over the scenic Independence Pass (then back to Vail through Glenwood Canyon).
sylvia3 is online now  
Jun 14th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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Unless you are used to driving in the mountains, I would not go over Independence pass, it has sections that are really scarry and if the car coming at you in places is inexperienced it is even worse. Yikes. Other passes and roads are breath taking, but this is special...!
polaris is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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I've done a week in Vail in the summer and loved it. Your family could stick around the hotel, float in the pool, relax, shop, etc, while you rent a mountain bike or do some whitewater rafting on your own. Then you can meet up for dinner. That would allow you to have the best of both worlds.
RedK is offline  
Jun 15th, 2008, 05:41 AM
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I really agree with Vail or that area for a base--there is lots to do within short drives.
The back passes are spectacular, Marroon Bells near Aspen.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 15th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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I hate to see anyone discourage someone from doing Independence Pass. It is one of my all time favorite drives and I've done it several times. I don't find it particularly difficult. There are a couple of places where it narrows down to one lane, but those are well marked and easy to navigate. The views are incredible.

I would recommend you might look at and rent a condo on Lake Dillon. It's a good place to visit other places from. And it's a great place to just chill out, listen to a Friday night concert at the amphitheater, rent a kayak and paddle around the lake, rent bikes and take to the miles and miles of trails.
Grassshopper is offline  
Jun 15th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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I would recommend you stay in one place for a week, with day-trips from there. It's not necessary to drive so much, from RMNP to Summit, for instance, because the Rockies are gorgeous everywhere.

Stay in Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Dillon, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, etc. for a week and you'll have lots to do any of those places. Minimize your driving, because the roads can get crowded, and gas is so expensive.

The Rockies are so beautiful in July, and the weather is so pleasant. You could take a raft or float trip, hike, bike, or just generally laze around.

PeaceOut is offline  
Jun 16th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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I agree with Grasshopper very little is scary about Independence Pass or maybe we don't define scary the same way. I have noticed several similar postings on related thread -- don't know if they are all from Polaris or not -- claiming that Independence Pass is scary. In the summer time it is the main road to Aspen, it is all paved, has guard rails, is two lanes, and really a very pleasant drive. Don't let one opinion scare you/
fmpden is offline  
Jun 16th, 2008, 07:10 AM
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fmpden, no I haven't said this before, must be others who feel same way. I have been over the pass many times, even before it was paved. I saw G_O_I was from Iowa, I just stated if she wasn't used to mountain driving, it could be scary in places.

I have been over many paved and unpaved passes etc., but usually not meeting inexperienced "flatland" drivers almost head on. Sorry, just giving my opinion for her to consider
polaris is offline  
Jun 16th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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To be honest, there are places where it is not quite two lanes; but unless you are a white-knuckled driver (as some on this forum have stated), it is an enjoyable drive, with many places to stop and look at the scenery.
sylvia3 is online now  
Jun 16th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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I honestly don't remember guard rails on Independence Pass. I love that pass, too, but have taken people over it who were not comfortable, and a young passenger who got car sick.

The scary thing on Independence Pass is where it is so narrow, because some drivers take the turns too widely, so they can be in your lane coming around. An extra wide vehicle is a very bad idea on that pass.

I do think that people need to know what they are doing, when they drive that pass. We have relatives who are older, for instance, who wouldn't dream of driving over it with us or by themselves.
PeaceOut is offline  
Jul 8th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Go through Independence Pass then stay in Glenwood Springs. There are all kinds on interesting things to see & do in Glenwood. The world's largest hot springs pool, fairy caves, Hanging Lake, biking, etc.
AttyWSW is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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POSTER ADDS - I'm continuing our original post rather than boring you with a repeat of the details for what has come to be called "the great plains drifters hit the mountain passes."

While we have moved our original travel dates, we've settled on spend five days in the Breckenridge area with Denver bookends. Your rafting, mountain biking, hiking, alpine sliding, hot springing, etc. advise would be greatly appreciated. In addition, food and evening activities will most certainly be the subject of our daily conversation. The Denver bookends, with a possible Rockies game, are also in need of enlightenment.

Now, I’d like to clear up a couple of misconceptions. My most lovely and active wife will participate, at a minimum, in a daily hike. Our Canadian trip to the Banff - Jasper area a few years back proved to be filled with a number of wonderful hiking trip. See Fodor’s post: I would assume morning to early afternoon hikes on the most wondrous of Summit County trails will be greatly appreciated by her majesty.

As for our Midwestern driving habits posted above, it’s my hope to demonstrate to our two driving aged daughters how one might drive mountain passes with a bandanna wrapped around one’s eyes – Karate Kid and “Luke, feel the force” style.
Goodwins_Of_Iowa is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 05:10 AM
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OK…. Whitewater rafting first.

The further you get into August, the less likely it is that you will find any. Rafting on the Blue River in Summit County (Breckenridge, Frisco Silverthorne) is done. So is the rafting on the Eagle River in Eagle County (Avon, Edwards, Eagle) so I’ve heard.
That leaves 2 options. The first (and closest) is the Arkansas River near Buena Vista and Johnson Village. This is about 60 miles south of Breckenridge. Plan on at least an hour and a quarter to get there. I’ve done the Brown’s Canyon trip on the Arkansas with a group called Noah’s Ark and had a great time, but there are plenty of other outfitters in the area to choose from. Google “Arkansas River Rafting Brown’s Canyon” and you’ll get a slew of outfitters websites.

The second option is the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon (about 100 miles, and an hour and three quarters west of Breck. Again, there are numerous outfitters that raft the Colorado here. Check with the people at Rock Gardens Rafting – their base is right in the canyon, just before you get to Glenwood Springs. They’ll know best what the water is probably going to be like at the time of your visit.
furledleader is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 07:47 AM
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Thanks furledleader - What is the typical float time on the Arkansas, as my wife has zero interest in rafting, yet if we're gone for an eight to nine hour float plus two and a half hours of drive time, she may start to feel abandoned in Breckenridge.
Goodwins_Of_Iowa is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 07:56 AM
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As to hot springing, there is Glenwood Springs to the west with the huge hot springs pool.

Another place is Mt Princeton Hot Springs--just south of Buena Vista and close to the put in point for many raft trips on the Arkansas.

You might consider a half day rafting trip with an afternoon at Mt Princeton, enjoying the warm/hot pools. (They also have a restaurant). Feels really good after the freezing cold river water on a raft trip.

Perhaps your wife could enjoy the entire day there--they have a spa--while the rest of you go rafting.
martym is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 08:02 AM
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Not sure of where you are in Iowa, but drive straight on through. Until you get to Denver the landscape is flat and lifeless. I agree with others about knowing your comfort level of driving in the mountains. At 14,000+ feet in RMNP, you are above tree-line so you are able to look straight down. Estes Park is like a small resort town at the base of RMNP

I vote for Breckinridge for relaxing, Colorado Springs for activities. Durango is so far west and is more the southwest style. is a very helpful site.


callerid is offline  

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