Sunday, November 13, 2011

Colorado Great Dunes Road Trip

South Central Colorado is a beautiful region. Lakes, mountains and valleys are plentiful in the area, and a road trip is the best way to see it. This suggested 2-day itinerary will allow you to see the best of the area, with time to take it all in.

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Start your trip at Colorado Springs, a city of natural beauty and cowboy beginnings. Visit the Pioneer Museum downtown to hear of Colorado's first European settlers. Go to the garden of the Gods, where amazing natural sandstone formations tower imposingly, surrounded by a city park.

Garden of the Gods
by John Fowler Flickr Creative Commons

Make your way through the charming town of Green Mountain Falls to the reservoir of 11 Mile State Park, a spot for fishing, hiking, sailing and swimming. Continue on through some more amazing scenery- the route shown on the map goes off the beaten track onto Co Road 185. Just off this is the amazing San Isabel National Forest, with 19 peaks over 14,000 feet and several crystal lakes. There are several campgrounds which you can find out more about here, so stay the night here and enjoy a good night's sleep surrounded by the beauty of Colorado!

San Isabel National Forest
by paulshaffner Flickr Creative Commons

Next along the route is the town of Salida, where you can get a drink and sit overlooking the Arkansas River. After Salida and several other small midwest towns, always fun to stop in, there is the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Truly a sight to see, this park has the tallest sand dunes in North America. Some rise 230 metres from the floor of the San Luis Valley. The Park is home to not only the dunes but a diverse range of landscapes- tundra, lakes and stream and pine forests. Pinyon Flats Campground near the Visitors Centre has RV sites available.

Great Sand Dunes National Park
by Larry Lamsa Flickr Creative Commons

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