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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Colorado - "must sees"
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05/30/2006 09:06:41 AM · #1
Will be in Colorado for the 1st time in early July. Any locations that are "must sees" while in the state.

Thanks.
05/30/2006 09:09:23 AM · #2
The whole state? :)

Jokes aside, where are you going to be and for how long? That's going to kinda set what you can see.

05/30/2006 09:11:54 AM · #3
Rocky Mountain National Park's not too shabby.
05/30/2006 09:12:56 AM · #4
4 days. Denver airport. Trying to find a home base to daytrip from. Thinking of Breckenridge/Vail area for the main hub.
05/30/2006 09:14:44 AM · #5
Originally posted by Flash:

Will be in Colorado for the 1st time in early July. Any locations that are "must sees" while in the state.

Thanks.


Well, I've lived here for 3 1/2 years now and I'm still making that list...

Rocky Mountain National Park
Pikes Peak
Red Rocks
Roxborough State Park
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Pawnee Buttes
Winter Park (rent bikes, ride up the ski lift, bike down the mountain)
16th Street Mall in Denver
Golden Gate State Park
Mt. Evans
Glenwood Springs & Hanging Lake
Steamboat Springs & Rabbit Ear Pass
just go hang out in Boulder
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Denver Botanical Gardens

You might go have a look at Colorado Nature Photographers for ideas, too. They've got a Wildflower Update link at the top of the page.

Message edited by author 2006-05-30 09:18:59.
05/30/2006 09:17:51 AM · #6
Blah, I quoted myself instead of editing like I meant to, I'm a dork, ignore this post.

Message edited by author 2006-05-30 09:18:39.
05/30/2006 09:24:36 AM · #7
4 Days...Hmm.

1 day in Colorado Springs would be good. C-Springs is 60 minutes south of Denver Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and Helen Hunt Falls are cool. Air Force Academy is great if you like architecture shots. The Cadet Chapel is truly awesome up close.

Otherwise, you can very nicely spend 4 days in Breckenridge/Vail shooting everything from flowers to people to amazing sunrises and sunsets.

Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo) is another good place to spend a day if you have it and like street photography. Most of the rest of the stuff in the state that is MUST see is a haul if you only have 4 days.

If you do not have one- get the a polarizing filter for thy lens. It's CRITICAL to have that in Colorado. Also drink lots of water to help offset the altitude headache you'll get. :)

Have fun! Colorado is home and I miss it. :)
05/30/2006 09:30:18 AM · #8
A truely amazing state to visit!!! We lived in Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs, for while ....The Garden of the Gods is a must see!! (so is Pikes Peak!!)

Have a great time!!!

Message edited by author 2006-05-30 11:21:28.
05/30/2006 09:30:31 AM · #9
Good recommendations everyone. I too am still exploring the must sees after 2 years. You can't go wrong with karmabreeze's recommendations.

If I could narrow it down I would recommend:

Rocky Mountain National Park - Time from DIA: 2 hrs

....mountain lakes, all levels of hiking, waterfalls, mountain peaks, creeks and rivers, wildlife...

Roxborough State Park - Time from DIA: 1 hr

...red rock formations, close to Denver, easy hiking, wildlife, accessible...

Red Rocks Amphitheathre - Time from DIA: 40 mins

...views of Denver from foothills, red rocks formations, some trails, very close to Denver...

Of course everything is great, but those are all fairly close to Denver.
05/30/2006 09:38:32 AM · #10
Originally posted by blemt:

4 Days...Hmm.

1 day in Colorado Springs would be good. C-Springs is 60 minutes south of Denver Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and Helen Hunt Falls are cool. Air Force Academy is great if you like architecture shots. The Cadet Chapel is truly awesome up close.

Otherwise, you can very nicely spend 4 days in Breckenridge/Vail shooting everything from flowers to people to amazing sunrises and sunsets.

Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo) is another good place to spend a day if you have it and like street photography. Most of the rest of the stuff in the state that is MUST see is a haul if you only have 4 days.

If you do not have one- get the a polarizing filter for thy lens. It's CRITICAL to have that in Colorado. Also drink lots of water to help offset the altitude headache you'll get. :)

Have fun! Colorado is home and I miss it. :)


Oh yes... how could I forget GotG? That should be number one on any photogs must see list.
05/30/2006 09:39:04 AM · #11
In my opinion, base out of Buena Vista or Salida (center of the state) day trip from any dircetion. And many many many times cheaper then touristy Vail/Breckenridge areas.

Other area areas not mentioned.

The Royal Gorge
Westcliffe area(Sangre de Cristo Range)My favorite range in Colorado
Salida north to Buena Vista then to Leadville (Collegate Range) Many 14,000ers including Mt. Elbert the highest.
St. Elmo (historic Ghost Town)
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, best hot potting out of Yellowstone.
Cottonwood or Independence Passes (both get you above timberline)

05/30/2006 10:31:17 AM · #12
Guys, keep in mind that not everyone wants to spend their vacation in Colorado driving. :) And the roads that for us are not a big deal to navigate for people not used to 3000+ foot vertical drops can be a tad intimidating. :)

05/30/2006 10:40:51 AM · #13
If you are going to Buena Vista, you should take US 24 and hit Mueller State Park along your way. Amazing aspen shots along the trails, and its just a nice spot to spend some time. One of my favorite places!
05/30/2006 11:08:08 AM · #14
And don't forget a plastic bag or something, it rains almost everyday in the higher elevations. Snows too!! At least it does everytime I go there in July. Did you know Colorado has the the 2nd highest rating for lighting strikes in the country? Florida is #1. Learned that on the train ride ride up Pikes Peak.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/39560/thumb/340391.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/39560/thumb/340391.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

If you have time stop by the Royal Gorge and do this. Talk about gettin the heebe jeebes. It swings out over the gorge.

Message edited by author 2006-05-30 11:13:31.
05/30/2006 11:21:47 AM · #15
Originally posted by blemt:

...for people not used to 3000+ foot vertical drops [it] can be a tad intimidating. :)


you've got that right.
05/30/2006 11:32:10 AM · #16
I'm planning a trip for the fall - Sept. 23-30. (Crossing my fingers that the aspens will be peak!) My route will go something like this: DIA to Colorado Springs, through Cottonwood Pass to Crested Butte, through Kebler Pass, possibly to Crystal, to Aspen, to RMNP and back to DIA.

Anyway, I've been looking at Colorado 'stuff' for months now trying to plan. Some things that looked interesting to me within a reach of your area would be:

RMNP - Estes Park - Hallets Peak
Boulder - Flat Irons
Colorado Springs - Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Wheeler (just outside of Florissant Fossil and is suppose to have nice rock formations for photographers (ranks in the top 10 I read))
Idaho Springs area - Mt. Evans bighorn sheep and mt. goats

If you do decide to drive farther here are some things for you:
Crested Butte
Aspen's Maroon Bells

Enjoy your visit and please share lots of pics when you return! :-)


05/30/2006 11:34:48 AM · #17
I went to the Colorado National Monument (by Grand Junction) for the first time a couple weeks ago, and it was quite beautiful.

Also, Mesa Verde National Park by Cortez (SW corner) is a must see. You want to spend a couple days there though, we just had an afternoon, and it was just way, way too short a time to see all that's there.

---------

Added: but it looks like you won't have time to go this far :) Some other time.

Message edited by author 2006-05-30 11:35:32.
05/30/2006 11:36:16 AM · #18
Originally posted by Flash:

Originally posted by blemt:

...for people not used to 3000+ foot vertical drops [it] can be a tad intimidating. :)


you've got that right.


*grin*

Yeah, it's fun for us natives to take people from out of state up Wolf Creek Pass. I've had friends BEG me to let them out of the car, and known people who curled up in the floorboards of the car so they wouldn't have to see. :)

Realistically you have 3 days of shooting. Take a look at the various websites for the suggested locations and pick one or two. You are going to find a lot of things to do in those locations.

Resort areas are expensive. But, they have the advantage of lots of things to do, good facilities, and fun street photography. :) Plus Breckenridge has excellent beer in my humble opinion. :)
05/30/2006 11:47:14 AM · #19
Here are some links for you:

Actually, I was able to copy and paste everything:

//www.marblecolorado.net/
//phototravel.com/sample/co_fall.htm
//www.parks.state.co.us/trail_finder/index.asp
//www.colorado.com/article.php?id=23&mag_id=1
//www.state.co.us/communities_dir/communities.html
//www.aroundcolorado.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=ede978b9ee5eb82b50f8eab13d8cac79&forumid=18
//www.westernriv.com
//www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/page.php
//www.jeffblaylock.com/window/000574.shtml
//gorp.away.com/gorp/trailfinder/trail_details.tcl?trailid=124
//www.coloradodirectory.com/maps/evans.html
//www.mycolorado.org/
//www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00FcWA&tag=
//www.treknow.com/colorado/byways/peak_to_peak_byway.htm
//www.pikespeakcolorado.com/map.htm
//www.rocky.mountain.national-park.com/
//rockymountainnationalpark.com/index.html
//www.flydenver.com/maps/printable.asp
//www.visitcrestedbutte.com/
//www.nps.gov/romo/index.html
//www.royalgorgereservations.com/index.aspx
//www.visitortips.com/
//wildlife.state.co.us/Viewing/WheretoGo/
//www.cs.unca.edu/~boyd/touring/col_trip/bv/cottonwood.html
//www.naturephotographynaturally.com/gog-travelogue.htm
//www.blackrabbit.com/black.htm


Message edited by author 2006-05-30 12:06:24.
05/30/2006 11:49:41 AM · #20
Originally posted by blemt:

Yeah, it's fun for us natives to take people from out of state up Wolf Creek Pass.


Colorado may be a bit of a challenge for me. I recall a drive from San Diego to Palm Springs that was pretty hairy. Also the area around Gattlinburg, Tenn. Lastly, Connor Pass in Dingle, Ireland was a sphincter tightening drive.

If the locals see a tourist traveling waaayyyy slower than the speed limit...that's me.

;-}
05/30/2006 11:51:26 AM · #21
Originally posted by Flash:


Colorado may be a bit of a challenge for me. I recall a drive from San Diego to Palm Springs that was pretty hairy. Also the area around Gattlinburg, Tenn. Lastly, Connor Pass in Dingle, Ireland was a sphincter tightening drive.


...

*stops to think about various drives*

Yeah, pick a place and stay there. :) On the plus side, the drive from Denver down to Colorado Springs is really pretty easy.
05/30/2006 11:55:42 AM · #22
Originally posted by blemt:


Yeah, it's fun for us natives to take people from out of state up Wolf Creek Pass. I've had friends BEG me to let them out of the car, and known people who curled up in the floorboards of the car so they wouldn't have to see. :)


I don't think I have been there. Sounds like my kinda place...If I have any kind of fear it is acrophobia, so I try to challenge myself at all turns.
05/30/2006 12:01:03 PM · #23
Wolf Creek Pass
05/30/2006 12:03:47 PM · #24
On somewhat of a sidenote...talking about phobias and all...how often do you Coloradans(?) see snakes? I don't mean the little 2 foot kind...I mean the man-eating kind. Maybe I don't even want to know...
05/30/2006 12:14:23 PM · #25
Originally posted by ButterflySis:

On somewhat of a sidenote...talking about phobias and all...how often do you Coloradans(?) see snakes? I don't mean the little 2 foot kind...I mean the man-eating kind. Maybe I don't even want to know...


On the plains you can often see Rattle snakes. In the mountains, almost never!
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