If you plan to visit Colorado, a great stop would have to be Rocky Mountain National Park. This park was established in 1915 to preserve and celebrate the amazing splendor and natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. If you enjoy hiking, this park has a very large number of trails at varying altitudes from 9,000-13,000 feet up that are great for hiking. If you enjoy watching the wildlife, there is an incredible level of biodiversity present in this park, with a variety of birds and other animals, such as elk, to view from a distance.For wildlife spotters, the elk aren't shy.Lakes are main attractions.
The Wapiti is one of the many burger places along Estes Park's main street. The interior decor is all wood, beer signs and elk decoration. The menu is standard bar fare. Best place to go in town if you want a wonderful lunch or dinner, and many times they have live entertainment in the court yard. You can get elk steaks, burgers and the best on the menu is the Chicken fettucinni alfredo.
Ironton is a ghost town three miles south of Ouray. At 10,000 feet the summer is glorious with wildflowers growing around the hulks of 100 year old wooden houses. The winters were too harsh to support the mining community that founded Ironton.
Gregory Canyon, located between the first Flatiron and Gregory Canyon, is one of the best hiking areas in Boulder. The approximately 5 mile trail ascends over 1500 feet and offers astounding views of the Front Range, Continental Divide and the town of Boulder below. The initial ascent is steep and rocky but after awhile the trail gives way to rolling hills and heavily forested areas that are a riot of wildflowers in the summer time
Ward is essentially a village along the Peak to Peak Highway. The Millsite Inn, however, is an institution among the communities of the foothills. Popular with locals, bikers, travelers and sports fans, the Millsite is one of those wonderful downhome places that feels like a long cabin with beer, a pool table and bar food. The calzones and stromboli, however, are uncommonly delicious and during a Bronco game the whole place comes to life.
Before the Eisenhower Tunnel was completed, Loveland Pass was one of the only ways over the Continental Divide. At times you will be driving along a sheer drop of 1000 feet or more. The payoff is that the pass is breathtakingly gorgeous. Sitting at an altitude of nearly 12,000 feet, you can look down on the valleys below. In the summer time you go hiking above treeline and take in the bizarre flora and fauna of the alpine zone. If you head up before June or July, there will likely still be massive drifts along the side of the road--some as deep as 30 feet.
Another benefit to Loveland Pass is that you can get to the resorts of A-Basin and Keystone much fast than driving all the way to Breckenridge.
Pikes Peak, looking over Colorado Springs from an elevation of 14,115 feet, has the reputation of being one the United States' most famous landmarks for the spectacular views from its summit. This attraction offers trails of varying experience levels and is open year-round depending on weather conditions. Barr Trail (at 13 miles) long, that begins in Manitou Springs and ends at the summit, is the longest trail in the Colorado. This landmark has gained additional recognition as being known as the inspiration for the song "America the Beautiful," written by Katherine Lee Bates.The view is beyond incredible--it's like being in an airplane. You can see the hundreds of miles of the continental divide as well as the towns of Colorado Springs and Denver, which appear miniature from that far up.
Take a trip to a national park that has some of the tallest sand dunes on the continent. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado is not your average desert climate. It boasts much cooler summer temperatures which are perfect for climbing the dunes. If you are not much of a climber, look at the areas of black sand or enjoy the forests and lakes. The preserve with more than 41,000 acres is worth a visit. If you feel creative, build a sand castle at Medano Creek.