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Doug and Jeffrey’s Guidebook for Denver Day Trips

Jeffrey

Doug and Jeffrey’s Guidebook for Denver Day Trips

Sightseeing
Our guide to top destinations near Denver (1-3 hours away). Many will get you into the mountains. For I-70, be ready for lots of traffic especially Friday going into the mountains and Sunday returning. The trip will take you through the Eisenhower Tunnel if you head towards Vail...and you'll go past the Dillon Lake, which is surrounded by three ski areas (Keystone, A-Basin, Breckenridge).
Easy drive, 25 minutes outside of Denver near Morrison, Colorado. Famous for its outdoor concerts and hiking. Our favorite concert there was Bette Midler in the '70s and Seal with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in 2017!
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Red Rocks Amphitheatre
18300 W Alameda Pkwy
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Easy drive, 25 minutes outside of Denver near Morrison, Colorado. Famous for its outdoor concerts and hiking. Our favorite concert there was Bette Midler in the '70s and Seal with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in 2017!
Stunning college town - the campus, downtown, etc. Take a drive up Flagstaff Mountain for a view of the 'eastern slope'. Both Doug and I went to CU in Boulder - it'll always be a special place for us.
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Boulder
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Stunning college town - the campus, downtown, etc. Take a drive up Flagstaff Mountain for a view of the 'eastern slope'. Both Doug and I went to CU in Boulder - it'll always be a special place for us.
Approximately 2 hours from Denver, you can be on the highest paved road in the country - Mount Evans is one of our famous 14ers - peaks above 14,000 feet. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
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Mt. Evans Scenic Byway
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Approximately 2 hours from Denver, you can be on the highest paved road in the country - Mount Evans is one of our famous 14ers - peaks above 14,000 feet. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
Actually both Black Hawk and Central City, 38 miles from Denver - old mining towns transformed into mountain gaming resorts. There's also the Central City Opera House. It's been years since we've been up there, other than to drive through Black Hawk on our way to Winter Park to ski. If you enjoy casinos in a mountain setting, I hear it's wonderful. No entertainment per se, except the opera house is well known.
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Black Hawk
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Actually both Black Hawk and Central City, 38 miles from Denver - old mining towns transformed into mountain gaming resorts. There's also the Central City Opera House. It's been years since we've been up there, other than to drive through Black Hawk on our way to Winter Park to ski. If you enjoy casinos in a mountain setting, I hear it's wonderful. No entertainment per se, except the opera house is well known.
A massive forest area with eight wilderness areas, 1,900 miles of roadways and 2,500 miles of hiking trails. In the winter time, you can spend some time in one of the many ski areas in the forest, including Vail, Snowmass and Breckenridge. We've been in the White River National Forest mostly for skiing - Vail, Snowmass/Aspen, Breck. Driving I-70 involves Vail Pass, which is just stunning, keeping in mind its a challenge driving winter time.
White River National Forest
A massive forest area with eight wilderness areas, 1,900 miles of roadways and 2,500 miles of hiking trails. In the winter time, you can spend some time in one of the many ski areas in the forest, including Vail, Snowmass and Breckenridge. We've been in the White River National Forest mostly for skiing - Vail, Snowmass/Aspen, Breck. Driving I-70 involves Vail Pass, which is just stunning, keeping in mind its a challenge driving winter time.
Colorado Springs is only an hour’s drive from Denver. Places to visit include; the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
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Colorado Springs
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Colorado Springs is only an hour’s drive from Denver. Places to visit include; the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
Further from Denver, but a magic place - you'll want to spend a full day seeing one of the most visited national parks in America. Enjoying hiking, wildlife watching and view stunning lakeside views and small glaciers. If you’re not feeling like being adventurous on foot, go over Trail Ridge Road - a fantastic road over the continental divide. We've been to RMNP so many times, hard to count. We've seen elk and moose - it's a fantastic place. In the winter, Trail Ridge Road is closed; Memorial Day to Labor Day is its busiest - try your best to visit, but especially not during its busiest times. Don't forget to visit Estes Park...a touristy, but very cool town.
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Rocky Mountain-þjóðgarðurinn
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Further from Denver, but a magic place - you'll want to spend a full day seeing one of the most visited national parks in America. Enjoying hiking, wildlife watching and view stunning lakeside views and small glaciers. If you’re not feeling like being adventurous on foot, go over Trail Ridge Road - a fantastic road over the continental divide. We've been to RMNP so many times, hard to count. We've seen elk and moose - it's a fantastic place. In the winter, Trail Ridge Road is closed; Memorial Day to Labor Day is its busiest - try your best to visit, but especially not during its busiest times. Don't forget to visit Estes Park...a touristy, but very cool town.
Just a few hours outside of Denver, Georgetown includes over 200 restored buildings from the 1870s Victoria era Wander down the charming Main Street and pop into some of the shops or restaurants as well as many antique stores. The Georgetown Loop Railroad allows visitors to ride on narrow-gauge steam trains over mountain ledges. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
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Georgetown
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Just a few hours outside of Denver, Georgetown includes over 200 restored buildings from the 1870s Victoria era Wander down the charming Main Street and pop into some of the shops or restaurants as well as many antique stores. The Georgetown Loop Railroad allows visitors to ride on narrow-gauge steam trains over mountain ledges. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
About 3 hours hours outside of Denver, you can enjoy the local hot springs and vapor caves as well as the thrills of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. You can also hike the trail to Hanging Lake, a one-mile trek in Glenwood Canyon where you can can enjoy beautiful views of the lake (advance reservations required). I haven't been to Hanging Lake since I was a teenager - it's a relatively short but strenuous hike - the lake is just amazing and COLD COLD COLD...there's now a lottery system for securing tickets to take the hike - it's one of the destinations in Colorado that's known throughout the world. Glenwood Springs - same with the HUGE outdoor pool - haven't been since I was a teenager, but I'm always hearing about those caves...need to go back.
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Glenwood Springs
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About 3 hours hours outside of Denver, you can enjoy the local hot springs and vapor caves as well as the thrills of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. You can also hike the trail to Hanging Lake, a one-mile trek in Glenwood Canyon where you can can enjoy beautiful views of the lake (advance reservations required). I haven't been to Hanging Lake since I was a teenager - it's a relatively short but strenuous hike - the lake is just amazing and COLD COLD COLD...there's now a lottery system for securing tickets to take the hike - it's one of the destinations in Colorado that's known throughout the world. Glenwood Springs - same with the HUGE outdoor pool - haven't been since I was a teenager, but I'm always hearing about those caves...need to go back.
The Pawnee National Grassland is a 2-hour drive from Denver and provides visitors with the chance to explore 200,000 acres of grassland. Several hiking trails allow you to explore the visitors and take up popular bird watching adventures. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
Pawnee National Grassland
The Pawnee National Grassland is a 2-hour drive from Denver and provides visitors with the chance to explore 200,000 acres of grassland. Several hiking trails allow you to explore the visitors and take up popular bird watching adventures. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
Fantastic ski area just an hour from Denver - we particularly like their Mary Jane mountain. If you drive, you'll go over Berthoud Pass. Alternatively, you can catch a Ski Train from Union Station that will drop you off right at the ski area in the morning, and pick you up at the end of the day for your ride back to Denver.
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Winter Park
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Fantastic ski area just an hour from Denver - we particularly like their Mary Jane mountain. If you drive, you'll go over Berthoud Pass. Alternatively, you can catch a Ski Train from Union Station that will drop you off right at the ski area in the morning, and pick you up at the end of the day for your ride back to Denver.
Fantastic 'quick trip' that has views of Boulder and the eastern slope.
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Flagstaff Mountain
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Fantastic 'quick trip' that has views of Boulder and the eastern slope.
One of our 14ers. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
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Pikes Peak
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One of our 14ers. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
Gorgeous drive. Drive to Boulder, go up Boulder Canyon, turn North at Nederland, and return via Lyons.
Peak to Peak Highway
Gorgeous drive. Drive to Boulder, go up Boulder Canyon, turn North at Nederland, and return via Lyons.
Nearest Wyoming town - go for Cheyenne Frontier Days - fantastic rodeo held last half of July.
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Cheyenne
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Nearest Wyoming town - go for Cheyenne Frontier Days - fantastic rodeo held last half of July.
Nearby - less than an hour of Denver - great views. Also can see Buffalo Bill's grave. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
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Lookout Mountain
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Nearby - less than an hour of Denver - great views. Also can see Buffalo Bill's grave. Full Disclosure: Planning our first visit in 2020. ;-)
Beautiful park - like being deep in the mountains, yet an easy drive from Denver. To park anywhere, you'll need a daily park pass which you can purchase from the ranger station.
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Golden Gate Canyon State Park
92 Crawford Gulch Road
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Beautiful park - like being deep in the mountains, yet an easy drive from Denver. To park anywhere, you'll need a daily park pass which you can purchase from the ranger station.