Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Ideal Itinerary for your Colorado Road Trip

With such a diverse landscape encompassing arid desert, river canyons, and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, Colorado is the ideal road trip destination. Home to the world's largest natural hot springs swimming pool, the state has many spectacular natural wonders. Plus, the state's capital, Denver, features a vibrant downtown area for you to explore. This itinerary will act as a guide to your travels in Colorado.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Denver to Fort Collins 

After you have explored the culturally rich metropolis of Denver, just an hour's drive away is Fort Collins, where the real road trip will begin.

Fort Collins to Beaver Creek

Explore the Old Town historic district in Fort Collins, home to extraordinary 1800s houses. Once on the road, a scenic three-hour drive to Beaver Creek awaits, with ski resorts for you to stop at dotted along the interstate, like Vail. Beaver Creek is a charming ski town, perfect for hiking and then unwinding in one of the many spa getaways Colorado has to offer.

Beaver Creek to Grand Junction

After hiking, skiing and perhaps a luxurious spa break–it's time to head to wine country. The variety of grapes that grow at this altitude are highly unique. Make sure to stop at Two Rivers Winery and Chateau en route for a guided vineyard tour and wine tasting session. It takes about two hours to reach Grand Junction from Beaver Creek. Once there, you can explore the many rivers, canyons, mesas and mountains.

Grand Junction to Ouray

After a few days of driving, you will probably be desperate for a dip in Colorado's hot springs. The drive is just two hours, and once you have arrived, you are free to explore the small town surrounded by impressive mountains. Hike to your heart's desire before selecting the perfect spot for a dip from a variety of hot springs. The Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings is a hidden gem that houses a magical, underground hot springs steam cave.

Ouray to Durango

This one hour and 45-minute drive may need some getting used to as you cruise along a cliffside. However, if you are brave enough, the views are breathtaking. Named the Million Dollar Highway, it offers beautiful views of the San Juan National Forest. For a historical moment, stop at Silverton, an old mining town lined with Victorian buildings. Once at Durango, the adventurer could choose to paddleboard on Lake Nighthorse or bike the Animas River Trail. Don't forget to visit the Railroad Museum, which houses restored locomotives, aircraft and a baggage car converted into a movie theatre.

Durango to Mesa Verde National Park

Less than two hours from Durango is the Mesa Verde National Park, home to 5,000 different archaeological sites and 600 preserved cliff dwellings. The National Park interprets and celebrates the Ancestral Pueblo people's archaeological heritage, who made it their home for over 700 years. Make sure to check out the Sun Temple, which according to modern Pueblo Indians, was a classic ceremonial structure.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind.

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