Five Activities for a Western Colorado VacationPosted on Mar 08, 2018
There's no shortage of weekend activities and entertainment opportunities on the Front Range in Colorado, particularly in Denver. However, the Western Slope is full of some secret and some not-so-secret recreational options as well. Here are several suggestions for a weekend west of the Rockies.
1. Swimming in a Hot Springs - Western Colorado has a handful of hot springs options, and choosing one depends on the type of experience you'd like to have. In Glenwood Springs, for example, there are two public hot springs pools which cost about the same: Glenwood Hot Springs is an old favorite, made up of two family-friendly pools of differing temperatures. When visiting during the summer, the pool also features two water slides. Glenwood's other public hot spring option is the newer Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Although Iron Mountain features one larger family-friendly pool, the experience is overall geared more toward adults. It is made up of a series of small, intimate pools of differing temperatures alongside the Colorado River, and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. If you prefer a hot springs pool that's a little more off the beaten path, Ouray similarly features two hot springs pools near the San Juan mountains. Still not secluded enough? Western Colorado contains dozens of natural hot springs, many of which involve a hike to reach.
2. River Activities - The Colorado River is a staple feature of many small towns in Western Colorado along Interstate 70. During the summertime, the river provides endless fun for residents and tourists alike. For those who would rather not spend the money for a day of whitewater rafting with a tour guide, renting or buying rafts, kayaks, and other floatation devices can provide fun for the entire summer. While this activity can be extremely dangerous if done without the proper precautions (ALWAYS wear a life jacket), there are plenty of riverside "beaches" alongside eddies where one can splash, swim, or enjoy a picnic.
3. Camping and Hiking - While these activities apply to all of Colorado, Western Colorado has some unique locations to explore. For instance, Colorado National Monument is an unusual landscape set between the desert and the mountains. It features plenty of hikes and some top-notch rock climbing terrain: not to mention a fantastic view of the Grand Valley all the way south to the San Juan Mountains. There are also endless opportunities for hiking as well as many free campsites atop the Grand Mesa, the largest mesa in the world. If you're into fishing, the Grand Mesa also features hundreds of lakes, many of which are overflowing with trout.
4. Skiing and Snowboarding - Skiing and snowboarding are undoubtedly hallmarks of any Colorado vacation in any part of the state. Western Colorado ski resorts are uniquely smaller than the more popular staples such as Copper, Vail, and Aspen. Perhaps the most well-known resort on the Western Slope is Telluride, and it is quite a trip to access. The views are well worth the winding, mountainous drive, but some tourists may prefer a slightly lower elevation. Two decently-sized (and reasonably priced) resorts are Powderhorn, which sits on the side of the Grand Mesa, and Sunlight, which is several miles outside of Glenwood Springs.
5. Glenwood Caverns - Some travelers prefer an experience that isn't entirely outdoors and nitty-gritty. A great option for such folks is Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. What used to be a simple, campy cave tour has turned into a (rightfully) must-experience attraction atop a peak overlooking Glenwood Springs. No matter where one may be staying for his or her Western Colorado adventure, a day at the park is essential. The park still features the cave tour, additionally boasting the highest-elevation roller coaster in the world and a breathtaking ride that swings customers over Glenwood Canyon below.
Looking to move somewhere on the Front Range in order for these getaways to be more feasible? Contact Team Lassen Real Estate and Lending Services today!