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RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

Houston, Texas
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RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

I am flying into Denver, CO for 4 days in the first week of July. I am confused as to what places I should visit during this trip?

From my research I have come to understand that for the summer, the followings places are must see:


2. Mt. Evans

3. Colorado Springs

4. Buena Vista / Salida

Am I missing out any place? We are interested in white water rafting, some hiking, scenery, train rides (provided they are competitive with the swiss alps)

Now my question is that since I have only 4 days I cannot do all the above listed places. I will therefore have to break the trip down in 2. The first trip is going to be this year and the second one next year (hopefully). So what places do you recommend I should do in the first trip?

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1. Re: RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

Others may disagree, but I would do RMNP only if you just have the 4 days. Mt. Evans is just a mountain, and you can see better mountains almost anyplace in the state. Colorado Springs has lots to do and scenery, but it is still a city. Of course, you could go to Pikes Peak from there, as opposed to Mt. Evans.

Buena Vista/Salida could give you high mountians, scenery, rafting, and most of what you want. It would be #1 on my list, but most want to see RMNP.

Colorado is much too large a state to try to see several different locations in the space of just 4 days, which is quite limiting, considering distances.

Enjoy your visit, whatever you decide!

Loveland, Colorado
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2. Re: RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

I would do RMNP and Colorado Springs. Mnt. Evans really isn't that great and you can drive to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado Springs if you visit there. RMNP and Colorado Springs both offer great hiking and fun outdoor activities. I would save the Buena Vista/Salida area for your next trip. Oh, and none of the train rides in CO compare to the trains in the Swiss Alps, so don't get your hopes up! =)

Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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3. Re: RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

Since your beginning point is Denver I would consider a 2 day split each for RMNP and Colorado Springs. That would be reasonable, not too much drive time between the two and will allow you to see and do enough and enjoy both.

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4. Re: RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

I would suggest doing RMNP one trip and throw in the drive to Mount Evans on your way back to Denver - go through Grand Lake and take 40 down to 70 and then east to Idaho Springs and take the 103 loop to Mt Evans and then into Evergreen and back to Denver. Or you could spend the night in Idaho Springs and go to the hot springs there then head into the Denver the following day. This trip would have a focus on hiking since you would have time to explore some of the amazing trails in RMNP.

The next trip go to Colordo Springs then swing over to the Buena Vista area (you could go via the Royal Gorge if you wanted to see that). This would be the river rafting/hot springs trip since the Arkansas is the rafting capital of the state and there are several hot springs in the area (Mt Princeton, Salida Hot Springs, Mineral Hot Springs, Cottonwood Hot Springs) some of which have resorts/inns. There are also a lot of jeep tours in the area, if that is an interest.

This groups areas together so you don't spend as much time on the road going from one place to another (that is not a bad thing considering how beautiful the drive is between places here, but with only 4 days you would want to maximize your time).

Destination Expert
for Colorado
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5. Re: RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

And then you will need a third trip to see what some of us would argue is the most beautiful part of the state, Southwest Colorado and the territory covered by the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. You've listed some of the "must-see" sites near Denver, and with 4 days, a trip to the SW part of the state isn't really feasible unless you fly in to Durango, Grand Junction, Montrose, Albuquerque, etc. But I think the # 2, 3, and more are there--Mesa Verde National Park, Durango&Silverton Railroad, and the rest of the San Juan Skyway including the Million Dollar Highway. Throw in the nearby Silver Thread Scenic Byway, Black Canyon, and add Aspen & Maroon Bells and historic Redstone and Independence Pass, and you've got enough for vacations for years to come!

6. Re: RMNP v/s Colorado Springs ....

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