Summer Activities in Colorado

It is summertime in Colorado!  A beautiful season to explore Colorado’s endless bounty.  There are a plethora of activities to keep you busy for many weekends.  We have now lived here for almost 4 years and I have to say the pressure can be somewhat insurmountable to get out and go every weekend!  With that being said we try to be very strategic with our weekend planning.  The following recommendations are what we have actually experienced.  With that being said, make the most of your weekend and see some fabulous sites and take some breath takings pictures.  Have fun!  (By the way, the recommendations are in no particular order).

1.  Manitou Incline—So, I saw this glorious incline on Instagram.  I told my husband we must experience this immediately!  Well, we did and it was quite the up hill battle no pun intended.  Very strenuous.  However, worth every ounce of sweat and strain.  The views from the top are phenomenal.  According to http://www.manitouincline.com/

The Manitou Incline was built as a cable car to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak. After the pipelines were finished, it was turned into a tourist attraction.

After a rock slide damaged a section of track in 1990, the Manitou Incline was closed down and the rails removed. Some locals started hiking up the remaining ties for a tough workout even though it was illegal because of crossing private property. As of February 1st, 2013, it is legal to hike.

This is what Manitou Incline looked like before:

Photo_of_a_Manitou_Incline_Railway_box_car,_1908This is what Manitou Incline looks like now:

20130602_173826This incline is only 1 mile BUT climbs 2,00o vertical feet.  Please refer to http://www.manitouincline.com/ before setting out to hike Manitou Incline.

2.  Any Alpine Slide or Gondola.  We are on a mission to ride as many gondolas and alpine slides at the ski resorts this summer.  During the summer the resorts reopen and offer summer activities.  A few of the activities that we like to partake in are the alpine slide and riding the gondolas.  Why?  The views at the top of both of these attractions are unbelievable.  The alpine slide and gondola in Winter Park and Breckenridge are fantastic.  We did ride the gondola in Vail as well as Glenwood Springs (https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/glenwood-springs-gondola-7/).  Another plus, a lot of the gondolas are dog friendly.20130616_16165120130616_17254920130817_16292020130817_1355433.  Independence Pass.  This is a must….period.  One of the most spectacular drives in Colorado.  Words can’t always express the abundance of beauty that you will experience on this drive.  We took 70 to the Copper Mountain exit and followed signage.  We looped around into Aspen and I must say that this drive alone could easily sum up why we absolutely love living in Colorado.  Just remember to bring a coat and to fill up the gas tank before committing to the pass.  There are not a lot of gas stations along the way.  Also, bring a camera…any camera, but you must take pictures!  http://www.independencepass.org/20130630_17011120130630_16551920130630_164753I will try and post some more summer activities but in the meantime you can find me on Instagram under @lovelivingincolorado or Twitter @lovelivinginco.  I update these accounts regularly.  Happy summer!

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The View at the Top of Pikes Peak

The drive up to Pikes Peak encompasses so much beauty and awe inspiring views that I had to break up the posts into several different topics.  This post is dedicated to the view at the top of Pikes Peak.  I can’t even begin to describe how gorgeous and breathless (literally) the view leaves you.  I joked with my husband and said that we are so close to the sky that I can actually see flight attendants serving drinks in the airplanes above!  This is the second 14er that we have had the opportunity to experience.  Granted we didn’t hike the 14ers but we still made it to the top (in a car).  I recommend a drive up to Pikes Peak immediately.  You can experience all of Colorado‘s glory in one drive.  Weather changes, varying landscape, the Rocky Mountains, and of course cooler temperatures.  For more information on Pikes Peak please visit–http://www.pikes-peak.com/

I like the picture above because you can really see the treeline.  I never knew what a treeline was until we moved here.  A treeline can be roughly defined as the “elevation where tree density declines or drops to zero.”

In this picture (above) you can see lots of green.  In the picture below all rocks!I can’t lie, on this particular trip I was feeling a little breathless and anxious.  I do have to admit that I drank a little too much coffee on the way to Pikes Peak and we didn’t eat.  Thank goodness they have a little cafe at the top.  Next time we will have to come better prepared.  I usually pack food but didn’t this time.  Note to self:  pack food and water whenever we take a drive.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway

When we went up to Pikes Peak we decided to drive.  The cost to ride the Cog Railway is $35.00 per person.  I didn’t really budget for that expense.  Riding on the railway is on our “to do” list-https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/colorado-to-do-list/ but it will have to wait for now.  So, I lived vicariously through the folks that did ride the railway to the top of Pikes Peak.  I was able to take some great photos of the railway.  One of the conductors (not sure if this is the correct term for the driver of the Cog Railway) allowed me inside the Cog Railway to get some stellar pictures.  If these pictures entice you to take the Cog Railway up to Pikes Peak then I did my job!:)  For more information about riding the Cog Railway please visit the following websites:

General information:  http://cograilway.com/

Rates, times, coupons:  http://cograilway.com/ratestimes.htm

History:  http://cograilway.com/history.htm

A view of the tracks.The front of the railway.  The views in the distance are priceless. A look inside the railway.  Very clean and tidy.  A million dollar view from the window.Round trip on the railway is 3 hours and 10 minutes.  At the top of the peak they give you a chance to look at the views, shop at the highest gift shop in America, use the restroom, and grab a bite to eat.  They let you know it is time to board and leave the peak by letting off a really loud whistle type noise.  For more information on the railway route please visit–http://cograilway.com/alongroute.htm

How did I do?  Did this post entice you to travel the Cog Railway?  If so, “All Aboard!”  Have a good weekend!

Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Colorado

http://www.cliffdwellingsmuseum.com/

It was another H.O.T day in Denver and we decided to head to Pikes Peak to get some relief from the mid 90’s temperatures.  Please keep in mind we don’t have central air conditioning so the little house we live in can get pretty toasty.  We got sidetracked on our way to Pikes Peak.  I saw the sign for the Manitou Cliff Dwellings off of Highway 24 and we decided to make a detour.  I am glad we did!  We haven’t been able to make it to Mesa Verde National Park to see cliff dwellings so Manitou Cliff Dwellings will have to suffice for now (and it did!).

This Old Hopi Proverb greets visitors as they enter the cliff dwellings.There is a fee to enter the cliff dwellings.  We paid $9.50 plus tax for two adults.  The fees for 2012 can be found here–http://www.cliffdwellingsmuseum.com/plan-your-visit/faq

I really enjoyed our visit to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.  They encourage you to explore the dwellings, room by room, using the self-guided tour.  Each room/dwelling had a very detailed description of how the specific space was used.This is a sacred Kiva used by the tribal men as a ceremonial chamber.

When you visit the Manitou Cliff Dwellings you enter into the world of the Anasazi also known as the Ancient Ones or the Ancestral Puebloans.  The people of this advanced culture existed in the Four Corners area from 1100 A.D. to 1300 A.D.

While visiting the Manitou Cliff Dwellings don’t forget to visit the Pueblo, museum, and the gift shop.  The view from the Manitou Cliff Dwellings is beautiful.  The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a short drive from Denver.  The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are one of the most accessible examples of cliff dwellings architecture anywhere.Plan your next adventure by visiting–http://www.cliffdwellingsmuseum.com/

Colorado Burning

This is the headline on the news “Colorado Burning.”  This post is dedicated to all of the people who are fighting the fires and to all of the people affected by the fires.  Our positive thoughts and prayers go out to all the Coloradans who are dealing with these unrelenting fires.  In Colorado we have seen and felt record breaking temperatures (triple digit heat).  This heat has literally added fuel to the blazes that have popped up around this beautiful state.  We need prayers, cooler temperatures, and RAIN!

Please keep Colorado in your thoughts and prayers.

Colorado To Do List

Ever since we moved here I have been collecting Colorado attraction brochures.  I keep the brochures in our “travel to do” box.  Now that the weather is warmer we can start visiting some of these attractions.

1.  Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Canon Cityhttp://www.royalgorgebridge.com/

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2.  Pikes Peak Cog Railway (starts in Manitou Springs)–http://cograilway.com/

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3.  Cave of the Winds (Colorado Springs attraction)–http://caveofthewinds.com/

4.  Seven Falls (Colorado Springs attraction)–http://sevenfalls.com/home/index.cfm

5.  Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation Four Corners Monument (southwestern Colorado border attraction)– this is the only place in the United States where 4 states intersect at one point:  Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Coloradohttp://www.navajonationparks.org/htm/fourcorners.htm

There are definitely more places we want to visit in Colorado but I can’t wait to take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway up 14,115 feet.

Colorado attraction brochures