Denver Colorado Winter Tourist
Denver Colorado Winter Tourist
Denver Colorado is a very interesting choice as a vacation base at any time of the year. Lots of visitors to the Denver area in the winter will arrive for the great ski opportunities in such places as Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and Copper which are all great attractions for the visitor, but I suggest you schedule an extra day or two to visit some of Colorado’s’ magical parks south of Denver off I-25.
Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls, U.S. Air Force Academy and on to Colorado Springs are all places at which the visitor will amaze the visitor. Listed here are my impressions of the first 3 of these attractions in which I visited in winter as my short video accounts will show.
Garden of the Gods Colorado
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is a park with lots of towering red rock formations in sandstone in 1,360 acres. Take exit 146 from the I-25 and drive west for 2.5 miles then turn left at 30th street for a mile. Start at the Visitor Center which is the most visited attraction in this area, and once inside it will become obvious why this is so.
A 14 minute HD show explains how these 300 feet high rocks got here; there are several hands-on displays, mineral display cases, 3 touch screen talking rocks detailing the areas history and a topographical map of the park showing locations in the park for all of the activities.
There are life size replicas of buffalos and sheep, and it is here where free maps of the park are available, guiding you to the mountain bike trails, hikes, and well maintained nature trails, all with markers explaining all that is around you.
Free guided walks are offered, and in summer months a narrated bus tour is offered for a small charge.
A café offers refreshments and stunning views from the glassed-in terrace of the rocks and Pikes Peak, a great place to take photographs.
The Garden of the Gods Park is registered as a National Natural Landmark, and admission is free.
Cave of the Winds Colorado
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds is high above Manitou Springs, exit 141 from I-25. Travel west about 6 miles to the entrance on the right where parking is free.
Now one of the nations great show caves and one of the must-see natural attractions of Colorado, Cave of the Winds has been delighting visitors for over 125 years since the Picket brothers discovered them while on a church outing.
Visitors are offered a 45 minute guided tour through the wonders of the caverns by a very good and knowledgeable speaker giving detailed information about 20 caves with their stalactites and stalagmites, and many caves are lighted to display the cave formations to their very best.
The visitor center with its gift shop and small mining cars filled with gemstones of every color which you can freely select and purchase also issues the tour tickets, and special tours are available such as the discovery tour and the lantern tour. A professional photographer is available to take photographs with the caves as a backdrop.
Seven Falls Colorado
Seven Falls is just 10-15 minutes from Colorado Springs in south Cheyenne Road and is labelled as “the grandest mile of scenery in Colorado.” and the only waterfall in Colorado listed in the National Geographic list of International waterfalls.
The driveway to the falls is flanked on both sides by mature pine trees, and about 1 mile before reaching the base of the falls is the pillar of Hercules, 40 feet wide and 700 feet high.
Seven waterfalls, with the water from Pikes Peak, tumble down 180 feet of solid pink granite to the base of the falls, where a staircase to the top of the falls starts the climb of 224 steps.
This staircase leads from the top to Midnight Falls and Inspiration Point with magnificent views of Colorado Springs.A mountain elevator carries visitors to Eagles Nest platform for views of the falls. Thousands of lights cloaks the canyon in a blaze of color after dark.Wildlife is everywhere here, giving plenty of opportunity to get some great photographs, and children can even feed rainbow trout at the visitor center, view educational exhibits with a self guided audio tour or visit the café or snack bar and 3 gift shops for souvenirs.
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