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Colorado summer vacation recommendations

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Colorado summer vacation recommendations

Old 05-28-2018, 09:07 AM
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Default Colorado summer vacation recommendations

Happy memorial weekend all, heading to Colorado with 2 teens in a week. Looking for tips on where to go, places to see.
Goal is to be active such as rafting, bikes, hiking etc..
flying in to Denver and have 6 days on the ground so am thinking 3 days in 2 locations.
have only been in ski season so any tips greatly appreciated!!
Thanks
Scott
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:03 AM
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You are certainly traveling to a target rich environment. I vacation in CO almost every summer. My favorite location is Crested Butte. I have made pit stops all over the state but Crested Butte is my absolute favorite. It's up in the Rockies at over 9000 feet. The weather is spectacular. The area has an endless number of awesome hiking trails. The downtown area is safe, clean and walker friendly. There are plenty of restaurants. The locals and visitors alike are some of the happiest people in the world. Free buses can run you all over the place. It has been getting almost too busy the past few years and rental prices are high.

Salida is at a lower elevation. Basically at the base of the Rockies. The town is larger than Crested Butte, but it holds some of the same charms. Hiking trails aren't as plentiful, but the Arkansas River flows right through it, so the rafting is prime. Salida is within easy striking distance of cool attractions like Canon City and the bridge there.

It'll be hard to make a mistake as far as location goes. It's an outdoors paradise.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:22 AM
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Ouray and Telluride can’t be beat. They are about an hour from each other. Ouray is know for its old gold mining trails. Rent a Jeep and head out on the trails exploring the old mines. There are approximately 2300 mines in the area. Mine ruins are everywhere. The trail system is extensive. Some mountain passes like Imogene are over 13,000ft. Amazing scenery. Telluride is also an old mining town about an hours ride from Ouray. We stay in Ouray and take the Imogene trail to Telluride and spend the afternoon in Telluride before heading back to Ouray by road.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:30 AM
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OP, if you decide on Ouray, I'll give you some restaurant recommendations.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:48 AM
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Boulder or Golden if you want to stay on the front range. Plenty of mountain biking / hiking / fishing opportunities, and rafting available in Idaho Springs - just 40 minutes up I70.

For the close mountains, I think Winter Park is great for family. Rafting isn't too far away, and great hikes/biking and activities at the base area.

Vail is OK, but family biking opportunities are pretty steep unless you are a fairly serious mountain biker.

Glenwood Springs would be a nice option, too, but 2.5 hours from Denver.

Aspen / Snowmass is really great, but 3.5 hours from Denver.

Salida / Buena Vista are great as posted above.

Crested Butte is my favorite place, but a 4 ish hour drive from Denver.

Durango area has a ton of stuff to do, but 5 hours from Denver.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:41 AM
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Fort Collins and read feather lakes and the Poudre river are also good for front range activities.
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:02 PM
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Since flying into Denver head to Estes Park and the YMCA is a good place to stay. Drive over Trail Ridge to Grand Lake, eat at the Sage Brush. The YMCA in Granby is very nice as well. Horseback riding, fishing, rafting, mountain biking... lots to do. If you go this route I will add restaurant suggestions in the Winter Park/Granby area!
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:15 PM
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Half This crowd will probably say stay in Denver and get high
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:28 PM
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One of the best things we ever did on vacation was a helicopter ride at the royal gorge. tipped the pilot before hand, he told us were the barf bags were before take off, I said we don’t get sick, that’s what the tip was for. Pilot was amazing, we road in and out of the gorge like a skateboarder would a half pipe. Coming out of the canyon the chopper blades would be vertical, I was in the passager seat looking straight toward the top of the sky. He would stall the chopper the ends would flip until I was facing the bottom of the canyon. He would hug the wall and chop the tops of the trees it felt like until we leveled out at the bottom of the canyon, then do the same thing on the opposite side of the canyon. All 5 of us had a permanent smile the rest of the day

Last edited by willie g; 05-28-2018 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by willie g View Post
One of the best things we ever did on vacation was a helicopter ride at the royal gorge. tipped the pilot before hand, he told us were the barf bags were before take off, I said we donít get sick, thatís what the tip was for. Pilot was amazing, we road in and out of the gorge like a skateboarder would a half pipe. The chopper would be vertical, I was in the passager seat looking straight toward the top of the sky. He would stall the chopper the ends would flip until I was facing the bottom of the canyon. He would hug the wall and chop the tops of the trees it felt like until we leveled out at the bottom of the canyon, then do the same thing on the opposite side of the canyon. All 5 of us had a permanent smile the rest of the day
That glass bridge over the Gorge scared the hell out of me. I am a total wuss with heights.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
That glass bridge over the Gorge scared the hell out of me. I am a total wuss with heights.
I take it you didnít do the swing? I had no fear of heights when I was young, just resently I had to clime a ladder on a tall 2 story roof, I almost couldnít transition from ladder to roof and back, scared the piss out of me. The chopper things is a completely different sensation no problem with that at all
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
Ouray and Telluride canít be beat. They are about an hour from each other. Ouray is know for its old gold mining trails. Rent a Jeep and head out on the trails exploring the old mines. There are approximately 2300 mines in the area. Mine ruins are everywhere. The trail system is extensive. Some mountain passes like Imogene are over 13,000ft. Amazing scenery. Telluride is also an old mining town about an hours ride from Ouray. We stay in Ouray and take the Imogene trail to Telluride and spend the afternoon in Telluride before heading back to Ouray by road.
I will second this area but it may be a little too far of a drive if you want to split the trip between 2 places. We have hauled our side by side out there and road all sorts of trails. The "alpine loop" is cool as hell and you can rent the jeeps or atv's in many spots. The last time we were there we blew a head gasket (not known at the time) on a diesel mule about 500' below Imogene Pass. We made it to the pass and back down luckily without assistance. I don't know what we would have done if the mule would have quit. Thank goodness we could basically coast down hill back to the truck.

Another area near Ouray that you could split time between that is close by is Black Canyon of the Gunnison N.P. and Curecanti national rec. area. We are headed to camp 3 days on the white rim trail and plan on returning through this area for several days on our way home. It looks amazing!

If this area interests you I would extend my flight to Durango and rent a car and drive north to Ouray. It is an amazing place.

There are just too many places out that way to pick from. We have been going WEST about twice a year now for a few years and being from Ms. (flat) I stay in awe everywhere we go.
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