Trip Highlights: Colorado
The Bikes Boats & Boots Colorado adventure was a great success. We were very busy all week—up early and out late—and everyone had a great time. We enjoyed sunny days, great meals and celebrated lots of “firsts” for most of the people in our group.
Our travels began in the Rocky Mountain National Park over Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the US, where we saw hundreds of very large elk grazing on the mountain side!
Saturday, we spent the day in the Denver Metro area, where there are hundreds (if not thousands) of continuous paved cycling trails. We started in Parker and traveled through Cherry Creek Reservoir. We followed the Cherry Creek Trail into downtown Denver and spent some time in the REI flagship store. After a little people watching we followed the Platte River trail, then connected with the C-470 trail, finishing up at the Hickory House Barbeque restaurant (the best barbeque ever), for a total of 50 cycling miles for our first day.
Sunday, we were on to Loveland Pass, the highest mountain pass (11,990 feet) in the world that is passable year round. Everyone tended to be a little apprehensive and feeling a bit nervous starting out at the bottom, but those emotions turned to a huge sense of accomplishment after reaching the top. It started to rain just as we reached the top, so we all piled into the sag wagon and headed to our hotel at Lake Dillon. Typical Colorado weather consists of a little rain followed by lots of sun. So it wasn’t long before we were able to get back on the bikes and ride around Lake Dillon.
Monday was our hiking day. Our guide, Ann, chose a trail right outside Breckenridge called Mohawk Lake Trail. We were blessed again with beautiful weather, lots of wild flowers, remnants of old mining operations, beautiful water falls and a very scenic little lake at the top where we dined on grilled southwest chicken sandwiches and strawberries dipped in warm chocolate fondue. Yum!
Tuesday, we were off to cycle Vail Pass. Once again there was a little apprehension, as the mountain passes seem to make everyone a little nervous. At the end of the day, everyone was once again pleasantly surprised at how well they handled the route, especially the exhilarating descent. At days end, we landed at our hotel, the luxurious Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, located right on the creek. We spent the next two days enjoying all the amenities the resort and town had to offer.
Wednesday was a day to explore on our own. Most of us stayed together and spent the day taking mountain bikes up the gondola and riding down Vail Mountain. Even though we had logged thousands of hours on our road bikes, mountain biking was quite a different experience for all of us—a little scary at first, but definitely fun.
Thursday, we were off to Glenwood Springs. From Vail we followed a paved bike trail for most of the 60 mile journey. This bike path runs next to the Colorado River and is carved right into the side of the canyon. This is one of the most scenic trails I’ve ever been on—the views are breathtaking.
Our last two days were spent in Glenwood Springs where we stayed at the historic Hotel Colorado. We spent several hours in the worlds largest hot springs pool, soaking our tired muscles, and reminiscing about our Colorado experiences.
Friday, our last day of adventure, was divided into a rafting trip on the Colorado River in the morning, and hiking to Hanging Lakes in the afternoon. On the river, our guide, Bob, took us over several exhilarating and thrilling white water rapids. While the hike to Hanging Lakes is steep, the views of the lake, creek and water falls at the top, were well worth the trek.
Saturday, our route home took us through Aspen, over Independence Pass, and a slight detour to The Royal Gorge, where we traveled over the highest suspension bridge in the world. Then, back to Denver to say goodbye to our traveling companions.
Colorado is such a great place to explore. We hope you will join us for our next Colorado Adventure.