I know that many visitors to Colorado are what we lovingly refer to as 'flat-landers.' Meaning, that you are unaccustomed to driving in the moutains.
IMHO, Colorado is the most beautiful state in the US. Breathtaking vistas and views abound in and around the Rocky Mountain region. That being said, should you choose to drive in the mountains, there are some basic principles that need to considered.
Many mountain roads are only 2 lane roads, meaning one lane in each direction. With many switchbacks and blind curves, passing lanes are an all too infrequent occurrence. You will notice significant fluctuations in speed limits on a mountain road. Just because you just saw a speed limit sign of 20 mph for a curve, does NOT mean that the speed limit is 20 mph until you see the next speed limit sign. Typically when not negotiating significant curves, speeds average between 35-40 in the straight-aways. If you are not comfortable taking curves at or near the posted speed limit, please be aware of and courteous to other drivers who do not share your phobia.
You will also notice that there are signs along the road for 'Slow vehicle pullout/pulloff.' If you look in your rear-view mirror and see a HUGE line of cars behind you, guess what? YOU are the slow moving vehicle and need to get out of the way.
We understand that our state is beautiful and breathtaking and welcome you to enjoy the sights and natural wonders. However, you must also realize that we live here and have schedules and lives to lead and oblivious tourists are a danger to us all. Please stay alert for your sake and ours.
This is for all of you not from the US: Unless you are strong lunged and legged to go by bike (which some of you are I'm sure), you will need a car to get around Colorado. The distances are relatively large, i.e. from Denver to Colorado Springs, 1 hr or 60 miles, Colorado Springs to Glenwood Springs, 5 hours or 280 miles. Distance tends to be measured more in time than by actual units of distance (km or miles).
If you're coming from the East Coast, it's a very long drive to get to Colorado. I would suggest that you fly into Denver and rent a car there. It’s not too expensive and it gives you the opportunity to spend more of your vacation seeing the things that you want to see, and less of it driving across the Great Plains.
Don’t get me wrong; I think everyone should make a serious, cross country, road trip at least once in their lives. It’s just that we often have precious little time and a lot that we want to do with it.
Warning - only park on the street in the same direction as the traffic is passing. Otherwise you may get a parking fine of $30, like my brother and me got. Money I'd rather spend hiring MTBs to explore the Rockies!
We rented a car as soon as we got out of the airport. It worked perfect to get from resort to resort. Most of the resorts aren't that far from each other in the rockies so renting a car is the perfect solution.
Denver International Airport(or DIA) is a Beautiful
Airport but it is almost as close to Kansas as it is
to Denver.There are hardly any Hotels out there as
it was built out on the Flat Open Plains east of Denver.
It's a Huge airport as well with lots of delays,especially
in the summer with Denver getting Hail producing Storms
almost every day!.Therefore I would basically recommend
driving into Colorado if you're within 1,500 miles or so.
By Car or maybe Tour Bus to see just about everything
there is to see in the state.
Hwy 550 is referred to as the "Million Dollar Highway" and it passes directly though the mountains. This photo was taken north of that highway, along US 50, while looking back at the mountains.
by plane from Europe to Denver operate BA, LH.
there is a hub United Airlines.
by train from others states
by car or coach.
auto, or Denver Int'l Airport in Aurora
On the mountian roads 4WD is very helpful, and essential if you plan to do any trails (high clearance helps too).
The landscape is amazing so getting around by car is far the best way. Take a map too.
You then have your own choice where to go, how long to stay and what to do.
Horse Back Riding We enjoyed a several hour ride , located near the stables at the Rocky Mountain National Park Campgrounds.