Visiting Denver

Old Mar 8th, 2014, 09:23 AM
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Visiting Denver

My husband, adult daughter, and I will be spending our vacation in Denver. Is 1 week enough time? Too long? Too short? We like to hike (5 miles at most). We need restaurant, hotel, and "things to do" suggestions. Thanks!
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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There are a LOT of threads about Denver and Colorado currently--might take a look at some of them and decide how you might spend some time in Denver and out of Denver.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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> We like to hike

Denver is close to a hiker's dream.

http://www.rocky.mountain.national-p...m/hike.htm#hik
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/hikes.htm

If this going to be one of the foci of your trip, you may want to get lodging in Estes Park, or (at least) Boulder.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:06 AM
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And actually Boulder probably has some good hiking closer by. But the Park would be almost a must for your trip with at least a week.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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What time of year? For hiking, you'll want to avoid mud season.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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From the other post, I think they are coming in May.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Thanks, Marty. I just found that post.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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If you like lions, tigers, bears and more, try this
http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 12:40 PM
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One place I always recommend for folks for shopping--and an adult daughter would enjoy--is Five Green Boxes on Pearl Street. There are two of them with very eclectic offerings of clothes, scarves and jewelry in one, and interesting gift things in the other. Both are small and cute. The street is full of other interesting shops and good restaurants--a fun place to shop.
If you like to antique, browse the shops on lower Broadway.
The Art Museum is a lovely browse--particularly (for me) their native American exhibits, and the restaurant there (Pallettes) is a very nice place--reservations could be helpful. The architecture of the nearby public library is worth a look also.
Botanic Gardens are nice.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Sorry about the double post. I didn't realize that the first one went through. Your suggestions are very helpful. Thanks.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:34 PM
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Stay on this one--it has the most, I think.
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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I guess that I should not have used "Denver" as the name of the forum. We will be flying into Denver. That's why the post was called "Denver". So, in summary, we have one week to travel, hike, and sightsee. Given that the arrival and departure flights are from the Denver airport, what would be a cool itinerary for us? Thanks!
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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I'm not a Colorado native, but have lived here for 20 years and love the state. My usual advice (and of course, my opinion only) is that the best part of the state is the mountains, so I encourage people to go anywhere in the mountains, or alternatively to the SW corner of the State, to the unique Mesa Verde and surrounding area.

If you're going in May, though, especially this year, when we've had lots of snow, hiking in the mountains is likely to be a bit limited in May, and may fit the definition of "mud season." Rocky Mountain National Park was also effected by the flooding late last year - go to the Park website for more info.

So with a week (do you mean 7 days, or 10 days?), you could go to the Mesa Verda area and do hiking there. Or head up into the mountains, whether it be RMNP or Summit County (Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone, etc.) or Vail and enjoy some low-level hikes, in addition to biking and other outdoor activities. Pretty much anywhere you go in the mountains, it doesn't need to be a nationatl park, it's absolutely gorgeous.
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Old Mar 14th, 2014, 06:36 AM
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For a one week trip, the route that is most often recommended is some variation of:

Denver -> Estes Park -> Grand Lake -> Summit County -> Denver.

- or, slightly more driving:

Denver -> Estes Park -> Grand Lake -> Leadville -> Aspen -> Denver.

I think southwest Colorado is too far for only one week. Note that the Estes->Grand Lake and Leadville->Aspen sections are only open roughly Memorial Day through mid-October.

But those routes will have everything you are looking for.

Have a great trip.
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 05:15 AM
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If you do make it to Rocky Mountain National park, be sure to take the scenic drive across Trail Ridge Road. It's the highest paved road in the country, I believe. There is a visitor's center at the top with a store and snack bar. Some nice short hikes along the way would be the Ute Trail - you can go out as far as you like and then turn around. Also the Tundra Communities Trail which has some unique rock formations. Just keep in mind that at that elevation you will be breathless pretty easily!

http://www.rockymountainhikingtrails...ional-park.htm
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Old Mar 15th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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I think they are coming in May so Trail Ridge Road will not be open till Memorial Day weekend. With this year's snow averages being 150% or better it could be later than that weekend.

Strictly speaking Trail Road is the highest, continuous paved road in the US. The highest paved road is Mt. Evens.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 05:14 AM
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Thanks fmpden, I missed that they would be there in May. You are correct Trail Ridge won't be open.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 06:01 AM
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When, generally, is mud season?
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 06:19 AM
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April and May--as the snow melts. it is also not a good fishing time as the streams are up and fast with the runoff.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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Except last April we got lots of snow in the mountains, so that one ski area re-opened. You just never know.
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