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Colorado Points-of-Interest

Information sources: A=AAA Travel Guidebook, AC=AAA Camping Book, H= Highways magazine (Good Sam Club), L=loop tours book (Readers Digest, hardbound), X=Xerox copy, T=1992 Texas travel soft-cover book, RVJ = RV Journal periodical, NOTE: Key to map-location numbering system: 05=2005 trip 06=2006 trip 07=2007 trip 08= 2008 trip 09=2009 entry 3-digit #s in red denote locations on old 2005 western trip map NOTE: Info may NOT contain CURRENT phone numbers, prices, times of operation, etc. due to publication dates for info sources. ALWAYS check with the attraction / location / venue for updated info rather than drive to the location and be very disappointed !

COLORADO 2013

(updated 3/2013)

CO001 05 Denver (p 258) 1. Denver Museum of Natural History (with walk-through prehistoric exhibit)); 2. Denver Zoo; 3. Denver Botanic Gardens; 4. US Mint (Tours??); 5. Denver Art Museum (building has 28 sides, worlds largest collection of American Indian art); Museum of Western Art; State Capitol has 15th step at entrance that is exactly 1 mile above sea level; 6. Molly Brown House (unsinkable socialite who saved lives on Titanic); 7. Larimer Square charming shops & restaurants from past. CO002 05 Red Rocks Park Red Rocks Park features a 9,000 seat natural amphitheatre with excellent acoustics. On Dinosaur Ridge Interpretive Trail see dinosaur bones and tracks in sandstone strata. Near Exit 259, the I-70 Geological Cut Interpretive 9:09 AMrail has 300 yard long walkway above highway to view ancient multicolored rock layers. CO003 05 Georgetown 1. More than 200 buildings from 1863 silver-strike era are restored to their Victorian elegance, and join similar structures in adjacent town of Silver Plume forming the Georgetown / Silver Plume National Historic District to become the states most picturesque mining town. 2. Hamill House Museum displays Georgetown residential luxury enjoyed by silver baron. 3. The Loop Railroad, narrow-gauge railway is 4.5 miles long connecting the towns, which are only 2 miles apart. CO004 05 Leadville (p 259) Tabor Opera House built by mining magnate Horace Tabor. Healy House was boarding house for young teaches. Tours given in summer. CO005 05 Steamboat Springs Hot springs may be available. CO006 05 Rocky Mountain National Park (p 259 & 260) Most summer visitors drive Trail Ridge Road, which climbs to12, 183 feet and meanders for 11 miles above the tree line. Ninemile spur road to Bear Lake has free shuttle to reduce traffic slowdowns. National Park Service offers free walks to interpret parks wildlife & scenery. 13 (HT) impressive mountain area, glaciers, gorges, lakes, streams, forests, abundant wildlife; nearby: Estes Park resort, Grand Lake, Big Thompson Canyon. CO007 05 Grand Junction (p 260) Colorado National Monument boasts stone pillars rising from maze of cliffwalled, 600-foot-deep canyons. 23-mile-long Rim Rock Drive twists past spectacular precipices. Four miles from west entrance is visitors center with displays explaining the scenery and cultural history of the area. In downtown Grand Junction is Dinosaur Valley Museum. Also see CO017 CO008 05 Antonito (A42) Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, built in 1880s, follows scenic route through Colorado and New Mexico, with spectacular views of San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. Osier, inaccessible by car, is halfway point and lunch stop. Food is available. AAA offices in Colorado and New Mexico can

Colorado Points-of-Interest

make reservations. This coal-burning steam train departs Antonito and Chamas, NM at 10AM and returns to Chamas at 4:15PM and Antonito at 4:45PM. Tickets for all day excursion are $68.50 / adult. Reservations are suggested @ (719) 376-5483 in Colorado and (505) 756-2151. CO009 05 Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests (A44) The road to the 14,260-foot summit of Mount Evans, is part of a popular day trip from Denver. NOTE: There is a $10 fee per vehicle to drive to the top of Mount Evans. CO010 05 Aspen (A45) 1. 2-hour walking tour of downtown and West End areas are offered by Heritage Aspen. (970) 925-3721. 2. Ghost Towns can be visited. Two are opened to public, others are private. Ashcroft is 12 mi. south on Castle Creek Road. Heritage Aspen conducts 30-minute tours for $3. (970) 925-3721. Independence is 15 mi. east on SR82. Get self-guided tour info from Heritage Aspen in Wheeler-Stallard Museum at 620 W. Bleeker St. (same phone number as above) 3. Maroon Bells, 10.5 mi. southwest off SR82, is one of the countrys most photographed mountains. Maroon Lake, in front of mountain, hiking trails, Forest Service tours, picnicking available. Telescope site at West Maroon Lake daily 10-3, and offers free 45-minute guided tours on the hour. NOTE: In season, the road to the base of the 14,126-foot-high mountain is closed to private vehicles 8AM to 5PM. Round trip bus service supplied from Aspen Highland Ski Area for $5.50 each, every 20 minutes 9AM2PM, and every 30 minutes 24:30PM. CO011 05 Boulder (A47) 1. Celestial Seasoning Tour of Tea, 4600 Sleepytime Drive. Tours are 45 minutes, allow 1 hour minimum. Mon-Sat 10-3; Sunday 11-3 (303) 581-1202 or (800) 525-0347. 2. Flagstaff Scenic Highway leaves Baseline Road and winds to summit of Flagstaff Mtn, 1600 feet above Boulder. Picnic tables at Panorama Point; hiking trails wind around summit. CO012 05 Burlington (A49) Old Town Museum, 420 S. 14th Street, is collection of re-created buildings furnished with early 1900s artifacts. Includes schoolhouse, church, sod house, windmill, grocery store, jail, saloon, drugstore, soda fountain, museum, Texaco gas station, and blacksmith shop. Mon-Sat 9AM-5PM, Sun noon-5. $6, check for AAA discount. CO013 05 Canon City (A49) 1. Museum of Colorado Prisons, off US50 at 201 N. 1st Street, once held cannibal inmate, 11-year-old murderer, has gas chamber, inmate weapons, photos; audiotapes for self-guided tour. Daily 8:30AM-6PM. $6, check for AAA discount. 2. Royal Gorge Route Railroad (A50) departs from Santa Fe Depot at 401 Water Street for 24-mile journey between Canon City and Parkdale following Arkansas River for dramatic view of Royal Gorge from enclosed, climate-controlled or open rail cars. First-class service and twilight dinner also offered. Food available. Allow 2 hours minimum. Departs daily at 9:30AM, 12:30 and 3:30PM. Fare is $26.95 with additional fees for first-class and dinner options. (303) 569-2403 or (888) 724-5748. 13 (HT) deep rock gorge of red granite, incline railway, high suspension bridge. CO014 05 Colorado National Monument (A52) Reached from Fruita or Grand Junction via SR340. 500-foot deep canyons, unusual formations, picnicking, hiking, self-guided nature trails. $5 per vehicle. Camping is $10 (see Southwestern Campbook) CO015 05 Colorado Springs (A58) 1. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 2.75 miles west of I-25 exit 138, then 2 mi. southwest following signs to 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, 9AM-6PM summers, $12 adults includes Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun. (719) 633-9925. 2. Cave of the Winds (see Manitou Springs, A67) 6 mi. west of I-25 exit 141 on US 24. Cave tours through some 20 lighted chambers. Discovery Tour is 45 minutes, half-mile walk through 20 rooms. Lantern Tour allow visitors to light their own way using candle lanterns while guides tell tales of early cave exploration. Explorers Tour is more ambitious 3-4 hour walk that investigates regions of caves beyond the trails.

Colorado Points-of-Interest

3. Garden of the Gods, northwest off US24 on 31st Street or west of I-25 on Garden of the Gods Road to 30th Street. 1,367 acre park at base of Pikes Peak. 30-minute bus tour offered in summer. Daily 5AM-11PM. Free admission to park. Bus tour = $3.75 4. Pikes Peak camping (see A119) 5. Gem site Pikes Peak Ghost Town off I-25 exit 141, then 1.5 mi west to jct of SR 24 and 21st Street. An 1800s Old West Town with several buildings. Mon-Sat 9AM-6PM, Sunday 11AM-6PM. $6. 6. Seven Falls, 7 mi. west on Cheyenne Blvd. A cascade down a steep canyon with seven distinct falls. Best viewed from Eagles Nest, reached by elevator built into mountain or via 185-step stairway. $9.75 admission. Possible AAA discount. 7. Van Briggle Art Pottery tour, 600 S. 21st Street offers self-guided tour through factory and exhibition rooms. Allow 30 minutes minimum. Mon-Sat 8:30AM 5PM, Sunday 1-5PM. Free! (719) 633-4080 or (719) 633-7729. Mirmont Castle (A67) at 9 Capitol Hill Avenue off Ruxton Avenue. Nine types of architecture incorporated into this 48-room mansion built into a mountainside in 1895. $5 admission, possible AAA discount. 8. 13 (HT) vacation & health resort, Pioneers Museum, Fine Arts Center; nearby: Pikes Peak, Garden Of The Gods, U.S. Air Force Academy, Mount Manitou Incline Railway, Broadmore-Cheyenne Mountain Highway, Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Park. CO016 05 Curecanti National Recreation Area (A70) has camping. 1. Boat tours on Morrow Point Reservoir departs from Pine Creek Trail 26 miles west of Gunnison off US50. A naturalist narrates the 90-minute cruise noting scenic, historical and geological features of canyon setting. One-mile hike to landing; allow at least one hour to hike to dock. $10 fare, reservations recommended. (970) 641-2337. 2. Cimmarron Visitor Center is 20 miles east of Montrose just off US50. Has narrow gauge railroad engine and various railroad cars (NOT a running railroad); camping available for $10 (970) 641-2337 CO017 05 Grand Junction (p260, A52) 1. Colorado National Monument boasts stone pillars rising from a maze of 600-foot-deep canyons. 2. Between the east & west entrances lies the 23-mile-long Rim Rock Drive twisting past spectacular precipices. 3. In downtown Grand Junction is the Dinosaur Valley Museum featuring paleontology, fossils, large photos of historic dinosaur-hunting expeditions, and half-size animated dinosaur models. NOTE: Some of the shorter scenic trails in Colorado National Monument offer better views than does Rim Rock Drive, but longer trails are more arduous but take you into the canyons. Also see CO007 CO018 05 Rifle (p260) Coyote Trail, one of Rifle Falls State Parks two hiking trails, begins at the base of the falls and takes you along cliffs above the creek where you can find numerous caves you can explore. CO019 05 Glenwood Springs (p260) Largest mineral hot springs in the world @ 124F mixes with surface water to average a comfortable 84-90F. The smaller therapy pool is 104F. CO020 05 Pagosa Springs (p261) Twenty miles west of town lies Chimney Rock Archeological Area, site of one of the most intriguing Anasazi Indian ruins. While at Chimney Rock take a Forest Service guided tour conducted by the Pagosa ranger office. CO021 05 Durango (p261, A89-92) Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad takes off from downtown for 3.25-hour ride through 44 miles of precipitous scenery to the town of Silverton. There are closed cars and opened cars (behind coal-burning engine). Also a 2-hour layover in Silverton allows you to do sightseeing along 19th-century streets. NOTE: Usually requires advanced reservations made 1-2 months in advance. BT : been to Durango but chose not to ride railroad; may be too expensive, BUT did go to Sons Of The Pioneers dinner show. CO022 05 Mesa Verde (p261, A111-114) Cliff dwellings BT seen in many geography books are here, suspended 2,000 feet above Mancos and Montezuma valleys. This is a preserved national park. You must take a 21-mile twisty road to reach the ruins. The ruins are most beautiful around 6:00PM when the suns glow gives the best light for photographs.

Colorado Points-of-Interest

Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum sits on a canyon rim Spruce Tree House, a cliff dwelling. Nearby, Cliff Palace is the largest of all cliff dwellings. NOTE: Hiking is restricted and it is forbidden to enter any cliff dwelling unless a ranger accompanies you. Mesa Verde National Park (A111) offers full-day & 3-hour ranger-guided tours for a fee, April -August. For prices & schedules phone 800-449-2288. Cliff Palace is an alcove in the east wall of Cliff Canyon. Mesa Verde trails (A114) include: Petroglyph Point Trail, 3-mile round trip, allow 2 hours, Spruce Canyon Trail, 2-mile round trip, allow 1.5 hours, Spruce Tree House, in an alcove in Spruce Tree Canyon, just behind museum at park headquarters, one of the largest & best preserved cliff dwellings, allow 1 hour, Square Tower House, a four-story tower in shallow alcove in east wall of Navajo Canyon. Tower cannot be entered but Mesa Top Loop provides close-up look. Sun Temple is west of Cliff Palace and intended for ceremonies but was never completed. CO022 05 Bents Old Fort (p262) A short drive east of LaJunta is the site of the old fort, rebuilt so well that it would fool Kit Carson and other mountain men. Interpreters are in period costume. CO023 05 Fort Garland (p263) Fort Garland (now restored) was built in 1858 and abandoned in 1883. CO024 05 Great Sand Dunes (p263) Best viewed in morning or evening when shadows are most pronounced. The sand covers 39 square miles and is constantly reshaped by the winds, some over 700 feet high. (RVJ26) Located about an hours drive east of Walsenburg, Great Sand Dunes are part of an enormous sand deposit that covers more than 330 square miles, and includes towering tree-studded mountain peaks, seasonal streams, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. 13 (HT) Among the largest and highest shifting dunes in the USA. CO025 05 Royal Gorge (p263) Royal Gorge, located near Canon City, is cut 1,053 feet deep by the Arkansas River, and has the worlds highest suspension bridge, the Royal Gorge Bridge, and an aerial tramway both spanning the gorge. The least crowded viewing is from a picnic ground perched high above the river turn left at the short (. 7 mile) side road that leaves County Rte. 3A. Early morning offers the best viewing. (RVJ28) The drive to this area is spectacular, following scenic highways 165, 96, & 69. CO026 05 Ouray (A116) Box Canyon Falls & Park is 20 feet wide by 285 feet high. Perpendicular granite walls. Interpretive exhibits. $2.50 Million Dollar Highway is 6-mile section of US550 route with very deep chasms spectacular views; among the nations most spectacular auto routes. CO027 05 Pikes Peak & Pikes Peak National Forest (A119) Many developed campgrounds. Scenic drives on Rampart Range Road and the Pikes Peak Highway, which starts at Cascade, 10mi west of Colorado Springs and a few miles up Ute Pass of US24. Scenic 19-mile toll road leads to summit of one of the nations tallest mountains, Pikes Peak. CO028 05 Pueblo (A120) 1. Downtown has revitalized waterfront including rental paddleboats, guided boat tours, walking park. 2. The Greenway & Nature Center of Pueblo has 32 miles of paved trails (?bicycles allowed?); 3. (RVJ28) the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo has a rustic and historic main street with several antique shops. CO029 05 Silverton (A127) Has several gold mine tours, e.g. Mayflower Gold Mill Tour ($6.50), and Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour, 5 miles east on CR110, seems to have more detail than Mayflower, but costs $14.95. BT one of the gold mine tours, but cant remember which one. CO030 05 Telluride (A130) Free gondola ride provides spectacular view of town and surrounding mountains. Town has several festivals including Telluride Jazz Festival the first weekend in August, and the Telluride Chamber Music Festival in mid-August. CO031 Colorado Byways (RVJ26) are nothing short of spectacular, and driving along these scenic roads is a great way to spend one or several days. CO032 Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad !(RVJ26) From the Great Sand Dunes, take the long way back to Walsenburg, driving south to the historic railroad near the town of Conejos. You can see the oldest church in Colorado in the town of Romeo. CO033 Manassa !(RVJ26) Next door to the railroad (see directly above) youll find Jack Dempseys birthplace and childhood home, now a museum to the famous boxer.

Colorado Points-of-Interest

CO034 Trinidad (RVJ28) scenic drive: South of Walsenburg along Colorado Hwy 12, this stretch of road is one of the most scenic in Colorado, and nearly devoid of traffic. Youll find Alpine Lake, green expanses, towering pines, fairyland rock formations, and picturesque towns. Town is located about 20 miles north of the New Mexico border. CO035 Rye (RZVJ28) Bishops Castle is one of Colorados most eccentric sights, named for Mr. Bishop who built this church / monument / artifact from the ground up. Also see New Mexico for Capulin Volcano National Monument. CO036 !Eldorado Canyon State Park (RVJ48-49) One of the ten state parks (in the USA) you cant miss. Located about 20 miles north of Golden, CO, the South Boulder Creek slices through granite, sandstone, and quartzite to form towering stone sentinels with interesting names. A dirt road meanders along the creek beneath towering rock walls to the Visitor Center parking lot, about a mile from the park entrance. Fowler Trail has a selfguided nature walk brochure and corresponding signs along the route. Canyon walls are dotted with climbers.