Denver Colorado is a great tourist destination at any time of the year. Interstate 70 runs east to west through Denver like an artery pumping traffic around and through, heading over the Rockies past Lookout Mountain, over the Continental Divide past the snow resorts of Aspen, Copper, Vail and Breckenridge, Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction and The Colorado National Monument, the Grand Canyon of Colorado and on to Utah.
Grand Junction Colorado
Views of Colorado National MonumentClick thumbnail to view full-size
Grand Junction is about 300 miles west of Denver along the I-70, quite a drive, but there is breathtaking scenery along the way over the continental divide, and it’s from here you can visit the Colorado Monument, a US National Park which is a very short distance to the south-west.
This natural wonder covers 32 square miles of sandstone rocks carved by the elements over centuries. The stillness here is broken only by the many birds, deer, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, squirrels, foxes and lots more wildlife who call this place home.
The 23 mile rim rock drive which includes 3 tunnels through the rocks, one of which is 530 feet long, can be covered in just an hour, or take all day if you take advantage of the many places you can pull over off the road to explore each marked area and take a photo opportunity. The drive is popular as a road race circuit and a road biking trail, and within the area are 14 hiking trails. Serpents Trail has 54 switchbacks within the short space of 2½ miles.
The Independence Monument stands 450 feet high in Monument Canyon, the largest free-standing rock formation in the park.
The Coke Ovens is a series of colourful rock domes sculptured by the eroding forces of the wind, water and ice over the past one and a half billion years.
Palisade wine festival ColoradoClick thumbnail to view full-size
Palisade is a short drive back east towards Denver where grapes and succulent peaches are grown. Visitors can take a free tour of the vineyards, and every September, a wine festival is held in Riverbend Park.
Stomp grapes to music, pig-out from the many booths selling fresh local food, taste the local wine, watch cooking demonstrations, buy gifts from the many craft stalls or listen to the many bands from the program of music.Take a bike ride for views of the valleys, visit wineries, and see wild feral horses roam freely, or walk along the historic stagecoach trail which winds to the top of the Bookcliffs.
Take a hike to Mt. Garfield Trail, a two-mile long, 2,000-vertical-foot climb, a section of the Colorado Plateau, or for the less adventurous, Gearhart Mine Trail extends over two miles without much climbing.
Island Acres is just 5 miles east of Palisade, with camping facilities, fishing and swimming in any of 3 lakes next to the Colorado River on which you can enjoy rafting and tubing.
Glenwood Springs Co.
Glenwood Springs, a city with a total area of less than 5 square miles, is a further 2 hours east towards Denver along the I-70 and about 150 miles west of Denver. Three and a half million gallons a day at a constant temperature of 120 degrees pour from the natural hot springs which are the largest natural hot springs in the world.
The hot spring pools are the big attraction here, one measuring 400 feet by 100 feet with water of 90 degrees, and a smaller therapy pool with water of 104 degrees.
The Iron Mountain Tramway carries visitors up the mountain for a tour of the caverns, hike along the half mile long Panoramic Trail for fantastic views over the Rockies and the Colorado River, pan for gemstones at Discovery Rock or try horse riding on a one hour trail through roaring Fork Valley.
The Colorado Wranglers offer a family friendly show, which include a chuck wagon supper and a western musical comedy show at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.
White water rafting and fly fishing are just two of the many activities on offer in Glenwood Springs.
Georgetown Loop Railroad Colorado
Georgetown Loop Railroad is still further east past the ski resorts of Vail and Aspen, and offers tourists a scenic and historic train ride around the mountains. Steam driven engines and old fashioned carriages add to the thrill.
The beauty of the rugged Rocky Mountains surrounds you as an old-time steam locomotive or a powerful diesel locomotives winds up the Clear Creek canyon, hauling your train past the remains of several gold and silver mines. Both fully enclosed and open cars give a breath taking view of everything along the line.
Board from the Silver Plume Depot or Devil’s Gate Station in Georgetown.
There is a full program of activities to choose from throughout the year, such as 4th July Fireworks train, Moonlight in the mountains Dinner Train, Wine Tasting Train, Pumpkin Festival Train and Santa’s Polar Adventure Trains.
There is a lovely tourist information store in Georgetown.
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