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Old 03-21-2011, 10:51 PM
 
Location: The Big CO
198 posts, read 1,044,330 times
Reputation: 157

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I am currently thinking of planning a trip with my family of some sort, and want to visit all around Colorado. My plan is to take about a week, or more, and visit the top ten natural wonders, monuments and parks in the big CO.

What are your top ten suggestions for me? Colorado National Monument? Mesa Verde? Sand Dunes? Royal Gorge? Rocky Mountain National Park? You may include any national monument, park, forest, or grassland, or any natural wonders in CO that you find to be in your top ten. I am just looking for suggestions.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Hampton Roads
62 posts, read 235,989 times
Reputation: 40
Here are a few suggestions I would take advantage of...

RMNP
Royal Gorge
Drive up Pikes Peak-depending upon conditions or
Take the cog railway up
rafting along the arkansas in Buena Vista
Stay for a night or more at the Broadmoor
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Canon City, Colorado
1,331 posts, read 4,416,032 times
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Red Rocks ,to Mother Cabrini Shrine to Buffalo Bills Grave to the Spaceship house...all along I70.

Million Dollar Highway to Ouray
Cave of the Winds
Garden of the Gods
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,263,826 times
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Not exactly a natural wonder but Baker's Bridge North of Durango where Redford and Newman jumped into the Animas river (not really) to escape the Pinkertons. More of a historic landmark.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:05 AM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,544 posts, read 11,642,242 times
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To me these are the coolest places. Stop and look at the history.

Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction Colorado National Monument - index (U.S. National Park Service)
Black Canyon near Montrose Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
Drive the Alpine Loop Alpine Loop Home Page
Garden of the Gods Garden Of The Gods | Home
Royal Gorge Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, Canon City, Colorado
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:35 AM
 
103 posts, read 343,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CO.Native.SW View Post
I am currently thinking of planning a trip with my family of some sort, and want to visit all around Colorado. My plan is to take about a week, or more, and visit the top ten natural wonders, monuments and parks in the big CO.

What are your top ten suggestions for me? Colorado National Monument? Mesa Verde? Sand Dunes? Royal Gorge? Rocky Mountain National Park? You may include any national monument, park, forest, or grassland, or any natural wonders in CO that you find to be in your top ten. I am just looking for suggestions.
Since you mentioned grasslands....you might be interested in the Comanche Grassland in Southeast Colorado. In addition to a huge Jurassic period Dinosaur trackway, the area is rich in wildlife (over 275 different bird species, as well as habitat for elk, deer, antelope, bear, mountain lions, etc.).

The Comanche Grassland is home to the largest continuously mapped set of dinosaur tracks in North America with over 1300 footprints in four different layers. In addition you will find rock art and petroglyphs that may have been created more than 1000 years ago.

You can find more information at: Visit La Junta: Comanche National Grassland

Below you will see what a great place for a family outing it can be.



And be sure to look for the Rock Art!

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Old 03-24-2011, 06:57 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,839,172 times
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Wink A few different excursions

In no particular order of significance, I'll mention a number of scenic and interesting drives. Some of the locals along the way would be notable in themselves.

Trail Ridge Road. The quite scenic alpine drive on the highest (highest point, 12,183 feet) continuous highway in the United States, through Rocky Mountain National Park. Running between Estes Park and Grand Lake.

Interstate 70. Despite being an interstate, this highway follows an interesting and scenic route through the center of Colorado's mountains. The trip might be abbreviated, but of interest from Denver to Grand Junction.

Loveland Pass. Crossing under the continental divide, via Eisenhower Tunnel, might be interesting, but the route around over Loveland Pass is arguably more fascinating. If traveling west, one would depart I-70 just prior to Eisenhower Tunnel, thence up and over Loveland Pass just to the south. Great scenery. Just beyond the divide one will pass legendary ski area A-Basin, then on down to pass by Keystone before rejoining I-70 at Silverthorne.

Kebler Pass. A fairly fine dirt road running between Crested Butte and intersection with CO 133 near Paonia State Park, that some distance east of Paonia. Particularly in fall, with all the many aspens in shades of gold, a lovely drive. Unless conditions have changed, not much traffic, but most any vehicle should be okay.

Independence Pass. This high alpine route in more than a few ways defines the term scenic. Beautiful in either direction, but perhaps preferable from east to west, or from Twin Lakes to Aspen. As with other high passes in Colorado, more usually not open from winter closure until late May/early June.

Wolf Creek Pass. A lovely drive over what once was considered a challenging pass, but now relatively tame due road 'improvements.' A lovely drive all the way from South Fork to Pagosa Springs.

Something out of the ordinary. If wishing to dispense with the crowds, and something less traveled, then the road between South Fork and Lake City can be a nice excursion. Not as awe inspiring as some other routes, but perfectly lovely, relatively uncrowded, and of some note if taking the time to visit the historic towns of Creede and Lake City.

Million Dollar Highway. Aside from possibly Trail Ridge Road, the one excursion that should not be missed. Absolutely marvelous, and scenic. Great in either direction, although perhaps best running north from Durango to Ouray. Places such as Silverton only add to the allure. If time permits, a long detour to Telluride is quite nice as well. Ouray would be a lovely place to spend the night.

Etc. The varied and interesting places not mentioned.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:11 PM
 
794 posts, read 1,494,401 times
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At least three, maybe four of the top 10 are all Mesa Verde.

I may be stretching the concept of "monument" here, but look into the museums in Denver. All of the major museums are worth a visit, as is the zoo, as is the botanical gardens. But your own interests will determine if any of them are a "top 10" for you.
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