Favorite thing: The high-altitude park that would one day become Estes Park was first visited by the local American Indians who summered in the area to escape the heat of the plains below. In 1859, Joel Estes, the first white man to visit the area, established his town on the banks of the Big Thompson River.
Nowadays, Estes Park has a population of about 5,800, and is one of the busiest and most important tourist areas in Colorado. As the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, there are many amenities for the influx of tourists. Estes Park abounds with restaurants, shopping options, and hotels and motels. The area offers almost unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, boating and rafting, fishing, mountain and rock climbing, mountain biking, and nature watching.Add to your Trip Planner
Favorite thing: Founded in 1859 as a mining camp and supply base for gold miners seeking their fortunes in the nearby foothills, Golden is a pleasant city with the look and feel of the Old West. The city's motto is, appropriately, "Where the West Lives." It is nestled in a valley between Lookout Mountain (part of the Front Range) to the west, and North Table Mountain and South Table Mountain (both impressive flat-topped mesas) to the city's east.
The settlers named their mining camp Golden City, not for the gold they were mining from the nearby streams and foothills, but in honor of Thomas Golden, a miner from Georgia who was one of the first to find gold in the area. The settlement quickly emerged as an economic and political center due to its strategic location between the gold fields in the mountains of the Front Range and points to the east. It was also a gateway to important roads leading into the mountains. Golden City served as the capital of the provisional Territory of Jefferson between 1860 and 1861, and as the capital of the official Territory of Colorado between 1862 and 1867. In 1867, the territorial capital was moved to nearby Denver, which overtook Golden as the region's most important city after it was connected to the Transcontinental Railroad by a spur that was built south from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Nowadays, Golden is part of the western suburbs of the Denver metropolitan area, and has a population of about 19,000. It is home to The Coors Brewing Company and the Colorado School of Mines, one of the finest schools in the nation that specializes in geologic engineering and applied sciences.Add to your Trip Planner
Favorite thing: Situated at an altitude of one mile (1.6 kilometers) above sea level, Denver is known as the "Mile High City." The city is located on the high plains, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Contrary to popular belief, Denver is not situated in the mountains.
The city that would become Denver was established as a mining camp called Montana City that was set up on the banks of the South Platte River. Montana City was soon abandoned in favor of a more permanent settlement, called Auraria, that was located on the south bank of Cherry Creek where it merges with the South Platte River. Shortly after that, General William H. Larimer, Jr. established a rival community on the north bank of Cherry Creek that he named Denver City in honor of the territorial governor, James Denver. Denver City and Auraria eventually merged into one town, whose economy was at first based on servicing miners, and included such businesses as goods trading, livestock, gambling establishments, and saloons. In 1861, the Colorado Territory was established. (Prior to that, much of what is now Colorado was part of the Kansas Territory). In 1867, the territorial capital was moved from nearby Golden to Denver, which became the more important city after a railroad spur connected it to the Transcontinental Railroad at Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Colorado's capital and largest city, Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. People are lured to the area by a booming economy, a pleasant climate, and unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities. With about 3,120,000 inhabitants in the greater metropolitan area, Denver is the financial, cultural, and transportation hub in the six-state mountain region known as the "Rocky Mountain Empire."
After a devastating economic slump in the late 1980s, Denver is currently undergoing a renaissance, with a large influx of population, one of the best economies in the nation, massive new construction projects throughout the metropolitan area, and an explosion of new cultural amenities and facilities.
Denver is the best educated city in the United States, with more college graduates per capita than any other city, and more federal employees than any city other than Washington, D.C.Add to your Trip Planner
Favorite thing: Located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of Denver, and now part of Denver's metropolitan area, Boulder is a beautiful city situated at the base of the Flatirons (pictured here), a series of five rock formations that resemble upturned irons.
Boulder was founded in 1858 when a group of miners set up a mining camp at the mouth of Boulder Canyon. A year later, the Boulder City Town Company was established by one of the original settlers, A.A. Brookfield, who later went on to become the first president of Boulder City. The company's 60 shareholders divided 1,280 acres (518 hectares) along Boulder Creek among themselves and put up an additional 4,044 lots for sale to bring in settlers.
By 1867, Boulder had become the county seat of Boulder County. The city's growth was very slow during this period. Mining and its supporting industries, such as hardware stores, mining supply stores, transport facilities, room-and-board establishments, gambling halls, and saloons were the mainstays of its economy. Farms were also being established in the surrounding areas.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, several large companies opened facilities in Boulder. These attracted more people and helped the local economy. Nowadays, there are about 97,385 inhabitants in the city.
Boulderites are sports enthusiasts, and it is common to see people walking, jogging, and riding mountain bikes on the many mountain trails just outside the city. Outside Magazine recently named Boulder the "Number One Sports Town in America."Add to your Trip Planner
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.Add to your Trip Planner
Colorado is not only rocky...
Favorite thing: Colorado is not only rocky mountains, snow-capped peaks, snowboarding and skiing... It's also canyons, mesas, rivers, fossil beds, cities and a lot more. The name colorado means 'of red colour' and this is the colorado I saw and Iliked best. Why? Because I was short on time and I figured that, if a choice needed be made, I'd rather have skipped the mountains. However beautiful they might be, we have plenty at home. Canyons, instead, we have none.
Eventually, it turned out, I would have a few days to fulfil my promise to Stefano (a great friend from home) and hit the Rockies with him. He was then working in Denver so I decided to give him a buzz. I called in the morning, afternoon, evening, night - for 6 days: no answer! So I took Denver and the Rockies off the list and cursed him. Weeks later, on my plane homebound... guess who was sitting next to me? His home phone was broken... and I had written down is work phone incorrectly!!Add to your Trip Planner
I'll never forget reaching the...
Favorite thing: I'll never forget reaching the top of the first fourteener I climbed (Pike's Peak). I was giddy with excitement, my head was spinning, I was weak in the knees ....... Wait a minute, that was probably the lack of oxygen.
Oh, and the view was great.Add to your Trip Planner
This is the side road or short...
Favorite thing: This is the side road or short cut thru the Colorado Mountains from Dillon to Central City. The views are fantastic but scary as sometimes this is a one lane road with plenty of hairpin curves and no guardrails.Add to your Trip Planner
Get a 4 wheel drive and take...
Favorite thing: Get a 4 wheel drive and take off for some excelent fishing and camping (no electricity, and you have to run to get running water).
Fondest memory: The first time I went to Colorado I was 18, my husband and I were not married at the time, he took his 14 year old daughter and 3 of her friends, and my youngest brother.
His mother and step dad took us camping at a place called Road Canyon. My brother caught a fish with his bare hands, and he had a blast doing it. We built a fire that night because for it to have been summer it sure does get COLD at night. My brother got his clothes all wet trying to catch that trout, and he had to hang his socks by the fire, and pants to dry, well in the mornign they were frozen stiff, talk about a rude awakening, put on frozen jeans.Add to your Trip Planner
Explore the mountains! ...
Favorite thing: Explore the mountains! Colorado has well maintained trails through its national forests and parks. If you would rather be smelling the pine trees, hearing the splash of mountain streams and catching a glimpse of mountain goats, elk and marmots in great mountain vistas than standing in a crowded smelly line at Disneyland, then this place is for you!Add to your Trip Planner
ViolinGirl's General Tip
Fondest memory: An eventful (and butt busting) day of motorcycle riding followed by an evening around the campfire, recounting the stories of the day and gazing up at the expansive starry dome overhead. (This particularly hairy stretch of road is one of many on the Taylor Pass Road)Add to your Trip Planner
Upon entering the town of...
Favorite thing: Upon entering the town of Central City we went to the Museum to view a mining sluice. Back in 1989 there were a few western style saloon with their standard shoot-em-up robberies. One remarkable fact about the town was that there was a photograph in the musuem that showed not a tree around the town. They had all been cut and used in the mines and for buildings.Add to your Trip Planner
Do some Skiing!--This picture...
Favorite thing: Do some Skiing!--This picture was taken on Copper Mountain Resort
Fondest memory: I will always remember my ski trip to Colorado, because it was my first-ever trip to do DOWN HILL skiing--I had grown up going cross-country skiing with my parents.
Let me just tell you about my first experience with that ski lift...there were 4 of us getting ready to sit down, and my boyfriend at the time, freaked out, grabbed my arm and basically knocked me down so he could sit down (it was his first time too obviously). So anyhow, everyone but me sits on the lift, and I am scrambling to get up. These lifts DO NOT STOP! So my friends grab me under the arms and the lift continues--at this point I am laughing hysterically and my friends are HOLDING me as we are about 10 feet off the ground!! Well the lift operator obviously becomes aware of the situation and the possible disaster waiting to happen and stops the lift. To the resounding sounds of groans, he comes over and boosts me up to the lift so I can finally sit down--I don't think I have ever laughed so hard...at least up to then!Add to your Trip Planner
donovanel's General Tip
Fondest memory: I will always remember the first hill...it was covered in ice and I just couldn't do it--kept losing control and falling. I was not alone--my friend, Shawnee was having the same problem. And the guys being their chivalry selves, just went on without us! So finally, fed up, we both took off our skis and started climbing up the hill back to the top--we had only gone down about 20 feet or so! After the long trek and lots of laughs (it is damn hard climbing up a hill covered in ice!), we made it to the top and were so proud of ourselves we made someone passing by take a picture.Add to your Trip Planner
donovanel's General Tip
Fondest memory: Since we had been ditched by the guys and the experienced skiers, Shawnee and I decided to make the most of it. We decided to try a new lift and see where it would take us...it took us to the black flag area--the most difficult skiing paths--GRREAT! There really was no way I was going to get back on that lift to take me down, so we braved it and decided we would go down the hill--moguls and all. We took this picture ourselves just before we ventured down.Add to your Trip Planner
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Our family has been going to Grand Lake and staying at Western Riviera for years. The rooms are...more
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