U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 06-04-2016, 06:41 PM
5,323 posts, read 7,172,509 times
Reputation: 5068


Buena Vista. Meets every one of your criteria.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 06-04-2016, 07:46 PM
Location: East Central Phoenix
5,679 posts, read 8,723,570 times
Reputation: 6203
I appreciate all the response, and there are some good recommendations. This summer, I am really wanting to stay away from crowds and high prices when I go on vacation, which is why I'm avoiding southern CA. Also, I'm looking for something with high elevation, lots of forests, and cool temperatures, but not necessarily a far reaching isolated location. Some of the high elevation mountainous areas of Arizona fit this description, but I've been to those areas so many times that it's getting a little monotonous.

As far as elevation, I'm pretty acclimated to it because I easily adapt to locations that are over 8,000 feet in Arizona's White Mountains. Leadville seems to be highly recommended ... however, I looked at some photos from that area, and didn't see too many lush pine forests. I'm thinking it might be because its 10K+ elevation is at the timberline, so that would be a little too high and treeless for me.

The more I look at what Woodland Park has to offer, the more I'm liking it. I didn't mention this before, but I prefer an area that isn't too dry, and receives more than 10 inches of precipitation a year. I'm rather impressed over Woodland Park's 19 inch average annual precipitation, and the fact that each of the summer months receives at least 2 or 3 inches of rainfall on average. I really enjoy high elevation summer thundershowers. The scenery around Woodland Park seems to be exactly what I'm looking for, and the town itself seems to be just the right size. I never realized how close to Colorado Springs this is!

My only question about Woodland Park is: are there lakes nearby that would be accessible for non 4X4 type of vehicles? I'm planning on driving from Phoenix into Colorado, but not looking to do much of anything "off road". The reason I mentioned lake access is I enjoy fishing, but this isn't high on my list. I'm mostly looking for a cool mountain getaway to escape the city life and the blast furnace heat. I've been to Colorado before, but mainly along the I25 corridor (Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver) ... I haven't ventured much into the back country or the highlands.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2016, 08:13 PM
5,323 posts, read 7,172,509 times
Reputation: 5068
Woodland Park is near Rampart Reservoir. Buena Vista is also near lots of reservoirs like Eleven Mile (which is also not terribly far from Woodland Park). Woodland Park is very close to Colorado Springs. Buena Vista would get you a little more into the mountains and away from some of the city traffic.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2016, 08:27 PM
Location: Betwixt and Between
463 posts, read 979,045 times
Reputation: 421
Pagosa Springs. Nice and sleepy, gorgeous, and an easy day's drive from Phoenix. Great hot springs for soaking, hiking, fishing, etc,etc. Check out Williams Creek reservoir if you go.

Pagosa Springs Colorado | Discover Pagosa Springs, Facts, History, Maps, Directions, Weather
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2016, 09:02 PM
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,674,043 times
Reputation: 5338
Besides the great suggestions already mentioned in Colorado, another place for consideration, probably about equal distance driving from Phoenix is Mammoth Lakes, CA-- on Hwy 395 on the east slope of the Sierras. It has more of a forested landscape with some small natural lakes as opposed to the Colorado high country's more barren landscape. The type of pine tree prevalent in that region (Jeffrey Pine) is really cool and is different than the Ponderosa pines you're used to seeing in northern Arizona. I think that town and the surrounding area has exactly what you are looking for. It's definitely a tourist destination, but it's nothing like Colorado's tourist towns and Mammoth isn't really all that crowded in the summer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2016, 10:43 PM
5,321 posts, read 2,759,690 times
Reputation: 9860
Forested high altitude lakes in CO nontouristy areas, all at least 8000' elevation:

Twin Lakes, Leadville
Turquoise Lake, Leadville
Curecanti National Recreation Area's Blue Mesa Reservoir system, west of Gunnison
Gross Reservoir, past Coal Creek Canyon northwest of Golden
Eleven Mile Reservoir

If you can tolerate some touristiness, Granby Reservoir, northwest of the Front Range.

I have kayaked at all of the above and they are beautiful. If you camp, bring adequate sleeping bag and clothing for cold nights.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2016, 01:10 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,732,014 times
Reputation: 23426
No need for 4x4 in summer (and most of winter) on paved roads in Colorado.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2016, 01:20 AM
13,294 posts, read 25,470,882 times
Reputation: 20392
Ridgway. 7,000 feet, several good restaurants, the state park/reservoir five miles north on 550. (Ridgway is some 50 miles north of Telluride and a world o' difference, and Ouray is right down the road).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2016, 05:58 AM
2,073 posts, read 1,813,809 times
Reputation: 1946
There are a lot of good suggestions already mentioned, but I'll add the area around Steamboat Springs State Park and Pearl Lake State Park. It has lakes, pines, hiking, and quick access to Steamboat Springs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2016, 06:58 AM
826 posts, read 1,605,476 times
Reputation: 1239
Your are quite correct about Leadville proper. I suspect many of us were actually thinking of Twin Lakes when we mentioned Leadville. We sort of associate the two together. Likewise, when I speak of Woodland Park as a vacation destination I think of Divide, Meuller State Park, and even Florissant as being associated together.

Lakes (actually reservoirs) near Woodland Park: Rampart Range, North Catamount, South Catamount, Manitou Park (small), Cheeseman Lake (only 25 miles or so, but takes an hour to get there), Lake George (small), Eleven Mile, Spinney Mountain. There is also the lovely Chrystal Peak Reservoir on the Pikes Peak toll road. Note that Antero Lake between Harsel and Buena Vista is currently drained for repairs to the dam.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:03 AM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top