Summer Fun in Colorado

Get out the Sunscreen – Here we come

bike_fiets852Story by Kathryn R. Burke
All content © San Juan Publishing Group, Inc, All rights reserved.

[SW Colorado] The weather’s warm, the snow is gone, and it’s time to come out and play! Colorado and it’s Four-Corner neighbors know how to host a great time no matter what you like to do. High adventure or bone-lazy leisure, we’ve got it all. On the ground, in the air, on the water; with wheels or on foot, or even just watching while everyone else wears themselves out, there is always something wonderful to do.

raftingGot a pole or a paddle? Like to sail, snorkel, jet ski, or just bum around at the beach? Spring and early summer are the best times for river rafting and kayaking,when the waters are roaring and excitement at its best. Utah and the Colorado River make for some of the best adventure, but don’t discount the rivers in Colorado. For those seeking quieter adventure, when helmet and gritted teeth are not a factor, try canoing or saling on one of our many lakes. Colorado waters also offer great fishing. Shoreline fishing starts when the ice begins to disappear and extends until it cover the water again. Fly fishing is a favorite with locals and visitors who enjoy getting away to quiet, scenic spots. Reservoirs and lakes offer great boating and beaches. Check the Colorado state parks website for updated information.

Iron Horse Bike RaceGot a jeep? Or an ATV or mountain bike? Got feet? Any and all are what you need to follow the trails to high country adventure. Jeeping in the fall is especially rewarding when color is high and the air crisp and cool. If you don’t care to brave the roads yourself, let a pro do it. Take a tour and keep your camera handy! Summer, when mountain temperatures rise and snow melts is the best time for biking and hiking. Several SW Colorado foot races, including the Kendal Mountain Run, Silverton and Imogene, Ouray, as well as numerous bike races test strength and stamina. In the bike race, pictured here, race the train from Durango to Silverton, a 2,000+ foot climb , often in snow!

wildflowersCrested Butte’s Wildflower Festival is an annual favorite as are numerous arts craft and shows and music festivals. Your sure to find something to please every eye and ear here. Those less inclined to Four-wheel on rugged roads enjoy a more leisurely pace in their own vehicles, traveling paved roads and well-groomed trails to view and photograph magnificent scenery including snow-capped mountains, wildflowers and waterfalls and animal life. Related article, Silverton Magazine; “Wildflowers and Waterfalls.”

Orivs Hot SpringsFor a respite after after any adventure, great or small, try one of the area’s soothing hot springs. You’ll find them all over Colorado and the neighboring states. They come in all sizes and some are free. Others, like the posh resort at Pagosa can run you up to $600 a night. A few are hike-in-hike-out, clothing optional. All are comforting.

Red Mountain RV CampgroundRecreation doesn’t have to mean hair-raising, teeth-clenchinig adventure. Consider camping. Take a book or maybe spend time walking or beach-sitting, enjoying fresh air and endless quiet. At night, lie back and look at the stars. Colorado state parks offer campsites and yurts. Senior rates are available. You can also find numerous campgrounds and RV Parks (Camp Colorado) throughout the state. In Silverton, Colo, try Silver Summit or Red Mountain Motel and RV Park. In Ouray County, check out the KOA or Timber Ridge, or camp at the Ridgway State Park.

Left top-bottom: Rafting the Animas ©James Burke; Iron Horse Bicycle Race © Roger Young
Right top-bottom: Lupines at Mt. Wilson near Telluriide ©Kathryn R Burke; Orvis Hot prings Pool, Courtesy Orvis Hot Springs; Red Mountain RV Park, Silverton ©James Burke

References & Additional Links