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Colorado Trip Report - 1st time there

Effingham, Illinois
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Colorado Trip Report - 1st time there

Our first couple of days we spent mostly around Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. We drove up Pike's Peak and LOVED the views!!! I unfortunately got sick with altitude sickness the moment I stepped out of the vehicle atop of Pikes peak and didn't get better untill we got the bottom. The views however were spectacular and well worth any issues. We preferred to drive ourselves to save the money vs. taking the cog plus we thought we would get to see better views this way and not be rushed at the top. It was a pleasant 45 degrees at the top. You could see for miles around. It was fun taking pictures of clouds lower than we were.

We drove thru Garden of the Gods and it was quite beautiful too. They have little trails and pathways you can explore.

We preferred the little town of Manitou Springs to that of Colorado Springs just because it has a small town feel and has lot of shops to explore. The streets are VERY busy though. It is hard to find a parking space anywhere you want to go.

We drove thru Salida and did some rafting in Buena Vista. It was lots of fun. Both Salida and Buena Vista are gorgeous!!! The mountains are everywhere. Buena Vista has a riverwalk pathway that everyone walks or jogs. It was very lovely.

Our last stop was 3 days at Estes Park. We visited RMNP. We went on Old Falls Road and Trail Ridge road, which are MUST DO's. We saw lots of wildlife on Trail Ridge Road and some on Old Falls Road as well. The views from Trail Ridge Road are gorgeous. Old Falls road is "One way" and more in the forest and secluded. Also, it is a dirt road. If my husband hadn't been driving I would of been a little worried in places. However, keep in mind that I am scared of heights. We also got up SUPER early to have a better chance of seeing the wildlife.

Around certain parts of Estes Park elk can be seen. They have a riverwalk there and if you go early in the mornings or late in the evenings you might get lucky and see some. Apparently it is way more common in the fall when it is cooler.

Well, my family loved Colorado so much I am now hunting for new places to vacation next year. I am just hoping that I will find some areas that are as beautiful as the ones we saw. Is it even possible???? I was considering possibly the Durango, Ouray, Telluride area??? Can someone please point me in the direction of more beautiful scenic views?? I'm addicted now!!

Colorado National Monument
Monuments & Statues, Mountains, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks
Effingham, Illinois
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42 posts
22 reviews
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1. Re: Colorado Trip Report - 1st time there

I would like to add that thanks to restaurant reviews on Trip Advisor we never had a bad meal out. Thanks Everyone!!

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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2. Re: Colorado Trip Report - 1st time there

SW Colorado is beautiful, I prefer that part of the state most of all!!

Telluride, Ouray, Silverton, the Million Dollar Hwy, Mesa Verde - all spectacular. Telluride has a free gondola you can ride for great views, Ouray has natural hot springs. Beautiful areas to see and hike in both areas, jeep tours, horseback riding, glider rides, etc. I would strongly suggest that area next time.

www.SWColoTravel.org

www.visittelluride.com

www.OurayColorado.com

www.SilvertonColorado.com

www.Durango.org

www.TellurideMuseum.org

www.visitMontrose.com

Ouray, Colorado
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3. Re: Colorado Trip Report - 1st time there

There are no big cities in SW Colorado. Even Montrose and Durango are pretty small and since you like Manitou better than Colo Spgs, I am sure you will like it down here.

If you fly and rent a car, you can fly into Montrose, Durango or Grand Junction. To Ouray, Montrose is 40 miles, Durango is 75 miles (but more like 80 from airport) and GJ is 110 miles. Durango is at least 2 hours away by car since the road is slow going with lots of curves.

Telluride has an airport too but I am not as familiar with it.

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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4. Re: Colorado Trip Report - 1st time there

The airport in Telluride is the highest commercial airport in the US and the second highest in the world. It is a small airport and does not accomodate large commercial planes (ie- seating in excess of about 60 people).

As a general rule it tends to be considerably more expensive to fly into Telluride as opposed to flying into Montrose. You also have a fair chance of being diverted to another airport is there is bad weather. (snow in winter or thunderstorms in summer).

5. Re: Colorado Trip Report - 1st time there

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