Cool Colorado Mountains
August 18-22, 2020
Day 1: Departing Yoder this morning, we head west, anticipating the fun adventures ahead in Colorado. Arriving in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a local guide joins us for the next 3 days. We follow St Vrain Creek through Muggins Gulch, up to Estes Park, hearing stories and history along the way. This evening we check into the Stanley Hotel. The Stanley Hotel is famous for its old-world charm overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park. The evening is yours to explore this historic hotel and grounds.
Day 2: We begin our day with a beautiful drive through Rocky Mountain National Park. Today we cross the Continental Divide on Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in America, dubbed “The Highway to Heaven.” With our guide, we stop along the way for stories of people and events behind the wilderness, wildlife and wonder. We also learn more about the history of the park and enjoy potential wildlife sightings and photo opportunities. Enjoy a picnic lunch while in the National Park. We spend time at the top at the Alpine Visitor Center before continuing through the park. Again we hear stories and make stops as we see breath-taking 75-mile vistas above timberline. Our guide shares stories about the first transcontinental water diversion. We end our day at Grand Lake, CO checking into our hotel for a two-night stay. (B, L)
Day 3: After breakfast at the hotel, we stay in the Grand Lake area. We take a short walk/hike on a dirt trail to see a beautiful Colorado Waterfall. Our guide takes us on a walking tour of the original Grand Lake City, learning about the history of this charming lakeside setting. You have time to stroll down the historic boardwalk with over 60 shops, restaurants, and galleries. This afternoon we take a scenic boat tour with great mountain views from the lake. We also tour the 1892 Kauffman House Museum. It is the only remaining log hotel built in Grand Lake prior to the 1900s. After dinner, we are entertained by the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. (B, D)
Day 4: This morning our local guide stays with us as we drive along the Colorado River. Then we turn north towards Rabbit Ears Range before arriving in Walden for lunch. Walden is known as the “Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado.” After lunch, we cross the Continental Divide at Cameron Pass. This afternoon we stop at Moose Visitor Center located near the former logging camp of Gould. The Center tells the story of the North Park moose and early timber camps. It also features information on the park and its wildlife. Then we head down a spectacular narrow canyon along the Cache Le Poudre North Park Scenic and Historic Byway. Our guide continues to share stories about this incredible canyon. We make our way into the foothills overnighting in Loveland, CO and bidding farewell to our local guide. (B, L)
Day 5: Today we return to Kansas as we reminisce about the stories, scenic views, and those cool Colorado Mountains!