Colorado Vacation #6
We got back last night from a 6 day trip to Colorado. This was my first time to Colorado in the summer since 2003, when my brother got married there. Colby and I have gone 5 winters in a row, but the virus changed our plans the past March and led us to book this trip instead. We have already talked about if we prefer the summer or winter and I must say, the summer was pretty wonderful!
We flew into Denver and after picking up our rental car we headed straight to St. Mary’s Glacier which was so beautiful. Considering the temperatures were 100+ back at home, it was pretty great to have the chance to stand on snow! We didn’t stay too long, but we walked up to the glacier and spent some time hanging out at the lake. This area was crowded, but if you ever get a chance to go, I highly recommend it.
After a quick stop at the glacier we headed towards Georgetown lake which is directly off the highway. We did a quick walk around the lake before hopping in the car and heading towards Breckendridge where we stayed two nights. We walked around the Main Street area in Breckenridge after arriving and I just loved it! I think it was my favorite city we stayed in as far as the downtown area goes.
We woke up and headed for the Mohawk lake trail which is a 6.7 mile trail with 1,600 feet elevation gain. There was a big mixup and instead of taking the trail on the way up, we took the road. I guess the good news from that was there was no one else around and we had the road all to ourselves. Once we hit the upper section of the trail, it became even more confusing as there were lots of various routes with very little signage. For the most part I think it all went to the same place, but it was a lot of assuming on our part that we were going the correct way. We came across a lake and then one or two small waterfalls where we took breaks before heading to the lower lake. This last part of the trail was filled with lots of boulders and rocks and overall the hike beat us up pretty bad. Going from not working out for 5+ months to going on a hike at 10K+ feet elevation was a little rough. As always, we were glad to be finished!
After the hike we grabbed lunch and spent the afternoon relaxing at the pool and then hung out at our condo.
Our plan was to head to the Beaver Creek/Vail area, but due to fires we changed our plans. We met a friend for breakfast in Breckendridge and then headed towards Winter Park. We took the Loveland pass route which I highly recommend. We were able to stop at the continental divide on our route there.
After checking into our lodge we walked around town a little bit and found some of the local parks where we hung out. We grabbed dinner and spent the evening in the hot tub, which felt so good! Can’t beat being in the hot tub in the mountains! What a view.
After checking out of Winter Park, we drove toward Grand lake. On the way, we first made a stop at Monarch lake and did the lake loop around which was 4.2 miles around and 200 feet elevation. I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved our hikes with no elevation, it was so nice! With several stops it took us 2 hours.
After leaving Monarch lake we grabbed lunch, checked into our lodge and then headed towards the beach at Grand Lake which was so crazy crowded – wow!!! We were going to stay, but a few minutes into our time there we left, hopped into our car and drove a little south to an area of the beach that had no one there! We were thankful to have the beach all to ourself and stayed until the sun went down.
On our first full day in Grand Lake we did the Cascade Falls hike, which we could walk to from our lodge. This was a 7.4 mile trail with 675 elevation gain. We didn’t start this hike until 10 am and the heat definitely caught up with us. The first section of this trail has very little shade but thankfully after awhle we were in the forest and were able to get out of the sun. The end of the trail brought us to a waterfall which we spent some time at before heading back to our lodge.
After the hike, we ate the most delicious burger ever and then found another part of Grand lake which had no one there.
On day 6 we checked out of our lodge by 7:30 am and made our way to Rocky Mountain National Park. It wasn’t more than a 10 minute drive from our lodge, which was so nice to be so close, but the trail we wanted to do, Deer Mountain trail, was on the Estes Park side, so it was about an hour drive through the park before we arrived at the trailhead.
We were pretty tired from hiking the day before and mentally prepared that this trail would be very difficult, but it turned out to be easier than we thought. The trail was 6 miles with 1,400 feet elevation gain and was the only summit hike we did all week that gave us a view of the full park. It took us 1.5 hours to get up and 1 hour to get down.
After completing the trail we went to Bear lake, which was fairly crowded and where most of the tourists were. We attempted to do a few hikes in that area, but in all honesty were so wiped, that we decided to just plop ourselves down and relax next to Bear lake. If you go to Rocky Mountain National Park I highly recommend this lake because it is gorgeous.
After leaving the park, we headed towards our hotel for the night and saw elk on the way.
We had a very low key day on our last day in Colorado. We drove around some and ended up in Nederland, which was a tiny town with a lake. We spent some time there relaxing before heading to see my brother, who had just moved with his family to the Denver area the week before. It was so great to get to see them before we headed for the airport and flew home.
Our Prior Vacations:
I didn’t start sharing our traveling adventures on the blog until the end of 2013, but you can see some of our vacations below. You can also see our best tips for traveling on a budget here!
Western Caribbean Cruise
South America: Argentina
South America: Torres Del Paine
South America: Lake Region
South America: Santiago + Coast
Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio
Costa Rica: Santa Teresa
Costa Rica: La Fortuna
Caribbean Cruise – Grand Turk + Dominican Republic
Caribbean Cruise – Aruba + Curacao
Colorado Ski Date #2
Europe: The Netherlands
Europe: Montenegro + Greece
Colorado Ski Trip #4
Northern California + Lake Tahoe
Yosemite + Napa
Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Grand Turk + San Juan
Eastern Caribbean Cruise: St. Kitts + St. Maarten
Colorado Skip Trip #5
Utah: Zion and Bryce National Parks
Utah: Arches National Park
Florida Trip Recap
Western Caribbean Cruise