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Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

Pennsylvania
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Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

We are late 50's fit couple flying into Denver, renting a car, and making a big loop that includes visit to Big Sky, MT. Trip is 15 days. Spouse does not like driving windy roads with no guard rail! We will skip RMNP and Yellowstone this time around. We don't have to pinch pennies, but aren't overly extravagant. We like to bike rail trails and do some easy hiking. Love good eats and especially micro-brew pubs. Like nice smaller mountain towns. Suggestions for improvement welcome. How does this sound?

Day 1,2,3 Leadville (would consider Breckenridge/Copper). Day 4,5,6: Park City, UT. Day 7,8,9: Jackson/Tetons. Day 10,11,12: Big Sky, MT Day 13: from Big Sky to Cheyenne? One night or two in Cheyenne or is there another nice town on the way back to Denver? Day 15 fly home from Denver.

Thanks in advance for your help!

1. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

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Removed on: 10 April 2014, 21:25
Edited: 10 April 2014, 21:25
Nederland, Colorado
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2. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

My first question is why Leadville? IMO 3 days is way too long unless you have specific reasons to be there. Plus, I would not spend your first day at that high altitude.

Copper is a ski resort, not a real town. Frisco is a quaint town just minutes away, on the way to Breckenridge.

For the rest of your trip, this is a perfect question for the Road Trips forum: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

Edited: 10 April 2014, 21:25
Colorado
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3. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

Agree Leadville is not a town I'd spend much time in. Maybe a lunch. I find it cold in more ways than just the temps. I like the idea of Frisco. Cheyenne does not have much to offer either. I'd spend a night or 2 in Denver.

Pennsylvania
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4. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

Thank you. Looking at a map again, we may skip Leadville and instead stop in Grand Junction for a day or two - a better choice?

Park City, Utah
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5. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

As noted, replace Leadville with something like Breck, Frisco, etc. You might also find Glenwood Springs interesting. If you do decide to spend days in Grand Junction, stay in the recently renovated downtown area which has a ton of great little restaurants in walking distance from hotels.

Did you consider a stop in Moab to visit redrock country? Park City will be a real highlight. While I know Yellowstone isn't in your plans, I would certainly do the drive through between Jackson and Big Sky. It's a gorgeous route that will take you right past Old Faithful and other iconic attractions.

On your return, loop around the north of of Yellowstone and down through Wyoming, do visit Little Bighorn Battlefield. Sheridan or Casper would be functional places to stay.

Have fun and do post in Road Trips for more response.

WestSlope,CO
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6. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

Grand Junction is a great town to visit but in July it will be hot and doesn't fit your "smaller mountain town" criteria. It is one of Colorado's larger communities and not in the mountains. However, it would make a great stop for visiting Colorado's wineries and fruit stands, plus Colorado National Monument. Not good for much hiking in July, though, except early morning and late evening. Or you could drive up to Grand Mesa to escape the heat mid-day. In July, look for a small mountain town near some good but easy hiking. I actually kinda like Leadville and its location...not too far off the Interstate, near hiking and old mining sites. It is still a mining town and while historic, it is not touristy and I don't know if there are any brew pubs. As others have mentioned, Breckenridge and Frisco would be good choices, but you may want to spend your first night in Denver or Golden to give yourselves a chance to acclimate a bit.

I'd do night 1 in Golden, night 2 & 3 in Breckenridge or Frisco (or...I'd still consider Leadville, myself, or at least visit as a drive through after Breckenridge...Twin Lakes, too). Another one of my favorite spots is Redstone. It is a lovely, historic mountain community, and you can easily visit Glenwood Springs and Aspen while you're there.

Colorado
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7. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

beerdrinkersguidetocolorado.com/beermap.html might help with beer. If you go to Frisco / Breckenridge ( Summit County ) take the water taxi over to Pug Ryans Tiki Bar. Pug's makes what I think is the best beer in the county. Plus the views are fantastic.

http://pugryans.com/about-us/tiki-bar/

From Denver along the way is TommyKnockers, again good beer.

I was going to say Palisades, but hot weather does not bother me that much. Great trails and some surprisingly good wines. A nice hike, some pool time and wine. Nice day to me.

http://www.coloradowinecountryinn.com

Does Utah still have that 3.2 alcohol limit on beer?

Edited: 11 April 2014, 16:04
Fruita, Colorado
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8. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

If you are into the history of the old west, then Leadville is certainly worthy of more than a lunch stop. I love to go see some of the more historic parts of CO and that area is rich in history, being both a gold and silver mining boom town in the late 1800s. Sometimes people get focused on all the new things - like the ski towns - that they overlook the rich heritage in the area's long, long past. Check it out at http://www.visitleadvilleco.com/history

Plus it is way cooler up in Leadville that either Grand Junction, or Moab. Talk about hot - oh my it's hot here and there. July temps can be high 90s or low 100s. And yes, it's dry heat but you still feel it. Redstone would also be another town I'd go to, I often escape to there or Aspen if I get a chance. But still not as cool as Leadville.

Colorado
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9. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

aahh see to me a 90 degree day in Colorado is not overly hot. I welcome them, they are so rare! Evenings are still quite comfortable. We live in Denver and have for many years, without the need for AC. Maybe on the Western Slope it is different?

Fruita, Colorado
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10. Re: Itinerary for July: CO/UT/MT - Make sense?

Much different. We will usually have several days over 100 degrees and many days of nearly 100 in July and August. Then at night it doesn't cool down much below the high 60s so it doesn't take long for it to warm up again. Mid afternoon you do not want to be outside hiking/biking. But it does make for some awesome peaches and wine grapes.

When I lived in Denver and Ft. Collins I didn't have air conditioning either but it's pretty much mandatory here.

Edited: 11 April 2014, 22:29