If you’re planning a trip to Colorado, you’re in for a real treat. There are so many different activities to take part in, places to see, things to do, and stories to hear – here are some of the best so you don’t miss out!
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
If looking at strange geological formations made from beautifully colored clay and variations of sand appeals to you, then this is the place for you. More than 9,000 years ago, the ancient Native Americans came to this place to collect clay to be used to make colorful pottery, and this magical area still exists untouched today in El Paso County.
Not only used for pottery though, these magnificent colors would have been applied to the ancient people’s body (and their horses) before going into war. The bizarre stones are found in all different shapes, sizes, and positions which have been formed by nature such as wind and water – this only adds to the character of the area.
If you don’t mind taking a short, but rather steep hike, then you must stop off at the Hanging Lake. It’s 1,000 feet up, and as you climb you will be able to hear the soaring noise of the waterfall hitting the bottom of a crystal clear lake – so clear that you can see the bottom of it. It’s a stunning spot to see, and if you’re still, you will even spot trout swimming around in the bottom of the water as the fall is suspended right off the side of the canyon.
If you like this sort of scenery, there is also another waterfall called Spouting Rock which is just a few hundred yards behind this one. It’s interesting feature? – The water shoots through holes in the canyon walls.
Red Cliff is a small town tucked away in Colorado which was once a mining camp. It now has many fun cross country ski trails that you can venture off on. Or if that is a little too much adrenaline, you can enjoy a ride around with some Colorado Backcountry snowmobile rentals that can take you up around the roads, exploring everything as you go. Not to mention the views that you have of the 14,005 foot Mount of the Holy Cross.
If you enjoy fishing, there are many different natural mountain lakes that aren’t far from Red Cliff either, such as Missouri Lake. It makes the ideal spot if you like to camp out in the great outdoors.
Desert Reef Hot Springs
If you enjoy regular trips to the spa, then this will be right up your street. Created by natural hot water that seeps out from over 1,000 feet underground, these springs are naturally heated from when an oil exploration ended up creating a pool of hot water, providing a magical source of relaxation for fellow travelers. Now the Desert Reef Hot Springs is the place to go for a unique experience with nature and being at one with the Earth. You even have the ‘clothing, optional’ sign, allowing you to really be free in the wild for a while.
Regardless of whether you believe in the existence of aliens is irrelevant. This place has now been made commercially attractive and draws in a lot of travelers.
This area was owned officially by a true believer named Judy Messoline. She set up an observation town as well as a campground and even a gift shop as a way of embracing the extraterrestrial life. She also gives out a free UFO styles frisbee in agreement that she is allowed to film you telling your own story of your UFO sighting experience…
Although slightly… Different, you will be well looked after by the host. She is also an artist and has made many of her own sights like her handmade energy vortexes and healing gardens. You can even get married there!
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Over a long period of time (440,000 years to be exact!) and a lot of heavy gusts of wind, there are sand dunes now as high as 750 feet, which makes them the largest in North America. Other than being absolutely beautiful to look at, the landscape plays out right over the Sangre de Cristo Range, which is a lovely strip rising at the Rocky Mountains.
Like the rises, falls, and entwined waves of the ocean, the Great Sand Dunes have the same structure and flow. The area, no matter how different apart it looks, is merged into one bigger picture. Some say they can see fallen giants, but how you see it may be completely different, so we’ll leave that down to you.
Rainbow Falls is a pretty little waterfall that is hidden away right underneath a modern highway bridge, which seems to make it even more mythical because of its contradicting placement. Having said that, many of the locals call it ‘Graffiti Waterfall’ due to it’s colorfully creative, yet illegal, display of imagination.
The lovely spot will go totally missed unless you’re ‘in’ with locals. The artwork paints the walls of the bridge in a rather bittersweet fashion. While it may now be known for its clever imaginary and vibrant colors – it isn’t legal, and is deemed as vandalism. So really that leaves it open to interpretation. Every now and then cleanups are organised by the city, but that doesn’t stop anything, it just supplies the creatives with a fresh canvas. And although some may see it as off-putting – others see it as being expressive, and that’s now what it’s so famous for, and has become an attraction for photographers… And, artists.
Tiny Town and Railroad
Tiny Town is a miniature village that was first built by George Tuner as a way of entertaining his young daughter. But 5 years down the line, his work has drastically grown so much that it was able to be opened to the public, and still fills people with joy to this day. The town is home to everything that a ‘normal’ town would have, such as a school, a grocery store, and even a few mini lakes to hang out around, as well as the miniature residents living out their miniature lives.