I've spent some great evenings reading the forums here getting syched up to visit Colorado this summer. We are a family of 5 living in Denmark, kids 6,9 & 11. We've been out and about in Chamonix last year (10 days) and now we're looking forward to seeing the American West. I have a cousin in Evergreen, so we're thinking of starting there as a base for day visits up to boulder, vail, RMNP, and of course, Denver. We have 9 days all in all.
Now the challenge: We want to do it all!! :)
My wife and daughter want to do some horseback riding - they're experienced. The boys want to spend some time on a river catching fish. We all want to do some hiking. exploring some of the mountain towns would be nice too. A rodeo/local markets are good!
Since we'll be up high, have 3 young kids, and have only 9 days - I'm kind of assuming that most of the hiking will be "chairlift assisted" (copper, vail, breckenridge....?)
Originally we were looking at a dude ranch - but we don't think we want to be locked into the program there - we like the flexibility of setting our own agenda and following YOUR good advice (getting local!). We would prefer to stay atperhaps 2 places rather than a new hotel each night.
Can one find ranch type lodging without the rigid program? and for fewer days than a full week? Rustic cabins are good (near water?).
We considered starting in Evergreen for 3 days (good base for day trips?) then down somewhere southwest-ish where we can make a day trip to the durango silverton train and another to the mesa-verde dwellings.
The toughy here is the second place to use as a base. Should we take just one place or two? We'd like to stay in the mountains rather than head all the way out to the higher desert down south.
I'm rambling a bit - and I really appreciate any help. We're coming July 18-28.
Thanks so much!!