This past June, our family flew to Denver and then did a road trip around Colorado. I wanted to share all the pictures and locations in case it helps anyone else plan a family trip to Colorado.
About 80% of these were taken with my iphone 7+ and then my favorite scenes were shot with a Fuji XT-2.
We took an early flight into Denver, rented a minivan, picked up a cooler, some ice, and some food and then hit the road for Estes Park.
By the time we got there, found our hotel, etc. it was time for dinner and then we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy the evening in the mountains.
We drove part way up the main mountain road for some nice views and then came back to Moraine Park where there were lots of deer and elk roaming around.
It was the most amazing weather this evening. 75 degrees and a soft breeze. It was perfect weather for elk watching. We must’ve seen at least 50.
3 of them ran across the road right in front of our car.
Woke up at 5:00am, headed into Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike to Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. Passed a bunch of elk on the way. We were done with our hike at 10:00am and as we were leaving, the parking lot was filled with hundreds of cars. Perfect timing for us!!
In the afternoon, we crossed the the Rockies on trail ridge road. Check out the big bull elk we saw at the end of this photo set.
Next, we ended up on the west side of the park by Grand Lake and did the short walk to Adams falls.
In the evening, we drove up to the top of Mt Evans to catch the sunset at 14,000 feet. It didn’t disappoint. It was cold but gorgeous!!
We even got to see 6 mountain goats including a couple of babies.
We were right by the bathrooms at the top and they were right there. They were a bit too close for comfort but it was still really cool
If you are deciding between Mt. Evans and Pike’s Peak, I would strongly recommend Mt. Evans because you dont’ have to pay the $45 toll and you don’t have to worry about when it opens and closes.
We drove up over Loveland pass then through Keystone and then on to Breckenridge.
In Breckenridge, the boys got to practice panning for gold, then they had their first gondola ride up to peak 8 where they have the Epic Discovery Adventure Park. The first adventure was the alpine sleds. We took the ski lift up even further which Reid was not a fan of. When we got on the ski lift it was 75 and sunny. By the time we got to the top 15 minutes later, it was raining and they closed the sled run. We had to wait for jeeps to drive everyone back down the mountain.
By the time we got down, the rain stopped so they did a giant maze, then some mini golf and by then the sun was out so we did the alpine sleds a couple times. We all had a blast!
Next we drove to Aspen and spent the evening at Maroon Bells which is the most photographed spot in America!
Aspen was crazy expensive so we stayed in the neighboring town of snowmass that was 1/3 the price of Aspen. Our hotel neighbor had a motorcycle which just had to be used for a photo.
We drove out to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It was very rainy but still led to some incredible views.
We then drove out to Great Sand Dunes National Park. The drive with the storms was really cool and when it was time to play in the sand, the skies cleared up and the kids had a blast rolling down the sand hills and wrestling.
It was definitely the most photogenic spot on our trip due to the amazing evening light.
This morning we did a high ropes course just outside of Salida. Mayz and Reid were both a bit scared at first but by the end, they wanted to do more!
Who would have thunk that our cheapest hotel of the trip would be a 4* Marriott with an indoor/outdoor pool. Not bad for $95. Thanks Hotwire!
We had a nice evening stroll in Garden of the Gods.
After dinner we went for a short walk around Garden of the Gods. What an amazing place to have in the middle of a city like C-Springs!
Today we started the day going way above the clouds up to the top of Pikes Peak at 14k+ feet. Personally I found it to be super expensive and overly touristy. I guess I shouldn’t complain since we were also tourists, but Mt. Evans was much nicer.
However, it was a rainy day in Colorado Springs so with the low rain clouds, we were able to get WAY above the clouds up on Pike’s Peak.
Next we headed back down and did a tour of the Cave of the Winds. It was really cool learning about how the caves were formed.
Next we had a great lunch with Aunt Dawn and Uncle Jay who live in Colorado Springs.
From there it was on to Denver where we went to the Capitol building and then a quick visit to Mile high stadium but there were no tours left in the day so we didn’t get to go in to the stadium.
Last night from our hotel, we had a beautiful sunset and this morning, these boys were champs with a 3:45am wakeup.
They held up pretty good today!!
Now it’s Home Sweet Home!!