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Denver/Colorado springs/Breckinridge/Estes 1st timer

ny
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14 posts
1 review
Denver/Colorado springs/Breckinridge/Estes 1st timer
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Hi my husband and I will be traveling with another couple to Denver for the first time. Last minute. We will be there from sept 4-10th. Looking for help with an itinerary. Flying into Denver and renting a car. Should we go immediately to Colorado Springs.? Want to see pikes peak and garden of gods. And thinking of then going to Breckinridge(wanted to see a mountain town) , then black hawk for a night of gambling, followed by Estes and the back to Denver for a night. Is this possible with the amount of time I have and was looking for suggestions on my route and how many days I might need in each. I know I’ll just be scratching the surface. But was hoping this would be doable. Any suggestions would be welcome. Even if they are different from what I have. Thanks so much. Also any suggested activities in any of these places. We are active but not looking for any hard hikes. Just want to sight see mostly

5 replies to this topic
Fort Collins...
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for Rocky Mountain National Park
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1. Re: Denver/Colorado springs/Breckinridge/Estes 1st timer
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A couple things to keep in mind - you want to have at least an overnight in Colorado to acclimate to the altitude before going to the top of Pikes Peak so you don’t get altitude sickness.

RMNP is requiring reservations this year and you are late for getting them for September. https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/timed-entry-permit-system.htm More info: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143048-i3489-k13591419-Timed_Entry_FAQ_s_and_Explaining_Bear_Lake_Corridor-Rocky_Mountain_National_Park_Colorado.html

Colorado Springs...
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2. Re: Denver/Colorado springs/Breckinridge/Estes 1st timer
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Yes, Galxe make a good point. You'll need to secure RMNP entry to plan the rest of your trip.

In Colorado Springs, you'd probably spend 2 -3 hours in GOG and 4 hrs doing Pikes Peak via the cog railway. The cog needs reservations.

Pikes Peak should be done on day 2.

You could easily spend another full day exploring the Broadmoor area ( 7 falls, the zoo, and N. Cheyenne Canyon).

Consider Cripple Creek for your gambling town. It would not be too far out of the way for Breck. There's Colorado Wolf & Wildlife in route (reservations for a short tour).

Edited: 25 August 2021, 18:14
Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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3. Re: Denver/Colorado springs/Breckinridge/Estes 1st timer
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Making a loop of your trip is more scenic and more efficient. The loop is DIA - Colorado Springs - Breckenridge - RMNP Trail Ridge Road - Estes Park - Peak to Peak Scenic Byway - Black Hawk - DIA. Here is the map. Avoid the E-470 toll road from DIA as shown. You can make this loop in either direction.

https://goo.gl/maps/mmhZQCheuFXmSGhdA

If you are at the RMNP Grand Lake Entrance before 9 am, you can drive and explore the many overlooks and short trails along Trail Ridge Road without a timed entry permit. That means leaving Breckenridge by around 6:30 am. If you are not really a hiker, driving and exploring Trail Ridge Road may be all you want to do in RMNP. If you reverse the loop, Estes Park is literally adjacent to the east side of RMNP. You can be at the RMNP Fall River Entrance Station from almost any lodging in town in 20 minutes or less. I would be there no later than 8 am because you may have to wait in line. Again, you do not need a timed entry permit to drive and explore Trail Ridge Road provided you get to the entrance station prior to 9 am.

ny
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4. Re: Denver/Colorado springs/Breckinridge/Estes 1st timer
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Quick question. Which timed entry would I need to access trail ridge road. I see one of the passes excludes bear lake. So I just want to make sure I get the right one. Thank you

Fort Collins...
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for Rocky Mountain National Park
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5. Re: Denver/Colorado springs/Breckinridge/Estes 1st timer
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Trail Ridge Road would be the pass that is for the rest of the park, excluding the Bear Lake Corridor. Or as fv said, you can also access Trail Ridge Road without a reservation prior to 9:00 am or after 3:00 pm. See the last link in reply #1, which explains all the details.

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