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Suggestions for Colorado towns, white water rafting

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Jun 15th, 2013, 05:40 PM
  #1
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Suggestions for Colorado towns, white water rafting

Hello! On June 19, I'll be leaving for Colorado with my two children, ages 11 and 13, for a 9-day vacation. I would like some suggestions on 2 items: 1) the best town to finish out our trip and 2) recommendations for a white water rafting outfitter

Here's what we have roughed out, and you'll see that we'll be in Fort Collins for a bit as we're meeting a friend who lives there and will be traveling with us.

June 19 - Fly to Denver in a.m.; visit Boulder in afternoon. Overnight in Fort Collins.
June 20 - Explore Fort Collins. Visit brewery; check out bikes from Bike Library and ride around town. Overnight in Fort Collins.
June 21 - Drive to Estes Park. 10-2 Go rock climbing with guide from Colorado Mountain School. 4 p.m. Check into YMCA of the Rockies for 3 nights.
June 22 and 23 - Estes Park/RMNP --
June 24 - Depart RMNP; drive to Steamboat Springs to explore and spend overnight

For the remainder of the trip -- namely, June 25 and June 26, we would like to visit one more fun town and go white-water rafting and possibly ziplining.

Qs: We've talked about going to Breckenridge, which sounds like a fun and interesting town and that has biking and white-water rafting nearby on the Arkansas River. Would this be our best bet, or would Glenwood Springs, with rafting on the Colorado and exploring Glenwood Canyon, be a smarter choice?

Then, depending on which town we pick, which rafting company should we go with? There seem to be many, all touting their seasoned, safety-conscious guides and years of experience. Also, should we book ahead or can we arrange a rafting trip for the next day once we get into town? Lastly, are these companies with their combo rafting/ziplining offers a good bet, or is it better to book a zipline tour separately?

Appreciate any recommendations.

We have to back in Denver by 5 on June 27 to fly out.

Thank you!
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Jun 16th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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Either town would have lots for you and the children to do. If you go to Breckenridge the outfitters who raft the Arkansas are about one hour away from Breck-- south of Buena Vista. We always liked River Runners--but there are many more. http://www.whitewater.net/rafting-buena-vista-colorado/ We always booked ahead for rafting so we got the time and the trip we wanted. Glenwood does have the huge hot springs pool that the kids would like and the hike to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon is fun. http://www.visitglenwood.com/hanging-lake

Also Glenwood Springs is two hours further from Denver than Breckenridge--if that makes any difference to you.

I do have one question - why only one night in Steamboat? Is there something special you are going to do there? If there isn't, I would just go directly to Breckenridge or Glenwood (whichever you choose).
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Jun 16th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Hello. Thanks for the feedback. River Runners was one of the outfitters I've spoken with. There are quite a few outfitters, so it was hard to know which company to go with. Have you ever tried them for ziplining? I gather that they offer combination tours as well, though we haven't decided yet whether to just raft or also try the ziplining.

On Steamboat Springs, the friend in Fort Collins whom we'll be traveling with suggested it, saying it was a fun town to visit. We don't have any one thing in particular to see, though I gather that they have hot springs as well. It's the one place where I prebooked on Hotels.com, so not sure I could even get out of it without losing our hotel payment.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Glenwood Springs has the world's largest hot spring fed swimming pool. It is across the Colorado River and I-70 from the Amtrak station. Check out the Hotel Colorado in Gelenwood.
There is a great bicycle path out of Glenwood Springs.
For history you can hike up to the cemetery to see Doc Holliday's memorial stone. (He was not buried under it).
There is a gondola ride up to Glenwood Cavern.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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I can't give any advice on ziplining--never done it.
You might want to look into rafting out of Steamboat--here's one I found. http://www.raftcolorado.com/ Then you could spend your last few days in Steamboat. They do have hot springs, horse back riding, hiking, and I think hot air ballooning. Just a thought.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Hi Martym. It sounds like you think that going to Steamboat and Breckenridge would be too much driving? Or spreading ourselves too thin, perhaps?

I looked to see what it would save us in driving team if we were able to skip Steamboat, and it was about 2 hours...

Tomfuller, thanks for the suggestions on Glenwood Springs. It sounds as though we could easily spend a month exploring Colorado!

Stephanie
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:17 AM
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Steamboat is a cute town but sort of "up there" where everything else is "down here". I think even Glenwood Springs could be more fun than the overnight in Steamboat. The bike path along the river and the explanation of how that part of the highway was constructed is just neat.
And yes, you could spend a LONG time in Colorado!!
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Jun 17th, 2013, 05:21 AM
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Though slightly out of the way per the rest of your itinerary, Steamboat is a fun town. There are much worse places to be forced to stay due to a hotel booking! The pedestrian path along the Yampa River is quite nice and the Yampa River Botanic Park, which is along the path, is surprisingly enjoyable. Fish Creek Falls is a nice short hike close to town.

Do you have a bike route planned in Fort Collins? From Old Town you can head north on the Poudre Trail to LaPorte or south all the way to the Cathy Fromme Prairie via Spring Creek Trail. Both are excellent. Heading south also takes you past New Belgium and ODell breweries.

Have a great trip.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 07:02 AM
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Actually, the gondola in GS takes you up to an adventure park with rides, attractions and the cave. Our family really enjoyed that last year, though not inexpensive. (Breck has its version on Peak 8.)

We rafted in GS (it was a bad year and late in the summer so mostly a float trip). Hiked up to the hanging lake, which was neat.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 07:52 AM
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FWIW we were/are planning a trip to do some rafting and River Runners is one of the outfits we saw. We have been trying to figure out where to stay nearby, perhaps Salida, but we are now wondering about the fires and if that will impact our route (we were coming from the east, through Colo Springs).
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Jun 17th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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The fires are not affecting Colorado Springs as of today. You ahould have no problem going through Colorado Springs to the Salida area (assume you would take highway 24 to just south of Buena Vista).

You certainly could stay in Salida or Buena Vista--both are close to many raft trip outfitters. Another place to consider would Mt. Princeton Hot Springs resort--if you can get a room. http://www.mtprinceton.com/
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Jun 17th, 2013, 08:31 AM
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thanks martym. Our original plans were to go on 50 through canon city and maybe stop/stay in Salida. (Possibly stopping at the Royal Gorge, but that's out). I'll re-think the route.

Mt. Princeton looks interesting.
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