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Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

London
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Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

Hi,

We are travelling from Estes Park to Colorado Springs in August and think we might do a side trip, can anyone advise if this is a good choice.

Estes park to Leadville (lunch) then on to Buena Vista or Salida overnight. Next day raft trip and on to Colorado Springs via Canon City (or via Woodland Park).

Also, can anyone advise if Mt Princeton Hot Springs might be a good stopover. We will be travelling with two children. Are the distances above do-able?

Thanks for your help.

Ouray, Colorado
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1. Re: Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

Mt. Princeton is a nice spot. I was there this winter. They have a bunch of cabins that are pretty nice to rent and they also have regular motel rooms. The hot springs are fun and in the summer they have some water slides that can be open. I would check in advance as I haven't ever been there in the summer. The restaurant onsite is fine but if you are in a cabin, you could do your own thing. The little store has a couple of things but I would make sure you had food if you were planning to cook.

Estes Park to Leadville is a bit of a drive... I presume you are going over Trail Ridge to Grand Lake. I would guess that would take 4 hours at least without any stops. Depending on the kids, it might be nicer to stop in Frisco or Dillon.

Frisco to Leadville is probably just under one hour.

I would head to Colo Spgs via Canon City and stop at the Royal Gorge. It is pretty fun to cross the suspension bridge if you are not afraid of heights. If cars are on the bridge, you can actually feel it sway and it is a really neat feeling. Of course, it is safe. Salida to Royal Gorge is about 1 hour and then one more hour to Colo Spgs.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

RMNP over Trail Ridge road to Granby then to Kremmling to Silverthorne to Leadville (4+ hours driving) Lunch in Leadville then some sightseeing, then to Buena Vista. Near Buena Vista is St Elmo Ghost Town which is west of Mt Princeton Hot Springs. Both would be just fine for kids. I would then take the drive through Woodland Park to Co Springs, stopping at Florissant Fossil Beds Nat Mon for fossils and geology.

London
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3. Re: Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

Thank you Kavery 123 & CasaAzul for your advice.

I was however thinking of going the main roads from Estes Park in the direction of Denver and then taking route 70 to Silverthorne and on to Leadville, as we will previously have gone over Trail Ridge Road. Should this cut down on journey times? Is Leadville worth a visit? Can you recommend a rafting trip to include a child age 7?

Ouray, Colorado
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4. Re: Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

I don't think you will save that much time going to Denver first and then back. Estes Park to Denver is around 2 hours and then catching I-70 to Copper Mountain is 75 miles or so and then 25 or so on to Leadville. I think that should be around 2 hours if you go when traffic is not heavy.

I suppose it is easier driving and if you have kids that get car sick, the Denver way will be more miles yet less windy roads.

I think the Arkansas River can handle anything from Mild to Wild. Work with your company and they will be able to tell you the best way to go. I went with a company called RMOC (Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center) and they used to be based out of Howard Colo. I haven't been for a number of years however so things may have changed.

London
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5. Re: Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

Thanks so much for your help Kavery

6. Re: Estes Park to Buena Vista or Salida

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