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Longs Peak


Perhaps the name for this mountain came from some poor hiker too tired from the 13-mile round trip trek to the top. Probably not, but be prepared for a test of endurance, as the approach requires a near 7-mile steady climb. There are a few death-defying moments, such as the stretch called the Narrows. This is in a national park, so leave the trailhead by 2 a.m. to avoid the tourist rush.

[Estes Park]
The gateway to a beautiful national park, Estes offers everything a tourist could imagine. It gets crowded, so plan early. Check out a bustling entertainment scene featuring theater, music and even the rodeo. It’ll be just as tiring going out as it was getting up Longs.

[The Food]
Nothing tastes better than comfort food following a calorie-burning adventure. The Tavern at Marys Lake Lodge (970.586.5958) has some darn good comfort food including a beloved chicken fried chicken. Next door is Grandmaison’s Chalet Room for a fine dining Med menu. Both include the breathtaking beauty of Marys Lake.

[The Drinks]
Everybody goes to the Wheel Bar (970.586.9381) for a night out whether you’re talking about tourists or residents. It’s in the center of town both geographically and ideologically. It’s walking distance to everything, has pool tables, great drink specials and an inviting atmosphere. It’s a no-frills bar, plain and simple.

[The Lodging]
The B&B options are plentiful. Pick the Bristlecone Bed and Breakfast (970.586.4370). It’s in the heart of town, has great rooms and the tasty brunch will leave you feeling like a champion when you leave town. It also has beautiful views of that monster of a peak you just climbed the day before.

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