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Why Not a Colorado Vacation?   by Jim Bruce

Have you thought about a Colorado vacation this year? Most people think of winter and skiing when they think of vacationing in Colorado. But, Colorado is known as a summer destination too. During the summer, Colorado blooms with wonderful sites and outdoor adventures. And it's hiking that tops the summer activities in a Colorado vacation.

There are so many things to do and places to see in this centrally located state. Colorado is such a varied destination. You can enjoy the rolling plains on the eastern side of the state, mountains and valleys in central Colorado, and mesas and buttes in the west. In every area, there are hiking trails to get you into the remote places that most people miss from there cars.

Hiking is a family favorite when vacationing in Colorado. There are many easy hikes that don't demand more than a couple of hours to complete. Other hikes can take the whole day, while there are even long-distant, camping hikes you can partake in. It doesn't matter if you're a couch potato, from the city, or an athlete, when you come to Colorado you will want to get out of your car and enjoy the abundance of views that Colorado has to offer.

While hiking in Colorado, you will be able to enjoy seeing a myriad of wildlife and wildflowers. This is what Colorado is noted for in the summer months. There are numerous public lands that make a nature hike possible to your family.

Just to the southwest of Gunnison you will find the Dillon Pinnacles. Here you will find the Blue Mesa Reservoir. This is the largest body of water in the state of Colorado. If hiking is in your Colorado vacation plans, this is a nice area to meet your needs.

Along the shoreline of this reservoir is easily the most scenic hiking you will find for a day trip. The Dillon Pinnacles present a fortress of brown, eroded-rock spires that loom menacing over the lake. The four mile (round trip) hike will take you through sage brush-covered shoreline areas all the way to the foot of these volcanic pinnacles.

If you're looking for a longer day hike and want to view and area that rarely receives attention from Colorado vacationers, you might want to hike through the Missouri Lakes and Missouri Pass region. This valley contains fifteen lakes that are scattered around a high alpine cirque.

Each lake is hidden like an Easter egg waiting to be found behind woods, boulders, and cliff faces. You can hike to the pass atop the valley and gain a splendid view of a sixteenth lake, aptly named the Treasure Vault Lake. The round trip is 9.5 miles and will take you up to 11,904 feet above sea level.

When you're looking for a hiking expedition while on your Colorado vacation, you might want to do a long-distance jaunt. Long distance hikes are intended for the gonzo backpackers. A long-distance trail in Colorado is very strenuous but, because you will be camping along the way, they can be experienced in segments. An example of a hiking expedition is:

The Colorado Trail running 471 miles from Denver to Durango. This epic trail passes though some of Colorado's most impressive scenery. The entire hike takes three months. Most likely you won't have that much time for your Colorado vacation to trek the entire route. Many vacationers only hike certain segments of the trail. They then return to Colorado in other years to complete the trek.

One popular segment is from Waterton Canyon near Denver across Kenosha Pass to U.S. 285. This is a beautiful hike taking you through aspen glades and mountainous areas. The trail rises up from the Animas River Canyon south of Silverton. Numerous waterfalls will be found here along with wildflower-filled meadows. The trail crosses Molas Pass just before its final push to Durango, ending at the Junction Creed trailhead.

The hiker of the Colorado trail will hike to altitudes varying from 5,520 feet to 13,334 feet along its length. Hikers are told to observe the leave-no-trace ethics and take only photographs while leaving no footprints.

Here's a Colorado wildlife fact that may help you plan your Colorado vacation and where to hike: The Bosque Del Oso State Wildlife Refuge is the home of Black Bears, Mountain Lions, Elk, and Wild Turkeys.

Enjoy your Colorado vacation by hiking and viewing the scenery that most people miss from their car. You will love the different parts of the state that you will see while hiking in the tranquil countryside and mountains. You will never regret your Colorado vacation as you will see some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery in North America.

About the Author

Jim Bruce writes about spots to vacation in when travelling to Colorado. You can see more about where to take your Colorado vacation by going to his website at: http://www.coloradotravelexperience.com

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