Favorite thing: Yes, here is another one of my geographical locations. The Continental Divide is the area where the continent of North America is divided in 2 parts. When rain and snow falls on this area, what falls to the west of the sign eventually empties into the Pacific Ocean; while what falls east of the sign eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Favorite thing: If you plan on spending much time in Colorado, take US-24 from Colorado Springs to Leadville. I promise you will find some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable; as well as a few nice small towns like Woodland Park, Divide, and Lake George.
When you hear someone speak of Colorado, usually the first thing that comes to mind is Skiing, Mountains, etc.
Not many people realize that Colorado actually has a boring prairie. Don't get me wrong, it is a lot more colorful than the Kansas prairie, but it is still a little bit boring.
This is CO-94 going west towards Kansas. There is a SEVERE thunderstorm off in the distance. Read about it in my Warnings/Danger tips.
The Continental Divide (water falling on one side will go toward the Atlantic and on the other side will go to the Pacific) runs right down the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
We traveled through Colorado by car twice in 1964 on our way to California. The first time we were driving our 1932 Plymouth and we went across Berthoud Pass which was the lowest one. The second time we were moving from Norfolk with our children, and we crossed at Loveland Pass just west of Bakersville in the winter of 1964
Fondest memory: My now-deceased uncle never liked the east coast of the US because he couldn't see the sky and sun (due to trees and clouds) and he hated the fogs on the west coast around SF. He said he was always able to tell where he was if he could see the mountains. And in Colorado, you always can.
When your out playing in Colorado give yourself some time to just drive around and look at the vast moutians, drive throught George town just W. on I-70 and to Aspen then down through Victor and the Cripple Creek area. Then down through the red and phytom canyon, to Salida, and then over to Buena Vista. Take time to drive up my Prinction and camp close or even on the peak, I'll tell you this there is nothing else in the world like camping up by the twin lakes on top of Mt. Prinction with your 4 best friends. Take time to live
Fondest memory: The best memory in how would be the camping in a small tent with a huge fire next to the freezeing cold lake of Mt. Prinction. At over 13,000 feet the air gets so could you can't breath and the ground is so hard you dare not sleep on it, but bening with your friends make the whole trip in and of itself a memory that I will never forget.
Colorado has some very nice breweries. My favorite Colorado Beer is Pass Time. Pass Time is a Pale Ale, not very hoppy, and very smooth, medium golden in color.
I highly recommend it should you visit here. You can find it in most liquor stores and grocery stores. It runs about $6 for a six-pack. Other Colorado beers you may find are singletrack and Avalanche, but Pass Time is by far the best in my opinion. Brewed in Boulder.
Seeing a tumbleweed on tv is one thing, but actually being out in Colorado and watching a tumbleweed fly by is another. You really do know you're out west when you see one of these things...
Fondest memory: When I was little, I was out with my family near Grand Mesa, in the "dobies." (The dobies are a desert-like area in Western Colorado.) All of a sudden, I saw a tumble weed fly by. I was only like 10, so I had to chase it, of course! And I actually caught it.... it was so much fun. :-)
Mt. Elbert is the highest mountain in Colorado and all of the American Rockies. It is located not far from Leadville, CO. Because of its status as the high peak, it is popular with hikers. Anyone in decent physical condition has a chance of hiking to the top of this mountain. It has a few trails that lead all of the way to the summit. All of these trails involve a gradual hike up without any scrambling. There are no dangerous cliffs are any really steep areas on the ascent.
The three principle trails include North Mt. Elbert trail, South Mt. Elbert trail, and the Black Cloud Trail. I chose the South Mt. Elbert trail, which can be accessed off of Highway 82. You drive 4 miles west towards Aspen and then turn right at Lake County Road 24. After passing the Lakeview Campground, there will be a parking area on the left. If you have a four wheel drive with high clearance, you can go further a couple of miles up the road. If not, you must hike from there. At the end of the four wheel drive road, you will cross a footbridge and walk about 1/4 mile on the Colorado Trail. This will bring you to the South Mt. Elbert trail which continues through the forest and leads you up the mountain.
As with all mountains, I recommend an early start to avoid the bad weather that could arise in the afternoon.
Here is something that helps keep Colorado a four season destination. There are campgrounds all over the state. Many of them are accessible from the road while others will require some backpacking. Besides the national parks, you have numerous sites in several national forests across the state. For the more popular ones, you need to plan ahead as spaces can be limited. Also, it helps to have a backup plan if there is not space in your preferred campground. Campgrounds vary between those that are staffed and have restrooms, water, and nearby amenities to the most primitive sites. There are also a great deal of private camgrounds near popular areas, so they can be considered as an option.
Bring warm tents and clothing since it can even get cold at night in the summer, especially in the high altitudes. Problems with wildlife is not as much an issue here as with some national parks. However, there are bears and mountain lions in the state. Never leave food out unattended in your campground.
Here is something that draws a lot of visitors to this state. In fact, this is the primary reason why a lot of people come here. The ski resorts can be found all over the mountains. There are the big name legends such as Aspen, Breckenridge, Telluride, and Vail. You also have a variety of other places that may not be as expensive and have some very nice runs. Wolf Creek tends to get a lot of snow. The ski resort at Loveland Pass is the closest one to Denver.
When planning a ski trip here, it helps to research prices of lift tickets, available lodging, and the types of runs each resort has. Package deals are numerous in this state. The skiing season can often extend well into the springtime in good years.
When camping, especially at state parks, take advantage of what is offered, like bear food lockers (green box pictured here...check the warnings and dangers page for more information about this). There is also hiking, guided tours, or nature walks. These are very fun and educational.
Fondest memory: I live here.
Fondest memory: know that's not an original thing to say about Colorado. But I remember my friend telling me the names of all 13 he could see from his apartment. Seemingly everywhere you look in this state, there are awesome views.
The grizzly is believed to be extinct in Colorado.
State bird: the lark bunting.
Official gemstone:aquamarine, named, perhaps ironically for the color of the ocean.
Unofficial motto: It's different out here, man (as was told to me by Colorado residents living in Denver.)
Favorite thing: If you are going to the Four Corners area, get the AAA "Indian Country Guide Map." It has details of the national park and indian reservation landmarks that you won't find on the typical highway map. There is a lot of tape on the folds of our map - we found it invaluable.
And definitely take it with you. John Fielder is a well known photographer who was also written many books about hiking in Colorado. His book, Best of Colorado, is an excellent reference to every city and town. It includes tips on scenic drives, hotels, restaurants and sports. Plus, the pictures are excellent.
Fondest memory: I took this book with me when traveling through Colorado. Its a great reference source for places to go written by a local with extensive knowledge on the area.