My Favorite Things To Do In Colorado
With the end of our second assignment rapidly approaching (which I am extremely sad about, by the way), I often find myself reminiscing on all of the wonderful experiences we’ve had here in Colorado, and I felt the need to share my favorites with you.
Colorful Colorado is such a beautiful state. Just about any road you take is a Scenic Byway or will likely lead you to yet another stunning view of the mountains, a well known National Forest, or State Park. Unless I lived here for the rest of my life, I think it would be nearly impossible to experience everything this state has to offer. Luckily, during this assignment, we had 3 day weekends that we dedicated to making sure we checked everything off our bucket list. We made the most of the 13 weeks we had here and did everything we wanted to and much more.
Here are some of my favorites.
Rocky Mountain National Park
RMNP was probably my most favorite experience, not because I hiked every single trail and seen every attraction in the park, but because what little I did see, actually took my breath away. With it being 3 hours away, we had to set our alarms for around 4am. As soon as we entered the park we were stopped dead in our tracks, by 3 large bull elk, and 3 large male deer. I learned a good photography lesson that morning, as I was not ready to photograph these beautiful creatures that we had set out to see. So, this is how all my photographs of the deer and elk turned out.
But, the sunrise that morning was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I’ve dragged my butt out of bed plenty of mornings to run down to the beach and see the sunrise, and while they are equally just as magnificent, they just weren’t anything like this one.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
This one taught me yet another lesson, bring goggles and DONT wear jeans! The Great Sand Dunes were just too cool. No other way to put it. Here you are, in this beautiful state full of snow-capped mountains and then out of nowhere, sand dunes? The pictures will fool you too, they are not small dunes at all. If you want to climb to the top, you better start early. There is a little roadside store just before you enter the park that rents out sleds and snowboards, and that is how I ended up with sand in my eye and my pants. Sand in your eyes for hours is very painful, my friends, do yourself a favor and bring goggles, or anything to protect your eyes.
Maroon Bells/ White River National Forest
Of course, the most photographed two Peaks in North America made my list of favorites. My one and only reason to visit White River National Forest was to photograph the Maroon Bells. While I am a little ashamed that I didn’t explore the rest of the park, I must remind you that Maroon Bells was our last stop on a 14-hour scenic drive. I got my pictures and walked around and stared in awe. It was surreal to be standing there, looking at the two peaks, since I had been stalking pictures of them on Pinterest for a very long time. While my amateur photograph holds no candle to the other pictures I’ve seen, I am still very proud and happy to have my very own picture of Maroon Bells. Timing is everything here, folks. Also, I need a wider lens!
Balancing on some logs in the water here. That is dedication. Ha
Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
I actually wanted to do a separate blog post for this one, since it was so thrilling but time has slipped away from me. The Royal Gorge is certainly just as jaw-dropping as any of the Peaks and Snow capped mountains mentioned above but in a much different way. The Royal Gorge Bridge is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world at over 1,000 feet high. The Royal Gorge is also home to The World’s scariest Skycoaster and the Highest Zip Line in North America. Alright yall, about 4 years ago I cried on the Vortex at Kings Island, so I really dug deep here. Also, I had never been on a zip line. I am really glad that I conquered my fears and experienced both the zip line and the sky coaster. I’m not saying I didn’t scream the whole time or possibly cry after I got off the zip line, but I did it!
Pictures just don’t do it justice. I know I say that a lot, but seriously!
This is when all the screaming takes place.
Garden of The Gods
You don’t have to be a thrill seeker to visit Garden of The Gods. This is probably why I liked it so much. After all the heart-pounding adventure at the Royal Gorge, this was a nice way to calm down and stay on the ground, unless you want to climb all the rock formations. I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
Last but not least, Pikes Peak! Americas most famous mountain is 14,115 feet high and you can drive all the way to the top! Or you can hike it too if you’re feeling like you are really in great shape and can deal with the altitude change. We drove all the way to the top and I was definitely feeling a little more off my rocker as we got closer to 14,000 ft. Definitely drink lots of water and take your time!
Crystal Creek Reservoir on the way to the top.
You really can’t go wrong here. There were so many other places we went that were tough to kick off this list, but just because I didn’t mention them does not mean they were not just as awesome. To say that I am depressed about leaving Colorado would be an understatement. It has been such an adventure! And I got to spend every day with my Nannie which was so very important to me when we started this assignment. I will miss her dearly!
You won my heart, Colorado, I’ll be back!