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Places to Visit in Eastern Rockies, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder

Things to do / Travel Guide

Denver is the largest city in the eastern Colorado and Wyoming Rockies, and it's probably where you'll be flying in to, so we start by describing Denver.

Places to Visit in Denver

Denver, the capital of Colorado, is in many ways the heart of the eastern Colorado and Wyoming Rockies region. It has been the historical hub of the region since its founding in the 19th century; a place of meeting, business deals, culture and of course, to visit. Today the city is characterized by its architectural modernity, its sports teams and a love of sports, and its mineral, oil, and high-tech industries.
It is the epicenter of the activities the region has to offer, and it is located smack in the middle of the state, where all the Colorado Interstate Highways meet. A boon to both the locals and visitors, the South Platte River runs through the city, as does Cherry Creek. Located on a wide Rocky Mountain platte, or plateau, Denver has been called the “Mile High City,” because the city is around a mile above sea-level wherever you go. Furthermore, it's also quite flat.

Places to Visit near Denver, Colorado - Rockies

Golden - Right outside of Denver to the west, is Golden. Formerly called Golden City. This small settlement is best known for the Coors brewery, which is reputed to be the world's largest brewery on a single site.

Black Hawk and Central City - These historic Gold Rush-era towns, about a mile away from each other, were rebuilt in the 1990s, and one of their special attractions is limited-stakes gaming. There are almost 20 separate casinos in these two gambling communities. The communities have been transformed into quaint cities, with old buildings renovated and new ones stylized similar to the old. The few hotels in Colorado that feature in-house casinos are in Black Hawk and Central City. They're located west of Denver on I-70, a few miles to the north from Central City Parkway.

Idaho Springs, Georgetown, and Silver Plume - These are other Gold Rush-era towns to visit, whose histories rose and fell with the luck of the mining industries in the region. They've receded from the bustle that so-characterized them in the 19th century at their height, and nowadays they're excellent sites to explore the history and former culture of the region. Georgetown happens to be where the Loveland Ski Area is located. These towns all are located further west on I-70, along and within Clear Creek and Clear Creek Canyon.

Colorado Places to Visit – North of Denver

Boulder - This burgeoning city, located around 30 miles northwest of Denver on the Boulder-Denver Turnpike, is well known nowadays for two things: being the region's counterculture center, known since the Beatnik generation onward as a place for poets and musicians, and the area's biking center, from which you can hike, bike, and drive to along some fascinating routes. There are also opportunities around Boulder to fish and play some challenging golf. Because the city is a college town (housing the University of Colorado) there are plenty of bars and clubs with hot nightlife scenes.

Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park, a resort town located directly west of Loveland, is the base of operation for many activities in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. This is the heart of the region's places to visit, sightseeing and hiking, and there's also fishing available. The area features the tallest mountains of the Front Range, including 14,255-foot Longs Peak.

Fort Collins - About 60 miles north of Denver is Fort Collins, which is in many respects similar to Boulder. The location was originally a stop for fur traders on their way through the Rockies, and it was never hit with any gold rushes, owing to its location in the prairie just before the mountains. It is home to Colorado State University, and thus a vibrant music and entertainment scene. Because of its proximity to the mountains, it too is an excellent base from which to make adventurous forays into the wilderness.

Places to Visit in Wyoming

Cheyenne and Laramie - These two small locales, the former the capital of Wyoming, are known as the quintessential modern western cities, replete with rodeos, historic downtowns and museums, and some good opportunities to fish, enjoy nature and in general a popular place to visit.. The railroad and the culture that surrounds it are very popular attractions in this area.

Laramie Mountains - These mountains, an extension of the Front Range, separate Cheyenne from Laramie. The tallest mountain in this range is Laramie Peak, at 10,274 feet.

Places to Visit in Colorado - South of Denver

Most of the region's fun south of Denver is located 50 miles away in the vicinity of Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs - From its beginnings in the late 19th century, this has been a resort town - so much so that, with the Europeans visiting, people took to calling it “Little London.” Today the city gives itself over to tourism, with plenty of attractions and activities within and outside of city limits. Beautiful views of the city and the surroundings abound, there are a good amount of parks, and hiking and sightseeing trails and roads depart from the city in abundance. Take some time to visit Garden of the Gods, a park right outside of the city to the west, with stunning views of red sandstone formations.

Pikes Peak - This mountain may not be the tallest of the Rockies' Front Range, but it's still one of the Fourteeners, over 14,000 feet. It is, however, the most well-known, and it can be seen a great distance from the eastern plains below. Zebulon Pike, the mountain's namesake, thought the mountain to be impossible to scale upon reaching it in 1806. Despite its height and his claims to the contrary, the mount is indeed scalable, even without too much difficulty, and to help you up or down there's a cog railway and a very scenic road leading to the top. If you want to brag to the folks at home, Pikes Peak is the place to visit.

Cripple Creek and Victor - On the southern slopes of Pikes Peak you'll find this old mining town and its sister city. More gold was mined from this geological deposit than from any other in the world. These days, the towns are tourist destinations filled with old saloons that have been transformed into boutiques and eateries, and old hotels that followed suit in refurbishing and renovating. The history of these places is as plentiful as once the gold was.

Canon City - This city is yet another hub of regional recreation, sightseeing, camping, cross-country skiing, whitewater rafting and kayaking along the Arkansas River, and hiking. This historical city is also another old mining town, and is home to the Colorado State Penitentiary.

Royal Gorge - Over the gorge spans the highest suspension bridge in the world, the Arkansas River roaring more than 1,000 feet below. The views of and from the bridge are simply stunning.

Places to Visit in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Cheyenne Wyoming and the Eastern Rockies

Places-to-Visit
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City Park - Denver, Colorado
Seven Falls - Colorado Springs, Colorado
Boulder, CO
Cripple Creek, CO
Estes Park, CO
Georgetown, CO
Golden, CO
Mount Evans
Peak to Peak Highway