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Old 02-08-2016, 03:44 PM
Location: Oviedo, FL
429 posts, read 964,690 times
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So we're about done planning this trip, but I am having mixed thoughts about what to do on fri night into saturday. Some say the hot springs are ok.. some say do leadville or something like that... So Im torn... would love to get more reviews.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:33 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
3,042 posts, read 2,074,722 times
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Which hot springs? Cottonwood, Mt Princeton, or something around Salida? Leadville is over an hour away from Salida and about 45 minutes up the road from Buena Vista. Friday night in Leadville in March, most things will be closed so "doing" Leadville will consist of dinner and hitting a local bar unless you want to drive around and see all the Victorian buildings. But, the flip side is you would be doing about the same thing in Buena Vista. Salida may have a bit more stuff to do that's open later, but I'll leave it to resident experts chime in on that.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:28 PM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,614,384 times
Reputation: 4942
Originally Posted by mrFlaBound View Post
ok, so can I ask for some opinions on this tentative plan to get the most out of our Colorado trip? Be easy on me as I'm just going by some recommendations and trying to get as much done in a small time as possible. I'm not even sure if the hot springs are good in that area, I found some stuff by googling. Basically I'm looking to make a big circle from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park, to Breckenridge and on to Colorado Springs then back to Denver while seeing as much as possible on the route. Thanks!

Wed 3/2/2016 - Arrive Denver in the AM
Pick up car @ Airport
Head to Rocky Mountain National Park for day
Lunch on the way (Boulder?)
Spend day there
Get hotel in Boulder or near the park.

Thur 3/3/2016
spend night near/on mountain

Fri 3/4/2016
Possibly more time around Breckenridge in the AM
Head to Buena Vista (Hot springs) that afternoon?
Stay in the area that night

Sat 3/5/2016
go to Colorado Springs in the morning, stay with friends until Sunday afternoon/evening

Sun 3/6/2016
spend day with friends in area
Drive back to Denver, stay in Denver

Mon 3/7/2016
Spend day in Denver
Depart early evening
There is a LOT of driving between RMNP and Breckenridge! You are landing at DIA in the morning, then are driving to RMNP, which is going to take around 2 hours, then drive back down to Boulder? What are you expecting to do for a couple of hours in the Park in March? You do realize that it can be very snowy or very muddy that time of year?

Then the next day you are going to drive another two or three hours to Breckenridge (if you stay in Estes Park) and then ski the rest of the day. This might work if you were driving up from Denver, but not from Estes Park.

I agree about Mount Princeton Hot Springs if you want some relaxing time at a nice resort. You could check out the nightlife in Salida (nothing in Buena Vista), but I'm not sure how much is there either. Lots of places to have a great dinner, though.

Coming from Florida, have you thought about the affects of altitude? You may not be able to do all this running (and driving) around if the altitude bothers you.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:46 AM
Location: Oviedo, FL
429 posts, read 964,690 times
Reputation: 162
Thanks all..
Sorry that was just some bad notes... we're going to drive from the airport to RM state park and stop along the way, then we won't leave Estes Park until we're going to breck.

What about if we went to Rocky Mountain park when we arrived, then went to or at least got on our way to Breck that night? Any good places to stay along the way?

Last edited by Mike from back east; 02-09-2016 at 10:28 AM.. Reason: Merged 2:1
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:35 PM
50 posts, read 38,712 times
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Personally, I'd chose one area and see it well. Either Estes and RMNP (which you may or may not get far into the park itself - check ahead) and the CO Springs area; or Leadville, BV, and Salida area (Monarch skiing is nearby) and CO Springs area. My choice would be the latter, then plan a RMNP trip when you can make full use of it, including the drive up Fall River and back down Trail Ridge Road. Not that it isn't gorgeous in winter, it is!
If you're a moderate-priced traveler, St. Mary's Lodge condos are pretty nice in Estes. A little ways from town proper, though. I'd love to stay at the Stanley Hotel, but it's a bit beyond what we budget just for a sleeping. Avoid Estes' EconoLodge at all costs! We like to eat at the Colorado Cherry Company between Boulder and Estes.
Leadville has several budget friendly lodgings. We usually end up at Super 8, but there's a mom-pop one we like, too, name escapes me at the moment. If you do Leadville, try Quincy's Steakhouse! Fabulous old building - great steaks at a great price. Quincy's is in BV and Salida, too, but not the same, our opinion, just because we love the Leadville location/building. Salida/BV we stay at Poncha Lodge - historic old motel (easy on the pocketbook), small, but very clean, and super nice owner.
Monarch skiing is near Salida.
If you're more of an upscale traveler, ignore my suggestions!!! : )
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:50 PM
Location: State of Transition
77,898 posts, read 69,860,626 times
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Early Fall or late Spring. In the fall, the leaves are turning, and it's very beautiful. The mountain passes are still open, so you can take shortcuts to get to your destination, if you can handle the narrow roads and precipitous cliffs. (Don't look down!)

In the late spring or early summer, the waterfalls at Telluride and other dramatically scenic locations are at their fullest. By late summer/early fall, some have dried to a trickle.

The summer tends to be hot (90 degrees and up), so if you don't have a tolerance for that, the shoulder seasons are best.

That's my advice, in a nutshell.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:37 AM
Location: Oviedo, FL
429 posts, read 964,690 times
Reputation: 162
thanks everyone for their suggestions, we had a great time and did try Moonlight PIzza, it was EXCELLENT!
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