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  1. Default colorado sites and skyways

    I've never been to Colorado and need your recommendations on national parks/forests/drives. Here is what I'm thinking so far:
    Gunnison National Forest and/or San Juan National Forest. Pick one and not both? What about that cool "Million Dollar Drive"? Will that drive allow me to see lots of things?
    I'll be driving from Nebraska with a dog. Since most national parks don't take dogs, I'm opting for the national forests (I can't go to Mesa Verde or Rocky Mountain Ntl. Park). What's the best route coming into Colorado from the Northeast?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Colorado Alternatives


    You don't say how long you have for this trip or if you are camping most of the time, part of the time, or not at all. So leaving all that aside, for those who have never been to Colorado, here are a few of my "must sees" - you string them together however you like.

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison - not the Grand Canyon, but very impressive, deep, extensive canyon, seen mostly from the south rim, though there is a gravel road to the north rim.

    Ouray - The San Juan mountains in the southwest part of the state is known as Little Switzerland because of the look of the mountains that run east/west, not north/south like most ranges. Ouray sits in a box canyon, actually more like a cylinder canyon, with towering rock walls all around. An amazing place. The tour to Yankee Boy basin (elevation around 12,000 feet) is a real treat in July when the wildflowers are blooming.

    Million Dollar Highway - From Ouray south to Silverton is a very dramatic bit of road construction. The variety of scenery is astounding - from deep, deep drop-offs to distant vistas. Several old mines and tailings piles and the deep red, Red Mountain seen from Red Mountain Pass (it is red!).

    Silverton - A funky, mining town kept alive by the fact that it is at one end of the Durango to Silverton steam railroad. There are some great ghost towns up the hill north of town, but rent a jeep unless you have off-road tires on your vehicle. We didn't and sliced a tire to shreds. Then we went back to town and ordered a new set.

    Pikes Peak (from Colorado Springs) or Mt. Evans (from Denver) - the drive to the top of either (over 14,000 feet) is dramatic and exciting. Pikes Peak is gravel, Mt. Evans is paved. Alternate method for getting to the top of Pikes Peak is the cog railway, but I doubt if they let dogs on.

    Colorado Sand Dunes - May be the largest sand dune area in the country (not sure) but it is big and amazing.

    Maroon Bells - One of the iconic views in the state, this place, near Aspen, is very popular and may require riding a bus, unless you go in the evening. The three peaks are pyramid-shaped, the lake is lovely, and the hike is exhilarating.

    Loveland Pass - an alternative to the Eisenhower tunnel (west of Denver) this is the old road over the top (about 11,000 feet). A very nice drive.

    And on and on... There are many more, but this will get you started. In actuality, you can't go wrong just about anywhere in the western half of the state.

    Have fun, and don't forget to send a report when you get home.

    Craig Sheumaker
    Co-author of America's Living History - The Early Years
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-27-2007 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Preferred URL format

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Colorado Dreamin'

    Quote Originally Posted by julietraci View Post
    What about that cool "Million Dollar Drive"? Will that drive allow me to see lots of things?
    It is a beautiful drive -- here is one of our field reports.
    I'll be driving from Nebraska with a dog.
    Here are a few tips for you and your pal.



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