Perfect Colorado Activity Pairings
Perhaps it's because of our "more is more" mentality, but we assume that certain things are always better together. So we've scoured Colorado for our favorite power pairings: bikes and craft breweries, hikes and hot springs, and wildflowers and wine, to name a few.
Colorado Hiking & Hot Springs
Few things compare to soaking in an outdoor hot springs after a long hike. And, fortunately for us all, Colorado's geography appears to agree. Natural hot springs may be found all around the state, with paths to suit all types of hikers.
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Make the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort your home base and proceed to the Narrow Gauge Trail if you prefer to relax rather than thrill. This pleasant 7.2-mile out-and-back track winds along the north side of Chalk Creek and climbs steadily through the forest, just a few miles from the resort.
Back at the resort, there are a variety of pools to choose from, including enormous exercise and relaxation pools, tiny Japanese-style cascading pools, and even a 400-foot water slide.
Mount Princeton Hot Springs ResortMount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, County Road 162, Nathrop, CO, USA
Piedra River Hot Spring
Piedra River Hot Springs, near the quaint southern hamlet of Pagosa Springs, is one of Colorado's most rustic natural soaks. This is a picnic-must, clothing-maybe type of place, thanks to the secluded, ultra-private environment. So, after packing your lunch in town, take U.S. 160 southwest to First Fork Road, then continue on to Sheep Creek Trailhead. The springs, which are primitive rock ponds weaved into the Piedra River, are a moderate 3-mile round-trip climb. Locals' tip: You don't have to be afraid to go naked; only the marmots and mule deer will notice.
Piedra River Hot SpringsPiedra River Hot Springs, Colorado, USA
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Strawberry Park Hot Springs, tucked away in a quiet conifer grove just outside of Steamboat Springs, is equally rustic — but on a grander scale. Turn right on Elk River Road from Highway 40, then follow the difficult Mad Creek Trail (4.5 steep miles round-trip) to the springs via trembling aspens and wildflower-painted meadows. With sculpted rock walls and waterfalls separating the wide, sandy-bottomed pools, the facilities appear enriched rather than engineered.
Strawberry Park Natural Hot SpringsStrawberry Park Natural Hot Springs, County Road 36, Steamboat Springs, CO, USA
Colorado Biking & Breweries
We have plenty of ways to gear up for beer, whether you're a seasoned centurion or a single-speed type.
If you prefer peaceful, guided excursions, try Fort Collins' Beer & Bike Tours, a locally owned and operated company that will give you an insider's perspective on the greatest drinking places in this busy college town. Each four-hour tour includes stops at three local breweries, including New Belgium, Odell Brewing Co., Horse & Dragon, and Funkwerks, for a total of 3 to 6 miles of pleasant riding. A basket for growlers and other goodies is included with your cruiser.
Fort CollinsFort Collins, CO, USA
Boulder looks much better from the back of a bike, and you won't even need your own wheels thanks to the city's B-Cycle program. For $8, you may hire or return one of these durable townie-style bikes for 24 hours at one of the city's 30-plus kiosks. Begin your self-guided tour on Pearl Street in downtown. All of West Flanders, Shine, and Mountain Sun are easily accessible. Upslope and the Wild Provisions Beer Project are within shouting distance of an easterly stroll down the picturesque Boulder Creek Path. Are you tuckered out? Back in the city, take the bike-friendly Jump bus.
BoulderBoulder, CO, USA
Carbondale to snowmass
Experienced cyclists seeking for a scenic ride should begin in Carbondale with a carbo-load at Carbondale Beer Works, which is just a few blocks from the Rio Grande Trail, and then go north. You may enjoy local brews at Capitol Creek Brewery in Basalt or continue on to Snowmass Village for a visit to the New Belgium Ranger Station as the lovely, paved trail winds its way down the river. Pick up a leisurely side route from the village to the famed Woody Creek Tavern, which was a longtime hangout of Hunter S. Thompson, or continue north to the Aspen Brewing Company. You're not up for a 30-mile ascent? Take the bus to the top and then relax as you go down the beautiful valley.
CarbondaleCarbondale, CO, USA
Colorado Wildflowers & Wine
Colorado's wine grape-growing conditions, it turns out, are also great for our most popular uncultivated crop: wildflowers. Bring them together for a sensual, enticing combination.
The Wildflower Festival (July 8–17, 2022) and the Wine & Food Festival (July 20–23, 2022) are held in the tiny town of Crested Butte in July. Hikes, 4x4 tours, and lessons in everything from painting and photography to edibles and medicinals are available for flower enthusiasts throughout the entire week. Foodies and wine connoisseurs can spend four days sampling and learning about more than 250 top-tier wines from across the world.
Crested ButteCrested Butte, CO, USA
Though it's best known for its exquisite peaches, Palisade is also pleased to be in the center of wine country — and the home of the Colorado Lavender Festival (June 24–26, 2022). Tours of local gardens and lavender farms are combined with hands-on learning opportunities given by local craftsmen and lavender-inspired dinners at this fragrant weekend fête. Visitors to the festival can stay at the Spoke and Vine Motel, which offers easy access to the area's many vineyards as well as warm Western Slope hospitality.
PalisadePalisade, CO, USA
North Fork Valley
The serene North Fork Valley in Colorado is a refuge for wildflowers and wine, with the extra benefit of being off the main road. The lasso-shaped West Elk Loop beautiful and historic byway stretches for 205 miles and is dotted with vivid, flower-filled meadows and interesting historic sites. But wine enthusiasts will be particularly interested in the West Elks AVA, which connects Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Cedaredge. A dozen boutique wineries produce exceptional riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot gris, and chardonnay varietals in this scenic, high-elevation region. Although not all of them have designated tasting rooms, most will accommodate a private tour if you contact beforehand.
North Fork Valley Creative CoalitionNorth Fork Valley Creative Coalition, Grand Avenue, Paonia, CO, USA
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