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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Telford, Pennsylvania, United States

    Default Easy Driving Loop Near Denver for Mom and 2 Teen boys - one with special needs.

    Looking to fly into Denver on a Monday and fly out on Friday and will be renting a car in late July. Want to see the tourist sights with my boys. Would like to see a bit of Denver and "Rocky Mountain stuff", mountain views, quaint towns (Boulder, Golden??). "Tourist must sees" that type of thing. Nothing too strenuous. Not sure drive times between tourist areas, and if we should stay in one place and take day trips in surrounding areas (stay in Denver or Boulder?) or stay in one or two different towns while we make a loop? My one son doesn't have a lot of stamina so typical "teen boy" high adrenaline stuff is out (bike riding, zip lines, rafting) but easy hikes, tours, concerts are good. Think senior citizen pace with a teenage's desire to be cool. Lol...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A little loop.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I personally prefer a loop trip rather than an out and back type vacation as you tend to get to see more things. Much will depend on how much time you want to dedicate to driving and how much time at any one place. A small Denver loop could have you make your way to the town of Estes Park and check out the Bear Lake area of RMNP which has lovely scenery and everything from a stroll around various lakes to strenious hiking. You could then drive across the park on the Trail Ridge road [providing there are no storm closures] to Grand lake. Allow plenty of time for the drive, the views along this highest continous road in the US are wonderful ! After this you could start to make your way towards Manitou Springs where close by you will find Pikes peak and it's cog railway, [ driving is an option but not for everyone] Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods. On the way you could choose various routes, one of them would include a visit to historic Leadville and possibly The Royal Gorge bridge near Canon City. The whole loop could be driven in a day and a half so you will have a nice amount of time to enjoy the sites along the way.

    All the roads are paved, but you are going into a mountainous region and it will include twisty sections in places, such as along the Trail Ridge road, but for an experienced driver I would class it as easy enough. At least for a driver who does not have a huge fear of heights.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Tourist Trains and scenic drives.

    Whereas the Trail Ridge Road is one of those spectacular drives, don't overlook I-70 west of Denver. It is probably the most scenic interstate in the country and well worth travelling. Off I-70 there is a short detour over Loveland Pass (US-6), one of very few passes kept open all year round. The Peak to Peak scenic byway (route 7/72) is a great way to get from Estes Park back to I-70.

    As well as the Royal Gorge Bridge, there is the Royal Gorge Tourist Train, which the boys might enjoy. Another great tourist train ride is the Durango to Silverton Railway.

    Estes Park, Glenwood Springs, Durango and Pagosa Springs - great Hot Springs -as well as Colorado Springs are great towns to stop at, besides Denver and Boulder.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Include the Teens in planning.

    Off I-70 there is a short detour over Loveland Pass
    This is indeed a great detour and could be included with the Trail Ridge road by driving from Grand Lake to Leadville as described above. Of course you have the option of heading further west to Colorado NM, Mesa Verde and Black canyon, OR even further into Southern Utah to Arches and Canyonlands NP's. You should do a little research and see what interests you and of course, the Teens. Include them in the planning phase so they have a vested interest in the trip and it'll work out more fun for all.

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