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Old 10-04-2018, 03:02 PM
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We are wanting to take a vacation in Mid-May 2019 to Colorado. Probably fly into Denver or Telluride and rent a car from there. We love hiking, white water rafting, or anything outdoorsy. We love to stay active and are always on the go. We do NOT want to ski (if skiing is even still going on). Where would you all recommend?
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:16 PM
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Telluride is going to put you right in the heart of the outdoors, but may be harder to get to than Denver.

Mid may is still mud season in the high country so expect wet/cool to cold conditions.

For hiking check out https://www.alltrails.com/

There are just too many in Colorado to list.

For a wild card you might want to check out basing yourself in Grand Junction. There is good airport there with direct daily jet service from many major cities.

The weather will be more summer like since GJ is more high desert.

I would recommend checking out these places out in the Grand Junction area:




The Grand Junction area is also home to a top wine region.

Then when you tire of GJ, you are less than 90 minutes from Moab and Ouray or 2 hours to Telluride.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:19 PM
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Mid May is early for hiking in the mountains. Trails are still snow-covered in many areas. You can hike then at lower elevations outside of Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs.
Have you actually looked at flying into Telluride? Flights are very limited and expensive.
Not sure exactly when whitewater rafting starts but I'd take a look at Salida or Buena Vista for that.
I would also recommend Trip Advisor as a place for info and advice. Lots of info there about visiting CO in May.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:49 PM
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Canon City is another place to look for river rafting. There is also ziplining there and in Colorado Springs at multiple locations. Not sure if you can bungee jump off the bridge....
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:33 PM
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Mid-May temps at Telluride are typically low 60s for day high, around freezing in late night / early morning. Durango might be 5-10 degrees warmer. Grand Junction that or more. Mountains above these cities cooler.
Mud could be a problem but not always or everywhere.

Road or mountain bike options can usually be found.

Rafting conditions will depend on winter snow and spring warm up. Might just be getting good, not quite or a dud. Another river option would be the Dolores River but check with an outfitter about conditions, whether permits are needed and whether to get a guide or go solo. Spring log jams / shifted rocks can create greater greater than normal risk here and there.

Lakeside hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, boating is available here and there.

Other airport options could include Durango, Cortez, Farmington. Albuquerque is closer to SW Colorado than Denver, if you are interested in Santa Fe or anything else down that way (some mountains will be more open, less snow covered, warmer). Salt Lake City is still another option if you want to do a good amount of Utah desert stuff.

Gateway Colorado is isolated but with some upscale lodging / spa stuff and lots of outdoor options. Not sure if they are open then, so check if interested.

Mesa Verde and outlying ruins are usually a good spring option.

Dominguez Canyon or elsewhere on Uncompahgre Plateau could be fallback hiking options if higher country is too snowed in. Snowshoes might make the difference in some places.

Driving should alright though snow is still possible and rock slides possible too, especially if warm up is quick or heavy rains happen. If you want to access backcountry roads / trailheads check with Forest Service website and / or staff for conditions. Don't push your luck with a 2wd drive (or even 4wd).

Last edited by NW Crow; 10-04-2018 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:39 PM
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Remember the altitude. Depending on where you're coming from, going right to Telluride could be a problem due to altitude. Maybe better to fly into Grand Junction of even Montrose, spend a night or two and then go on up to Telluride.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:29 PM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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It all depends on spring run-off, but normally mid-May is too early for white water rafting on the Arkansas (Buena Vista/Salida area). World class rafting, but you'd be doing better in mid-June.
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