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Colorado Summer Vacation Advice / Ideas

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

My wife and I are going to head out to Colorado for 4 days this summer. Tentatively, we're going to stay in Breckenridge for a day or two, and Vail / Beaver Creek the other days.  

 

As a must do, I want to do some rafting.  She's only up for a half day.  I was looking at the places on Clear Creek, as well as the places out of Glenwood Springs.  Neither of us have been whitewater rafting before.  I'm up for a challenge, but her not so much.  Where's the best spot to go that will be fun for me, but not scare my her so much. 

 

My other must do is a good hike.  So far, I think Mohawk Lakes near Breckenridge is the winner from my research.  I'd also like to do Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon if time allows.  Crowds don't bother me at all, as long as there's parking at the trailhead.

 

Her must do is that she wants to go ziplining.  Where is the best spot for this?  Some of the rafting outfitters have raft / zipline bundles... This would probably be the best since we can do both in a day.  If the ziplining were a lot better at a standalone outfitter though, we'd reconsider.

 

Is there any must-do's that we're potentially missing out on?  We'll probably spend some time in the towns / villages poking around and we're definitely up for some relaxing by the pool if its nice enough.

 

Food-wise we're also looking for recommendations.  Steakhouse / nice Italian is about as fancy as it gets for us.  We're more into the Diners, Drive-In's and Dives type places... the local must eat joints... and possibly a Mexican restaurant too.  We're not really interested in any Asian / Eastern restaurants either, as we can simply drive into Toronto and be in the world epicenter for multi-cultural cuisine.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks for reading!

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Almost a week, yet no replies!  The other similar thread got nine replies in 3 days! http://www.epicski.com/t/136401/please-help-me-plan-my-summer-trip-west

 

:o

post #3 of 9

Perhaps some of us were skiing. :D

post #4 of 9

4 Eagle Ranch in Wolcott offeres ziplining & 4x4 trips. Also, I have a friend that owns a winery at the ranch if you are interested in tastings. 

http://4eagleranch.com/

http://www.vinesatvailwinery.com/

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
 

Hello All,

My wife and I are going to head out to Colorado for 4 days this summer. Tentatively, we're going to stay in Breckenridge for a day or two, and Vail / Beaver Creek the other days.

 

As a must do, I want to do some rafting.  She's only up for a half day.  I was looking at the places on Clear Creek, as well as the places out of Glenwood Springs.  Neither of us have been whitewater rafting before.  I'm up for a challenge, but her not so much.  Where's the best spot to go that will be fun for me, but not scare my her so much.

 

My other must do is a good hike.  So far, I think Mohawk Lakes near Breckenridge is the winner from my research.  I'd also like to do Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon if time allows.  Crowds don't bother me at all, as long as there's parking at the trailhead.

 

Her must do is that she wants to go ziplining.  Where is the best spot for this?  Some of the rafting outfitters have raft / zipline bundles... This would probably be the best since we can do both in a day.  If the ziplining were a lot better at a standalone outfitter though, we'd reconsider.

 

Is there any must-do's that we're potentially missing out on?  We'll probably spend some time in the towns / villages poking around and we're definitely up for some relaxing by the pool if its nice enough.

 

Food-wise we're also looking for recommendations.  Steakhouse / nice Italian is about as fancy as it gets for us.  We're more into the Diners, Drive-In's and Dives type places... the local must eat joints... and possibly a Mexican restaurant too.  We're not really interested in any Asian / Eastern restaurants either, as we can simply drive into Toronto and be in the world epicenter for multi-cultural cuisine.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

What specific time this summer is critical for rafting. Clear creek has a very limited season- unless you are going to be there early in June, it is probably no go.

 

From where you are talking about staying, I think the two obvious rafting calls would be Glenwood Canyon  or Browns Canyon on the Arkansas. Glenwood is ~ 1 hour away from Vail and it sounds like you want to go there anyways.  Browns is about 1 1/2 hour South (Buena Vista).

 

Glenwood Canyon is short and intense- many trips give you 2 and 3 laps.

 

Browns is 1 time through, with either a half or full day. It has several miles of calmer water to get used to things before the canyon. This is one of the premier and most popular trips you can take. Depending on the time of year, the water ranges from rowdy to massive, but not terribly technical.  There is one hydraulic on the full day trip that can sometimes be daunting, everything else I'd take my grandmother along.

 

Are you planning on biking? The Summit County trails are really, really good. Honestly, if you aren't, I don't know what one would do in Summit and Vail for 4 days in the Summer and not get bored. Without biking or hiking every day, I don't really know what one would do to occupy 4 days.

 

Since you are already talking about venturing out as far as Glenwood, have you considered staying there? You can fill 4 days in that area really easily.

 

1 day rafting/zipline

1 day biking canyon and hanging lake
1 day drive up the Crystal River to see Marble and hike out to the Crystal Mill. This area is one of the most beautiful and most undisturbed areas of CO.

1 day in Aspen, or alternatively drive out to wine-tasting in Palisade.

 

Nights can be spend in the Hot Springs lots, of really good restaurants (Rivers is one I would highly recommend- I proposed to my wife there) and good shopping type stuff.

 

Regardless of what you choose to do note that weekends on I-70 are more congested in the Summer than the Winter.

post #6 of 9

Do you both ride bikes? Breckenridge has some extremely mellow "downhill" riding. Ride the lift up and ride a bike down. You can rent the bike and all the gear from a number of local shops. I specifically suggest Breck because Keystone, Winter Park, etc have much more advanced trails. Breck's blacks are analogous to WP's greens.

 

Empire Burger is the canonical burger joint in Breck. If you like Mexican food, I strongly recommend Hacienda Real in Frisco. So good. Om nom nom.

 

Mohawk Lakes is a great hike. Just be aware that everyone and their dog will be doing that hike. It will be crowded. Also, altitude will be a factor. And there are sections that involve, as I recall, scrambling up (and then later, down) rock walls. It has a few very technical sections. I distinctly remember this because at the time I was hiking with a puppy that couldn't be trusted off leash, and some of those sections were ... interesting.

post #7 of 9
Mohawk Lakes, as BS says, is a really healthy hike. Very pretty in places. Go early in the day to avoid being rained on, carry lots of water. There are folks who "scramble" up the rock faces carrying all sorts of fishing and camping gear. I once encountered a guy hiking barefoot because his shoes were blistering his feet. You need good hiking gear. Views are spectacular.

There are amazing views at the end of the Sallie Barber mine hike that would be less strenuous. See http://alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/sally-barber-mine

You can drive up Boreas Pass Road for some more heavy-duty viewing. Park almost anywhere along the route and hike up or down.

If not into biking, you also can take the chairlift ride and walk back down.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info guys.  Don't worry about us being bored... we're due for a little boredom with two young kids that will be staying at home and a 6-7 days a week hockey season just around the corner.

 

Anachonism- Thanks for the tip on the rafting.  Glenwood Canyon it is.  I was actually worried that with the low snowpack, it would affect the flow in Clear Creek, but it looks like you've confirmed that.  I'm going to look into the Crystal Mill as well.  I live walking distance to two wineries, and have a vineyard view out my front window, so that's not something I'd fly across the continent for.  My only concern with actually staying in Glenwood is the hotels aren't as nice as Vail / BC.  That doesn't really matter to me, but my wife has seen some good deals on some really nice places.  I actually stayed in Glenwood with my buddies in February as a home base for Aspen... but we stayed at the Quality Inn... and that wouldn't cut the muster for a couples trip.  I'm only a casual biker, so I'm not too gung-ho for any of that.

 

BW- Thanks for the food tips.  I'm going to try to get us to both places!

 

Kneale- We'll do a chairlift somewhere.  Would Breck be better than Vail / BC?  What do they usually charge?

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
 

Thanks for all the info guys.  Don't worry about us being bored... we're due for a little boredom with two young kids that will be staying at home and a 6-7 days a week hockey season just around the corner.

 

Anachonism- Thanks for the tip on the rafting.  Glenwood Canyon it is.  I was actually worried that with the low snowpack, it would affect the flow in Clear Creek, but it looks like you've confirmed that.  I'm going to look into the Crystal Mill as well.  I live walking distance to two wineries, and have a vineyard view out my front window, so that's not something I'd fly across the continent for.  My only concern with actually staying in Glenwood is the hotels aren't as nice as Vail / BC.  That doesn't really matter to me, but my wife has seen some good deals on some really nice places.  I actually stayed in Glenwood with my buddies in February as a home base for Aspen... but we stayed at the Quality Inn... and that wouldn't cut the muster for a couples trip.  I'm only a casual biker, so I'm not too gung-ho for any of that.

 

BW- Thanks for the food tips.  I'm going to try to get us to both places!

 

Kneale- We'll do a chairlift somewhere.  Would Breck be better than Vail / BC?  What do they usually charge?

 

Have you looked at the Hotel Colorado and the Hotel Denver in Glenwood? It may be more expensive than what you are looking at because Summer is the off season for Vail and prime season for Glenwood, but they are nice places. 

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