The Colorado aspens are glowing atop the world’s largest flat-top mountain, the Grand Mesa. The bright yellow canopy and glistening white trunks accent multi-colored sandstone canyons, dark blue spruce forests and more than 300 lakes. Cedaredge is the gateway town to the Grand Mesa and celebrates the bounty of the Surface Creek Valley each fall with its eagerly anticipated Applefest.
Most folks traveling from the east in the 1800s ended up at the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado – unless they were hunting gold or trying to make it to the West Coast.
The Rocky Mountains are indeed a formidable travel obstacle; Pikes Peak is one of 53 mountains that stand taller than 14,000 feet. The lowest point in Colorado is higher than the highest point in 18 states. When Route 66 -the Mother Road- was being planned from Chicago to Los Angeles, it rolled due south away from Lake Michigan so motorists could avoid the Colorado highlands altogether.
RV Trip Itinerararies
Today, RVers can explore Colorado and poke into all the corners of the Centennial State – founded in the 100th anniversary of America’s birth in 1876. In Colorado, you’ll find the Black Canyon where the Gunnison River makes one of the steepest plunges on the continent. There’s also the high desert landscapes of the Colorado National Monument, and the earth’s tallest sand structures in the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
At the Royal Gorge, the Arkansas River has cut a narrow canyon more than 1,200 feet deep that is spanned by one of the world’s highest suspension bridges near Canon City. It was THE highest for more than 70 years. The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad train-ride through the gorge stands as testament to man’s doggedness to travel through Colorado. Even those old mining towns like Leadville and Silverton now place prominently on RV itineraries.
Denver and Colorado Springs
Before travelers descended on Colorado, there were the red rocks that gave the state its Spanish-influenced name. The sandstone formations of Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver have hosted concerts for more than 100 years. Near Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a wonderland of spires and exquisitely shaped rock formations carved by the winds and the moisture, while the five Flatirons in Boulder have been adopted as state symbols.