small towns in Colorado
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jul 23, 2012 8:04 AM Last Post By: vinnnn
Jul 19, 2012 8:55 PM
small towns in ColoradoI'm driving through Colorado next week with my husband and three kids. We are driving east to west (Minnesota to California) and have three days to spend in Colorado and have no plans as to how to spend them. We like hiking, playing in rivers, hidden water holes, (our kids are young - 7,5,3) small historic towns, mountains and craft breweries. Any suggestions of where we should go? We want to go to a cool, out of the way town in Colorado and don't mind driving to get there. We've been to Denver, Boulder, Vail and Grand Junction and we've heard Ouray is beautiful. Other than that, I've got no clue about Colorado! Any tips would be great, thanks!
P.S. our kids love hiking too, but our max is 4 miles with the little one at this point!
Jul 19, 2012 9:10 PM
1If your coming in on the I-70 ... At Limon turn on the 24 to Colorado Springs...There are a number of attractions & lots of lodging... Moving on,South in the 115, to the US 50 will bring you to recreation along the Arkansas River...Salida makes a good lunch stop... Over Monarch pass to the 135 into Crested Butte.Linger there... Then continuing,to the 133 over Kebler Pass, there are several small towns on the way into Delta and back onto the I-70 at Grand Junction ... Happy trails ... carracar
Jul 19, 2012 9:32 PM
Jul 19, 2012 10:25 PM
3Ouray is awesome, everything you're looking for. Small historic town surrounded by dramatic mountains, plenty of craft beers, rivers, hot springs, hiking...just ideal, if maybe a little touristy.
I've not been, but people rave up and down about Crested Butte also. Someplace really quiet and out of the way would be Lake City. but it is a cute, friendly little town on the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, with many adventures to be had in the surrounding spectacular mountains.
Jul 20, 2012 6:24 AM
4I also recommend the Crested Butte, Gunnison Valley, Taylor River -- there are rental cabins at the junction of the Taylor River and Gunnison River and an Orvis fly fishing shop. Crested Butte is the Wildflower Capital of Colorado and just had their Wildflower Festival at the beginning of July, as well as their Rodeo in Gunnison. Lots of cowboys there, beautiful green valley the 30 miles between Gunnison (Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday once lived there) and Crested Butte, a spruced up mining town with preserved frontier buildings. Many jeep roads will take you to tiny frontier towns, such as Gothic, which is now the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory for studying plant and animal species.
It is only a 3-hours drive if you take Highway #285 directly from Denver (off Interstate-25) across the Rocky Mountains toward Buena Vista and south (following Arkansas River) toward Salida/Poncha Springs, on Highway #50, then west over Monarch Pass/Continental Divide, and onward to Gunnison. There are more modern motels along Highway #50 in Gunnison (8,000-feet elevation). Highway #135 takes you 30 miles north through Gunnison Valley to Crested Butte. There is a Ranger Station in Gunnison with lots of guidebooks of hiking trails and wildflowers and birds plus maps. About 15 miles north of Gunnison is Almont, at the junction of the Taylor River (shallower and less swift) and Gunnison River. There are river rafting trips on both rivers. Crested Butte is 9,000-feet elevation. Some of the hiking/mountain biking trails nearby rise to 11,000 plus feet. There is a rugged trail from Gothic to Aspen ski resort, on the opposite side of Maroon Bells.
Jul 20, 2012 12:02 PM
5I've always enjoyed Buena Vista which is north of Salida. It has a very attractive restored downtown. Most importantly, you can see the Collegiate Peaks from the town towering to the West. There is some great waterwater rafting and mt. biking in Buena Vista. Just south of the town is hot springs swimming pool open to the public. You can swim in warm water while looking at the towering mts.
Jul 20, 2012 1:44 PM
Jul 22, 2012 9:55 AM
Jul 23, 2012 8:04 AM
8Crested Butte is cool and that loop through Leadvegas to Salida and up through Paonia is nice. If you like smoking pot, you'll love Crested Butte.
Also, have to state the obvious - Aspen. If you choose not to go to Crested Butte, you could still drive Independence Pass into Aspen - pretty scenic drive. If you go through Crested Butte you can go through Paonia to Aspen that way. There's some nice, short hiking around the lakes by the Maroon Bells Trailhead. The same goes for the Castle Creek Trailhead.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$229.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$359.00 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$16.54 per night