I’m working my way through a backlog of travel photos because it’s February and we don’t have any travel planned for this month (womp womp). Darren and I took a quick trip to Colorado last August, mainly because he’s never been and I couldn’t stop raving about the beautiful sweeping landscapes. I was coming in from a work trip in California, and it was a good ‘halfway’ point for the two of us. We started the Rocky Mountains (both of our first time), and then made our way down to Colorado Springs. A few of our highlights included:
- encountering a moose (elk? clearly my wildlife game needs improvement) off the side of the road
- a rainbow in the Rockies (those afternoon thunderstorms have some nice side effects)
- bopping around the colorful Paint Mines in Colorado Springs
- losing our breath (literally) on the Manitou Incline – this was my second time, and it is such a heart pounder!
- fitting into nifty rock formations at Garden of the Gods
A few pointers if you go:
- Summer is high season, particularly in the Rockies. The roads can get very congested, so it’s best to leave early in the morning to get to where you need to be and start hiking
- National Parks Pass! Get one. It supports NPS and pays for itself most of the time, especially if you plan on going in-and-out of parks a lot. We bought one earlier in 2019, and used it for Shenandoah, the Rockies, Great Falls, and Haleakala.
- Because summer is peak tourist season in the national parks, lodging will be pricier. Plan ahead and don’t be afraid to look slightly outside of the areas you are staying in. Estes Park, for example, is closer to the Rockies; however, hotels were extremely pricey. We opted to stay in Loveland and just allocated more time to drive into RMNP in the morning.
- Get off the beaten path! One of our favorite hikes was the Devil’s Backbone in Larimer County. We happened upon it while driving around, and loved how quiet it was.
Do you have travel plans to any National Parks this year? Would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been to Colorado!