Exploring America in Your Car – Colorado

In the words of John Denver, “Colorado, Rocky Mountain High” – simple sounding words, but once you have been here to this amazing and wonderful state, you can soon learn that those words speak volumes. I always thought of Colorado as all mountains, but there is a fair amount of plains and desert as well, all of which come to a head in Denver, at the foot of the eastern edge of the rocky mountain range. It makes for a picturesque geological marvel and is the home of many great natural sites to see along the highways of this great state as well as plenty of dirt roads and hiking trails in the middle of nowhere.

You can drive up to the Georgetown area for the day about an hour’s drive from downtown Denver and go for a hike up to a hanging lake. On a warm day when you are sweaty and burning up inside a jump in the lake could be a refreshing option in the middle or end of your hike. You can head to Glenwood Springs and take a hike up a few hours to a natural hot springs. Or for the less adventurous you can hit the commercial hot spring in the city limits.

Skiing a plenty is to be had throughout Colorado. Durango’s Wolf Creek Resort is said to be one of the best least talked about ski areas in the state, but I haven’t had the pleasure of heading down there yet. All the big name resorts are pretty much the same to me – Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone and the like. Aspen is good because it is so expensive not many can afford to go there and is thus uncrowded by design, though the Aspen Skiing Company tries to distance themselves from that slogan.

Colorado is called the Napa Valley of beer and that means plenty of microbreweries to tour and sample. You could spend a week just driving around the state doing that, tasting some of the freshest finest beer around. There are also several distilleries and even a few vineyards and mead houses. On your way, you can stop off and explore an historic gold mine from back in the gold rush days.

Photo via Alaskan Dude

Mike Machina has written for 944 Magazine/944.com, Comcast, The Onion and Westword and has been a car enthusiast since he was first able to get behind the wheel of a truck on his friend’s farm in elementary school. He specializes in blogging about classic cars, everyday driving tips, maintenance, insurance and car humor.

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