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Old 07-10-2012, 10:40 AM
 
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I can't decide on what itinerary is better. Please leave suggestions and tips for me.

I only have 5 days so I am going to try and see and do as much as possible but I also don't want to over extend myself.

Itinerary #1 -

Head west out of Denver stop at Red Rocks then out to Winter Park and up to Lake Granby. I then would continue on that look too Estes Park. After that I would want to do Fort Collins and head south to Boulder.

I like this trip but it is also the most miles. Is there anything I could cut out. I was thinking of skipping Fort Collins but I am interested in the breweries up there.

Itinerary #2 -

Is basically the same as the first but it would cut out Lake Granby and Winter Park. Would I regret this?

Please help me out, i'm open to changing my plans. I just know I want to do Red Rocks, Boulder and Estes park.

Thank you!
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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You can easily do your original itinerary in 5 days. It only takes about 1 1/2 hours to drive from Denver to Winter Park. You could spend a few hours in Red Rocks in the morning and then drive up to Winter Park and be there by the afternoon. Then you could go out to Granby, see the lake, and spend the night. In the morning you could drive through RMNP, and spend the day there, staying in Estes Park that night. You still would have 3 days left to do Fort Collins and Boulder. You can easily plan a day in each city and still have the last day to travel back to Denver if you needed it.

Are there certain things you are wanting to see in N. Colorado? Is this a potential relocation scouting trip, or just a vacation? What activities are you interested in? All of these things will help decide if your itinerary is too busy.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Default Thank you

For the response I appreciate it. It's going to be more like 3.5 days as I will be in Denver for 1.5 days.

I still feel like you are right, I will have time. Probably spend the night in Estes Park then do Fort Collins.

I want to hike and see the scenery. Do you have any good ideas of things to do in Winter Park and Estes?
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:01 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmalk28 View Post
For the response I appreciate it. It's going to be more like 3.5 days as I will be in Denver for 1.5 days.

I still feel like you are right, I will have time. Probably spend the night in Estes Park then do Fort Collins.

I want to hike and see the scenery. Do you have any good ideas of things to do in Winter Park and Estes?
Yes, do the whole trip (#1) (I have done that in a day easily... Grew up in Estes and lived near Ft Collins for 25 yrs).

You can find plenty of hiking in RMNP, get ranger advice for your skill level / desire. (I prefer the 'west side' and Bear Lake areas on the east (lots of trailheads)

Winter Park... Look to National Forest info.
I have done a lot of backcountry M/C exploring there. There are lots of commercial activities. I stayed at a Lodge their (Miller's Resort ? circa 1980) It was terrific. We were the only guests and got to choose ANY room and had the lodge / hot-tub under the stars) to ourselves.


BTW:... be prepared for brown forests. Grand Lake is sad (but it is a great area to enjoy and EAT).

When coming EAST on US 34 from Estes, (consider taking the alternative route from Estes through Glen Haven > Drake.

After exiting Big T Canyon (US 34)... BE SURE to Enjoy the Devil's Backbone (~ 5 miles west of Loveland). Take some side roads to get a better view... I like to turn NORTH (Masonville) @ Big Thompson School, then take the first RIGHT (~ 1/2 mile north) Head East, and you will get a GREAT view of Backbone.

Maybe you will be here to see this !! (~Aug 11-12) Loveland High Plains Arts Council
If not, Loveland and Sculpter Park (free) / downtown / south lake has LOTS of statuary / bronze art.

Go up to Horsetooth or Carter Lake in the evening and enjoy the lights of Ft Collins and coolness of night.

Ft Collins... I don't know what you would do here, but folks enjoy Old Town, Brewerys, and Mex food.

I'm more into this stuff Folk Art: Swetsville Zoo, Fort Collins, Colorado (and Martin's Junk Yard, Windsor) Used Auto Parts | Junk Yards in Colorado CO
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmalk28 View Post
Head west out of Denver stop at Red Rocks then out to Winter Park and up to Lake Granby.
I presume you know "Lake Granby" is a reservoir, not a natural lake. The town of Grand Lake (which appears to be on your itenerary as you'd be passing it on your way into RMNP) is adjacent to "Grand Lake" which, unless I'm mistaken, is the largest/deepest natural mountain lake in Colorado.

Personally, I'd suggest you soak in some form of Colorado's waters on your way. For the hot stuff you might consider Hot Sulpher Springs, which is both a small town not far from Granby and the actual hot springs themselves. I believe the day pass may cost $17 or $22 or something. For the cold stuff, there are some lovely alpine lakes accessible by trail several miles above Grand Lake. I prefer the cold stuff personally, but many prefer the hot springs. Have fun!
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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Wow this is great! Thank you so much!

What is there to do in Glen Haven and Drake?

Any nice trail idea's in Rocky National Park?

So excited to get to Colorado!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:52 PM
 
12 posts, read 30,699 times
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[quote=StealthRabbit;25105784
[B]
Winter Park... Look to National Forest info.[/b] I have done a lot of backcountry M/C exploring there. There are lots of commercial activities. I stayed at a Lodge their (Miller's Resort ? circa 1980) It was terrific. We were the only guests and got to choose ANY room and had the lodge / hot-tub under the stars) to ourselves.


BTW:... be prepared for brown forests. Grand Lake is sad (but it is a great area to enjoy and EAT).


Ft Collins... I don't know what you would do here, but folks enjoy Old Town, Brewerys, and Mex food.

Am i better off spending the night in Winter Park of Grand Lake? I'm 25 and want to hang out get some food and grab a beer.

Should I just cut Fort Collins?
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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Well, going up to Grand Lake and around Winter Park will give you a real good idea what a dead or dying lodgepole forest looks like--that is, before it burns. If you get up around certain areas around Horsetooth Reservoir and Poudre Canyon, you can see what an area that just had a major forest fire looks like. Unless you hike well into the backcountry, in Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park you can see what a Colorado place overrun with tourists looks like. You may love it, but for me--who has spent most of my life living in Colorado--it would be a totally wasted 3-5 days.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:00 PM
 
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Jazzlover where would you go? I'm not going till first week in September
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dmalk28 View Post
Jazzlover where would you go? I'm not going till first week in September
Well, first, throw the Fodor's book in the trash. Those guidebooks are usually written by idiots to promote the places that some other out-of-state idiot thinks are cool. A better book is "The Colorado Guide, 5th Edition Updated," published in Colorado. It is a few years out-of-date, but offers information on stuff besides just the popular tourist dumps.

If you want to see the "real" Colorado, and not the tourist/cartoon version, avoid I-70 and the big-name resorts like the plague. Also, the quicker and farther you get away from the Denver/Colorado Springs metroplex, the better. Not clear to one end of the state or the other from Denver, the area around Salida/Gunnison offers lots of relatively uncrowded recreation, as does the area around Cañon City/Wet Mountain Valley. Other areas are better, but they would probably be out of the scope of your timeframe. And, there are the "secret" places that the locals like me know about--those I don't divulge.
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