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Old 05-22-2016, 03:43 PM
Location: USA
435 posts, read 1,045,851 times
Reputation: 208


We are flying into Denver on the July 4th weekend and would be spending 4 days in CO. I wanted to visit Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs and Great Sand Dunes, but my family is willing to spend all 4 days in/around Rocky Mountains. Looking at the list of places to visit in Rocky Mountains, it looks like there are lots of trails, peaks, lakes and waterfalls, but from your experience I would like some suggestions if visiting all main peaks, lakes, waterfalls and trails is going to take 4 days?

Also, most of the affordable cabins/cottages/lodges near to the mountain are already booked for that weekend. So I thought of trying out airbnb. Could you suggest me some places which are near to the Rocky Mountains or from where it is easily accessible. We will be renting a car, so driving is not a problem. We are presently looking at Grand Lake and Granby areas. Which other areas can I look into for staying?

Oh and I would also like to drive up through trail ridge road. Although I am not sure where it's entrance is.

Thanks for looking at my post!!
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:02 PM
93 posts, read 75,229 times
Reputation: 43
I'm not from the area, but we are planning on visiting in late September, I "think" Trail Ridge Road starts in Estes Park, I'm sure somebody on here will clarify that if I'm wrong. I gave been told that Trail Ridge can be driven in about 4 hours, not counting ohh and ahh stops,lol. we are booked at the Comfort Inn in Estes Park, the lady was very nice and answered a lot of my questions, one thing that I have not been comfortable with is that some of these hotels want full payment in advance, I have no problem with giving my credit card to hold a room, but not with being charged the whole thing up front. We are planning on spending two days in the park, the first day visiting the Stanley Hotel, and the next day doing Trail Ridge Road. We will then be driving down into Colorado Springs for two days, and finishing up around the Maroon Bells and Marble area later in the week. iF you need any suggestions for places to visit around Colorado Springs or a motel, I will be glad to share what I've learned,happy travels��
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:13 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,187 posts, read 7,070,213 times
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You would be much better searching and posting in the Colorado Forum of Trip Advisor. There are lots of helpful folks there to give travel specific advice.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:21 PM
3,913 posts, read 4,063,710 times
Reputation: 2618
If you browse thru some pages of the forum you will find similar threads that may be helpful.

If you haven't already, try talking to folks here Estes Park Lodging, Restaurants, Events and Things to Do for leads on accommodations of your preferred style and price range and suggestions on activities.

Also look at accommodations in Grand Lake and Granby on west side of Park especially if you like a quieter experience. Or even up at Red Feather Lakes northwest of Fort Collins or possibly even Walden further west or Buena Vista to the southwest of Denver. Estes Park on a holiday weekend will be crowded. If you like to shop, people watch, maybe do part of a day there. If you want the outdoors, I'd spend most of your time beyond it.

Great Sand Dunes would be a lot of extra driving and could be very intensely sunny and possibly hot. I'd probably pass on that at this time of year.

I-70 traffic could be bad to terrible. I'd stay off if possible. Definitely give yourself some extra time to get to airport at end of trip. Find the online or radio traffic reports.

Last edited by NW Crow; 05-22-2016 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:48 PM
636 posts, read 897,067 times
Reputation: 1636
First, the "Rocky Mountains" extend all the way through the entire state. Assuming you mean Rocky Mountain National Park, you really should look at the Park website: https://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm
Trail Ridge Road is highway 34 through the park from Estes Park on the east, to Grand Lake on the west side.
July 4 is peak tourist visitation in Estes Park. It will be difficult to find lodging at this late date and most lodging requires a 3 night minimum. Grand Lake "may" be easier to find lodging, I don't know.
I agree with Dogmama that Trip Advisor is the best place for travel info.
I also agree that the Sand Dunes will be very HOT at that time.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:48 AM
Location: Denver, CO
330 posts, read 348,659 times
Reputation: 575
Me three, about the Sand Dunes being too far away to work into your short visit, and reserving lodging in the Rocky Mountain National Park area (Estes Park) ASAP, and checking out the TripAdvisor forums. And pretty much the rest of the advice above.

Happy trails!
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:43 AM
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,953 posts, read 6,563,224 times
Reputation: 7465
I think you are right to look at Granby and Grand Lake on the West side of the park, but as others have stated, you are a little late to the game during absolute peak season. I would recommend doing a sunrise hike on the west side for the best moose viewing.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:06 AM
285 posts, read 273,837 times
Reputation: 286
Find housing NOW. the places will be filling up VERY quickly. Agree with avoiding I-70 at all costs unless you want to spend all day sitting in your car.
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