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Old 04-29-2019, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
742 posts, read 231,326 times
Reputation: 1744

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Iíve been in Denver for about two years now, but I havenít done much exploring beyond the front range and a couple of short forays into the mountains along I-70. Iíve decided Iíd like to get out and see more of the state (and parts of WY and NE).

Iím planning to start in the northeast. Iíve got three day/overnight trips in mind to see different stretches of NE Colorado this summer. Depending on how many stops I make, each of these should take 1-2 days:

I-70 to Burlington, 385 up to Idalia, then 36 back to Denver
I-76 to Sterling, 6 to Holyoke, 385 to Wray, 34 to Brush, I-76 back to Denver
I-25 to Cheyenne, I-80 to Julesburg, I-76 to Sterling, 14 to Ft Collins, I-25 back to Denver

Looking for recommendations on sites to see, places to visit, anything interesting in these areas. The last thread I could find about this was from 2014. I imagine much of that information is still accurate, but still thought it was worth asking again.

(Cross-posting in the WY and NE forums)
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:57 PM
 
3,511 posts, read 3,910,047 times
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Re trip 1, you might consider going as far as Dodge City KS.


Not directly on your routes but fyi. I dunno if this ever re-opened. Probably not. https://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/04/...or-the-future/




Re trip 3, look up Pawnee National Grassland and incorporate some level of drive thru / stop.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:13 PM
 
20,797 posts, read 38,916,790 times
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Cheyenne, WY hosts a huge rodeo event every summer, you might enjoy a day there. We went and liked it a lot.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:33 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,121 times
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Want a couple of nice day trips?


The highest point in KS - Mount Sunflower (don't go if it has recently rained).



The highest point in NE - Panorama Point (don't pet the bison).


Mount Rushmore in SD and Devil's Tower in WY are not that far away.


How about 287 to Laramie, 127 to Cowdrey, and 14 back to Fort Collins? Very scenic.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,493 posts, read 10,114,670 times
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There's not a whole lot out in Northeastern Colorado. It's primarily a lot of small farming and ranching communities. That being said, Wray is a neat little town.

Northeastern Colorado:
Pawnee National Grassland/Pawnee Buttes. There are trails to the buttes, but summertime is prime prairie rattlesnake season so watch your step.
Fort Morgan - "Boyhood home of Glenn Miller." It's kitschy and a bit macabre, but Philip K. Dick (the author of the short story that became "Total Recall") is buried next to his twin sister at the Fort Morgan cemetery.
Brush - Brush Area Museum and Cultural Center. Nice little museum documenting the town's history. Includes an exhibit about jockey Pat Day who was born there.
Julesburg - Pony Express Monument
Burlington - Kit Carson County Carousel. It was manufactured in 1905 for Elitch Gardens.

Nebraska:
Oregon Trail-related
Chimney Rock National Monument
Scotts Bluff National Monument

Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area
Sandhills
Pine Ridge National Recreation Area
Carhenge

Wyoming:
Oregon Trail-related
Fort Laramie
Oregon Trail wagon ruts (Guernsey)

Devil's Tower

South Dakota:
Black Hills Region
Custer State Park (drive to the top of Mount Coolidge)
Mount Rushmore via Iron Mountain Road
The Needles Highway
Deadwood
Spearfish Canyon

Wall Drug (tourist trap)
Badlands National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Not directly on your routes but fyi. I dunno if this ever re-opened. Probably not. https://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/04/...or-the-future/
The World's Wonder View Tower never reopened unfortunately.

Edit: Cold War-related: There are ICBM sites peppered along CO-71 north of Fort Morgan and CO-14 between Sterling and New Raymer.

Last edited by bluescreen73; 04-29-2019 at 05:36 PM.. Reason: Added Carhenge
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:15 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,263 posts, read 39,476,631 times
Reputation: 23171
(Meaningful road trip)

First essential step...

Scratch the Interstate Highways off your list! Take the back roads.

then... do a LOT of research about the communities, history, commerce, schools and head out and STOP and meet people!

Akron,
Haxtun,
Wray,
Peetz,
Hereford,
Grover
'New' Raymer
Briggsdale,
Carr
Nunn...

How long have they lived there? What do they like about the place? What should you NOT MISS!. (food / views / people...), What can you do for them to to make your visit more memorable? (for each).

Travel like a local!

Some 'tourist' but NICE places I often visit as weekend trips...(even summer afternoon MC rides during long daylight hours)
Snowy Range / Encampment / Hobo Hot Springs (Saratoga)
Poudre Canyon (14) loop through Waldon and back over Trail Ridge (US 34)
Vedauwoo (great viewing during meteor showers!)
Sidney, NE + Car Hedge + Chimney Rock

Torrington / Ft Laramie / Glendo Res.

Lake McConaughy

Add some spice... (Roadtrip America, unique sights... unique food.. similar to "Road Food", but using small town diners / bars. (One of my favorite places was a bar that did Prime Rib on Sat nights (in a Nebraska town of < 300 people), Another has Cat Fish nights...

Try to research community events / fund raisers and visit during the BIG annual 'small community' event. Volunteer to help out and get to know some locals! Get invited to their home / farm. Learn lots! Bring home bags of fresh garden produce and a cooler of beef. Friends for life! Good friends, helpful friends, caring friends.

A very RICH experience!
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:06 PM
 
16,479 posts, read 20,831,857 times
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^^^Good notes by Stealth Rabbit^^^

Lake McConaughy has always been a favorite of mine. Good fishing, good boating, haven't been there in a long time but when I still lived in Littleton way back then I'd meet a buddy who lived in Cheyenne and do a weekend there.

Good point on getting to know the locals. Lots of friendly folks in Kimball, Ogallala, North Platte.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:51 AM
 
3,431 posts, read 1,678,384 times
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Take Happy Jack Rd from Cheyenne to almost Laramie, eat at The Bunkhouse and drive though the Vedauwoo area or Curt Gowdy State Park. Once you get out of the immediate Cheyenne area, it's a beautiful drive.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
245 posts, read 158,271 times
Reputation: 276
Default WPA Guide to Colorado

Although I haven't seen it, I would recommend The WPA Guide to 1930s Colorado https://www.amazon.com/WPA-Guide-193.../dp/0700603425

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSinmyrearviewmirror View Post
My wife & I have been using the The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas since the 1980s as a means of touring KS.

Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration

The WPA Guide, the first and only guidebook ever devoted to Kansas, was published in 1939. After six decades and more, its pages still provide a wealth of reliable historic, geographic, and cultural information on Kansas, as well as some intriguing lore that many modern-day readers will find new. Not the least of its contributions is the accurate picture it gives of Kansas between the Great Depression and World War IIóof its industrial, agricultural, and natural resources.

The book is divided into three sections: seventeen topical essays covering subjects such as Indians, folklore, religion, and architecture; touring information of the eighteen largest Kansas cities and towns; and twelve automobile tours spanning Kansas and border states. Included are eighty photographs, four maps, and an essay on the "contemporary scene" by William Allen White.


We've used the guide to search for long-abandoned "forts," and what Kansans were proud about locally. Did you know there was a silk-producing commune in KS? Or a gold rush in Woodson Co? There are granite outcroppings near Rose (my grandparents farmed @ Rose, but nobody ever mentioned granite peaks).
We took a trip to NE CO last Sept; scouting Ft. Morgan & checking out Pawnee Nat'l Grasslands. BE PREPARED FOR OIL TANKERS ON WASHBOARD GRAVEL ROADS

Based upon KS experiences, highly rec: https://wraychamber.net/greater-prarie-chicken-tours/


This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, took my mother (in her 80s) out for a pre-dawn, long-johns clad, blind to observe prairie chickens in E. KS. She was relating that sight for years to come. We went to Cimarron Nat'l. Grasslands (SE CO/SW KS) to observe chickens. A Ford Expedition out of a Denver tourism agency pulled up & 8 Swedes + tripods & $$$ telephoto lenses got out for a chance to see booming.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2_wdMmEupQ
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Old Today, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Lone Tree, CO
8 posts, read 1,544 times
Reputation: 16
Colorado is an amazing scenic state, but the NE corner is probably the least interesting part (lived here all my life). I agree that Cheyenne, WY is worth a visit, but technically that's just north. For off the beaten path trips, I think SW Colorado offers way more interesting sights and activities across the board.
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