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Staycation: Recreation & Outdoors



A little more than 20 miles from Boulder off Highway 72, Arapaho Glacier Trail climbs through wooded areas dense with spruce and fir, zig-zaging into Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and onto open tundra with vistas of the Boulder Watershed. About six miles up, you’ll find striking views of the Arapaho Glacier. This mountainous day hike is about 12 miles up and back—a perfect summer day in the Rockies. parks.state.co.us

Urban Kayaking:
Check out Denver’s whitewater at Confluence Park and downstream.

Bouldering in Eldorado Canyon:
The Freight Train, Cloud 9, Hazard County and more. Check them out at

Mountain Biking

Durango is a virtual candy store for mountain biking fiends: So many options, so few hours of daylight. In fact, there are 2,000 miles of trails around the city and hundreds of those are single track. Once in town, take 25th Street, which becomes Junction Creek Road, to the Colorado Trail. At the trailhead, you’ll follow the creek until you get to Gudy’s Rest; you’ll then take a left on the Hoffheins Connection Trail and then down to Lightner Creek Road, which you will follow to Highway 160. Head east to get back to town to complete this 20-mile single-track loop. For something a little easier, check out the Horse Gulch Trail, which starts at 8th Avenue and 3rd Street and takes you up into meadows. There are several different trails along the way, so follow the signs to pick your adventure. durango.org

A Duo of 14ers:
While one might be enough, you can tackle both Grays and Torreys peaks in one climb. Our plan: hike on Saturday, rest on Sunday.

Anglers, get your reels ready. Pull ‘em in on the Big Thompson, Valco, Rifle Gap Reservoir, the South Platte River in Waterton Canyon and the St. Vrain River.


Camping is the ultimate Colorado vacation: no microwave, no dishwasher, no cell phone reception. On your way up Highway 14 through Poudre Canyon, stop by famed music venue Mishawaka Amphitheater to jam on the Poudre River, and you will find river-side campsites in walking distance. Up the road past Cameron Pass, State Forest State Park is 71,000 acres of forests, peaks, alpine lakes, wildlife and trails. And moose, lots of moose. There are several campgrounds within the park, and backcountry camping is allowed in various areas.

While you’re in the area, take the short but sweet venture up Lake Agnes Trail for miraculous, postcard-perfect views of the Nokhu Crags, and hit up the visitor center, which is near Gould on Highway 14, to learn all about the area’s moose. There is also plenty of fishing: North Michigan Reservoir and Ranger Lakes. Taking Highway 125 south from Walden, head to Granby and up Trail Ridge Road into Rocky Mountain National Park. Stop at Timber Creek Campground, where you’ll find cozy camping areas with bountiful amenities, including educational sessions from park rangers.

Head back out of the park to Grand Lake, a classic little mountain town where you have access to boating, hikes and fishing spots. If you want to take a break from roughing it, be sure to check out the shops, galleries and dining in the area. By now, your bed may just be calling but you still have time for one more stop: On your way down Highway 40, stop by the heavily wooded Byers Creek area for camping in a beautiful and intimate setting. You’ll find tremendous hiking spots not far away and paddling areas if you want to get into the water. grandlakechamber.com

Cycling Colorado National Park:
Bike historic Rim Rock Drive and the connected rural roads as well as the many trails in the surrounding area.

Golf Trip:
Take a weeklong road trip and touch down at Golden’s Fossil Trace, Littleton’s Arrowhead, The Broadmoor’s East Course in Colorado Springs and the luscious Jack Nicklaus-designed Cougar Canyon in Trinidad.


Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google

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