What’s on MY summer bucket list, you ask? Probably a few things that you would expect a native to have already done! Colorado is a prime destination for all things outdoors, the microbrewing capital of the midwest, basically the unicorn of all states. My absolute favorite part of living in Colorado is that you can travel a short physical distance and feel like you’re in a whole other world! With so many hidden secrets and places to explore, my summer bucket list is never ending, but here are just a few spots that I have yet to check out. Join me this summer in creating wonderful memories in majestic places!
On Colorado’s Western Slope, primarily around Palisade, Grand Junction, Paonia, Hotchkiss and Cedaredge, the mountains and plains conspire to create a perfect climate for some of the country’s most innovative and charming wineries. Amid orchards of peach, cherry and apple trees, acre upon acre of neat green rows of grapevines stand in stark contrast to the red sandstone mesas and deep azure sky. Stop in some of the intimate wineries for stellar classics like chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon and interesting Rieslings, gewürztraminers, petit verdots and malbecs.
Branching off I-70 just 10 miles east of Glenwood Springs in the spectacular Colorado River-carved Glenwood Canyon, the Hanging Lake Trail is a must-stop along this scenic patch of highway. The trail is relatively short — just over a mile — but it’s quite steep and rocky.
There are, however, plenty of places to rest along the way, take epic photos of the canyon and the river flowing through it, and explore rocky hideaways. And handrails on especially tricky parts of the trail help keep you moving in the right direction. Making it to the top will take your breath away! A walkway surrounds the lake, from which you can gaze into its hypnotic waters and spy the native trout frittering within. According to the National Park Service’s National Natural Landmarks Program, “Hanging Lake is a unique example within the Southern Rocky Mountains … of a lake formed by travertine deposition, “ which we know better as a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs. Here, “natural geologic and hydrologic processes continue to operate as they have done throughout the history of the lake. The site also supports one of the best and largest examples of a hanging garden plant community.” (See other mineral waters at work at the nearby Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, home to the world’s largest hot-springs pool.)
Just outside of Steamboat Springs nestled alongside Hot Springs Creek lies one of the most spectacular mineral springs in the world. Imagine relaxing in 104 degree mineral water while Steamboat’s famous Champagne Powder gently collects in the surrounding forest. Enjoy a massage in one of our beautiful private massage huts or a watsu therapy in our private pool. The pools are perfect for relaxing after a long day of skiing or hiking, or for a day-long visit!