~ Glenwood Springs & the Colorado Rockies ~
"The road between Denver and Grand Junction"
West of Denver, I-70 begins an ascent into the Rocky Mountains. Passing mountainside homes and small towns that look straight out of the “Wild West” gold rush era, the highway weaves through considerably high peaks, eventually crossing the Continental Divide. Towering peaks abound in all directions, many forested, some with year-round snow deposits at their apexes, and some with exposed rock rising above tree lines. Such is the landscape for a hearty chunk of Colorado’s midsection. In the midst of these mountains, about mid-way through Colorado, I-70 passes the popular ski resort town of Vail (see my separate destination page).
West of Vail, I-70 traverses an area marked by changing terrain. Here the mountains begin to take on more desert-like hues of brown and yellow-orange, and the jagged peaks give way to more flat-topped mesas. Throughout the western slopes of the Colorado Rockies, the highway parallels river rapids and railroad tracks, some actually being utilized by rafters and trains, respectively, if you drive by them at the right time.
About an hour west of Vail is the city of Glenwood Springs, a popular area for embarking on river rafting expeditions (although I have never been on one). I am told that I had a picnic at a park in Glenwood Springs when I was a baby, but my only memory of the town is a stop we made at a fast food restaurant located near a small mall in 1993. Continuing further west, the terrain continues its transition, with, sandy expanses begining to emerge near the outskirts of Grand Junction, a city not too far from the Utah border that served as the westernmost terminus of our trip.
Visit my COLORADO page.