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  1. #1

    Default August 10-18 Colorado Road Trip

    My brother and I took a road trip this past August up to Colorado from San Antonio, TX.

    Full picture album is here:
    I like taking, pictures, and kept 712 of the over 1000 I took, if you don't care to look at them all I'm going to hit the highlight pictures in the thread.

    Map of route:

    Started out early in the morning on August 10th. Drove through Texas all the way up to Amarillo. Made good time at 9 hours. Not bad especially with stops when Google Maps said 8 hours. We got to the hotel and hung out for awhile watching TV. I wanted to go eat at Braum's since we don't have any where we live and it's pretty awesome, then we went to visit the Cadillac Ranch since it was like 5 minutes away. Then we called it a night.

    The next morning we slept in a little because the drive was shorter and we didn't feel like we needed to be in any big hurry. Set out at about 10am towards Colorado Springs. The rest of the Texas panhandle was generally all the same looking farmland everywhere and generally boring. Went through the corner of New Mexico and then finally made it to Colorado!

    Driving in Colorado up to Colo Springs was interesting. Mountains to the left, flat land to the right most of the way up the highway. Made good time to Colo Springs as well. As soon as we got into town there was a storm going through and I thought we'd have to cancel the plans to go see Seven Falls that night. Luckily it blew through and we got to go.

    If you're not familiar with Seven Falls, the lights change color constantly, there's several more pictures in the album.

    Called it a night and got up the next day for the Garden of the Gods first thing in the morning.

    I had been here on a 2002 trip to Colorado, and I really don't remember it as I saw it then. It was pretty neat. Manitou Cliff Dwellings was the next stop. Kinda pricey for what it is, but it was neat.

    I had suggested Cave of the Winds as the next stop but we went over in the night before and decided to take the drive out to the mollie Kathleen Gold Mine in Cripple Creek. The drive out to the mine was great. We got there and found out cameras weren't allowed in the mine and I was kinda bummed about that because I take pictures of everything. It was still a really cool tour and I'm glad we went out there. The ride down was in the mine elevator which is a very tiny 2 level cart for lack of a better explanation. On my part we fit 2 adults, my brother and I, 2 kids, and the tour guide. It was a very snug 1000 ft ride down, though not terribly awkward probably because it was dark and I couldn't really look around anywhere.

    After the tour we stopped at the turn off right by the mine to get a picture of the town.

    My brother was wanting to go to the Air Force Academy, but when he looked it up it said they search your vehicle, so we opted not to go because of the amount of bags and stuff we had. I set my GPS to gas mileage to try and get it to take me on back roads to Denver. It sent me on a dirt road, haha. It was actually kinda fun in my car though. Tried to do some rally stuff around the corners.

    We got back into partial civilization and I stopped for gas. There was an unusual hissing noise coming from the gas pump...scratch that...from my tire. Ran over a screw. Put some fix a flat type gunk in the tire and drove to the Walmart nearby. That set us behind about an hour, so I opted to scratch the back road idea and just take the highway to Denver. Hit traffic right out of Colo Springs. Looked at the AF Academy from the highway. Made it to Denver and stayed with my aunt and uncle for the night. They had bikes and apparently Denver has awesome bike and other parks, so my brother and I went biking the next morning. The weather was amazing by the way, compared to San Antonio. That day was comprised of wondering around Denver. Went to a neat hiking park my uncle told me about called Deer Creek Canyon Park. In some places we were high enough to see Denver.

    The next day was off to Estes Park through Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Ridge Road. The drive was awesome. It was also cold up there.

    Estes Park wasn't all that exciting to me, on top of my brother being uncooperative... The town was too hyped up for me I think. It's neat it's up in the mountains, but in the town you really can't see that. It's just a shopping town. We didn't stick around town long before heading to the campground.

    My campsite was reserved in Moraine Park which was an easy drive from Estes Park. I'm 21 and this was actually the first time I ever camped out besides in the tent in our yard. I liked the camp site despite the fact that I forgot the reserve earlier so I got stuck with one of the last few available.

    Turns out camping isn't quite as fun as it sounds. I had a sleeping bag under my sleeping bag, but it wasn't much softer than the ground. It was cold and my sleeping bag didn't cooperate. However uncomfortable it was to sleep in my jacket, I had to do it. The next day we got up and I drove us down through Allenspark and Nederland to Mt. Evans. My brother slept the whole way, so there's not any pictures in between there really. Mt. Evans was awesome. I want to go again. Though I wasn't a fan of the narrow roads with million feet drop offs, but hey it's part of the excitement.

  2. #2


    New post for the remaining pictures.

    After Mt. Evans we had time to kill so I drove out to Breckenridge to say we've been there. It wasn't much more spectacular than Estes Park really. I drove around a loop in town and headed back. The best part of that drive was probably the tunnel on IH-70. Should have gotten a picture of it. Drove back to Denver and stayed another night at my uncle and aunt's before heading out early the next morning to Carlsbad, NM. That drive was generally long and boring. Roads in NM were straight, not a whole lot of scenery. Crashed at the Motel 6 in Carlsbad for the night. It's the best price for a cahin hotel in Carlsbad, but there was some strange people wandering around outside. I decided to grab all my stuff from the car (GPS, iPod, bags) and stuff the rest of the stuff in the trunk to be on the safe side. Stayed there 2 nights and had no issues. Went to Carlsbad Caverns NP. As we drove up we saw everything was burnt from a very recent grass fire. We could still smell it from inside the car.

    It's kinda hard to see from the picture, but the grass and stuff is all burnt right up next to the parking lot.

    And on to the cave.

    We got to the lobby down by the elevators and I remember there being a food court there so I want to eat down there. Apparently it was closed down and turned into a storage area. They still have souvenirs, but it wasn't as neat as I remember it.

    Since we had plenty of time to kill my brother suggested we hike back up the trail to the entrance rather than take the elevators...for some reason that trail was so much longer going up than it had been going down, haha. It's not for the faint of heart.

    Saw this guy at the entrance when we got up.

    The rest of the trip was mainly driving down IH-10 back to SA. Nothing more to say or see.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Cool.

    Thanks for dropping by and sharing your trip report with us, nice pctures !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I enjoyed the report and the pictures. I'll have to add the Mt Evans Road to our list of "things to do someday". BTW, I do agree with you regarding Estes Park being a "shopping town". Just add the word EXPENSIVE to it. I also agree with you about the Eisenhower Tunnel - and there's photos of it in one of my summer 2011 albums here on RTA. BTW, we usually don't use the word "boring" in connection with scenery here on RTA, because everywhere is somebody's hometown. :-)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It is upscale

    Estes Park is upscale and relatively expensive-- but if you've never stood on the terrace of the Stanley Hotel with the whole Colorado Rockies on display.... You gotta see it. Plus, there is a tour that gets you up close and personal with the resident ghost. And there is an awesome drive near by....


  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    I enjoyed the report and the pictures. I'll have to add the Mt Evans Road to our list of "things to do someday". BTW, I do agree with you regarding Estes Park being a "shopping town". Just add the word EXPENSIVE to it. I also agree with you about the Eisenhower Tunnel - and there's photos of it in one of my summer 2011 albums here on RTA. BTW, we usually don't use the word "boring" in connection with scenery here on RTA, because everywhere is somebody's hometown. :-)
    Mt. Evans was probably my favorite part of the trip. We only went into the rock shop and didn't really check any prices so I didn't think about the cost of stuff, but I wouldn't doubt it's expensive. How about generally unspectacular? I just wasn't terribly fond of the drive through most of New Mexico and Texas like I was Colorado.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    And there is an awesome drive near by....
    You're talking about Colorado. I didn't find very many non highway roads that weren't a good drive.

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