- Written by Dan
Outpost Travel Planner: Colorado
The Outpost travel planner with the what, where, when, why and how of all things travel to Colorado, USA
Direct flights to Denver leave daily from both Toronto (about three and a half hours) and Vancouver (around three hours). You can also fly into cities like Aspen, Vail, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs, but you’ll have to make a stop-over in Denver first.
Colorado’s byways are famously enchanting and a perfect way to take in the landscape if you enjoy road tripping. Visit www.coloradobyways.org for more information on routes, such as top of the Rockies, which links to leadville, one of America’s highest communities; pawnee pioneer trails, which crosses expanses of flat prairie landscape; and the Santa Fe Trail, which retraces a trade route used in the 1800s by plains Indians and pioneers.
Consider giving yourself a break from the road and climb aboard one of Colorado’s many trains. Try the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and marvel at the wildlife running along the Arkansas River. For a higher altitude train ride, hop on the Ski train, from Denver to Winter park, and view stunning vistas of Colorado’s most popular landmark—the Rocky mountains. Or infuse a little education into your trip aboard one of Colorado’s historic trains that run along old silver mining routes.
What to See and Do
With 54 mountains towering more than 4,200 metres, 42 state parks and four national parks, Colorado offers its visitors a world of adventure opportunities. In the winter, ski and snowboard aficionados will delight in the 26 ski resorts. Push your limits ice climbing in Ouray Ice Park www.ourayicepark.com or test your patience ice fishing on Grand lake or Shadow mountain Reservoir. In the spring, melting snow rushes through the rivers, so kayakers and whitewater rafters can catch a thrill on rapids ranging from class i to class Vi difficulty. as the weather warms, Colorado’s mountain biking trails open for adventure.
Tekkers can choose their favourite season to tackle the Colorado Trail—an 800-kilometre hike that stretches through eight mountain ranges, five river systems and six national forests (www.coloradotrail. org). try to squeeze in at least one visit to a national park. While Rocky mountain national park will be at the top of your list, also consider Great Sand Dunes National Park, where adrenalin junkies can race down dunes as high as 229 metres, all year round. History lovers should opt for Mesa Verde National Park, home to the well-preserved ancient cliff dwellings of ancestral puebloans.
Our writer harnessed her inner cowgirl at latigo Ranch in the Gore Mountain Range near Kremmling (www.latigotrails. com). Founded 80 years ago, the ranch sits at an elevation of more than 2,700 metres, and offers year-round adventures: horseback riding from spring to fall and cross-country skiing in the winter. Guests typically stay for one week. Before you go, consider a practice run closer to home. our writer honed her skills at the Wild- wood manor Ranch on the Niagara Escarpment (www.wildwoodranch.com).