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54 Must-Do Colorado Adventures


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48) Old-School Sight Seeing
Traveling by train is one of our valued treasures, yet it seems to have been lost in the pages of history in this fast-paced society. But there’s still opportunity to jump back a century or so and ride the same rails as miners and settlers while taking in Colorado’s beauty. One of America’s most treasured rail adventures is the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Leaving from downtown Durango, the vintage steam locomotives head into the pristine San Juan National Forest, weaving along the Animas River before dropping below Purgatory toward the old mining town of Silverton. Choose from a variety of cars ranging from the Standard Class open-air bench seating to a Presidential Class historic private car that will whisk you away to the Victorian era. And when the train pulls into Silverton, feel free to hike up any of the 13,000-foot peaks that surround the town. —LB

49) Historical Perspective
Indians came to Fort Lyon looking for peace, even sending able-bodied men and boys out to hunt flying an American flag. Meanwhile white military members got drunk and killed hundreds of the those left behind. Colorado’s history is tarnished. The story of the First Colorado Cavalry’s killing off southern Cheyennes is one of the saddest in our history. It’s worth the drive to Kiowa County to gain some perspective of how bloody our beginnings were. —JH


50) Go Fly a Kite

Flying a kite has changed since the childhood years. Now there are stunt kites, dragon kites and box kites. Check out Boulder’s Into the Wind for all the gear you’ll ever need. Then forget that you are no longer 12, head out to a park, and wait for the winds to lift your craft sky high. —LB

51) Road Trip
Sometimes you need a nice Sunday drive. But if you are going to do it, do it right. Gas costs too much to waste. Try a lap on the San Juan Skyway. The 233-mile loop passes through great western towns such as Durango, Silverton and Rico. The drive is an open invitation to the 5 million acres of beauty of the San Juan and Uncompahgre
National forests. —JH


52) Big Horns in Estes
Marmots will steal your sweaty socks on backpacking trips and wear thme as bandanas, but they are so darned cute. Mountain goats are the coolest animals in the world, with the ability to walk virtually straight up cliffs. Bighorn sheep have beautiful horns. Elk are beastly animals. See them all in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the best wildlife watching parks in the world. —JH

53) Letting the Birds Fly By
Way out east, near Idalia, are pristine opportunities to watch nature unfold. There is something serene about waiting in a bluff for beautiful white-throated sparrows to wander over the Kansas border into the high desert plains covered in yucca plants, sandsage and rabbit brush. Don’t let your friends’ giggles deter you from birding. —JH

54) Patience is a Virtue
Requiring skill and patience, fly fishing is one of the most beautiful sports. Casting in rhythm and pulling in a trout on the Big Thompson River is perhaps one of the most relaxing yet challenging experiences. If you have no idea where to go, have the guys at Laughing Grizzly Fly Shop in Longmont to guide you to all the sweet spots. —JH

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