Explore Colorado: Red Rocks, Mt. Evans, and Breckenridge

So last week a friend of mine, her mom and aunts were in town visiting. None of them had ever been to Colorado and wanted to see all of the sights. We did a ton of stuff and while it involved a lot of driving and touristy activities, it was an absolute blast. I got to see what my sisters will be like 20 years in the future; a little bickering and a lot of love to go around.

After showing them a bit around Denver we decided to head up to Red Rocks. It’s the most amazing concert venue and park full of fantastic views, wildlife trails, and spectacular geological formations. Long before bleachers were cut into the rock people would use mules to trek instruments and musical gear to this spot because the acoustics are just so outstanding. There is also a little museum that tells you all about the history of the place.

If you look in the upper left corner you can see downtown Denver!

When we were done there we had planned to head up Mt. Evans. This 14er boasts the highest paved road in America. I had offered many times to do the drive as it can be really nerve wracking if you aren’t used to the steep drops, hair-pin turns, and overall elevation but my companions insisted it would be ok to take their rental car up. Oy vey. On top of that, we got caught in the most gruesome hail/lightening storm on the very top.

When we got a little break in the storm we ran out quickly to take a few pictures and managed to see a giant mountain goat taking shelter from the storm in the burned down ruins of a restaurant that once sat on top of the mountain. It was pretty amazing.

I took over driving on the way down and we made it in one piece and the flatlanders have a pretty incredible story to take away from the whole ordeal.

Echo Lake at the base of the Mt. Evans road

After that I promised them the rest of the day would be easy.

We decided to keep heading west. We took Loveland Pass for a little scenic byway.

We then kept on into Breckenridge. It’s one of my favorite little ski towns. I don’t know, it just seems more authentic than Vail and Aspen. So we acted the part of tourists while there. We walked along the boardwalk and browsed the open shops.

On our way back home we stopped in Idaho Springs to see what the Indian Springs thermal caves were all about. It’s quite literally what they say. There is a cave they have opened a little wider and have cut little baths where the thermally heated water pools. It was different from other hot springs I have been to around the state that are open and have less tubing running through them. I might give them a shot one day, but for our group it wasn’t exactly what we had in mind.

And that was it. A day spent in the Rockies west of Denver. We had a great time together and are forever bonded by our near-death mountain experience. A few other things you might want to do one the same route that we didn’t fit in: Lookout Mountain, Buffalo Bill’s Grave, Coor’s Brewery Tour, Blackhawk and Central City (old mining towns turned casino destinations).

What did you do in your area last week?

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