Situated on Colorado's oldest and one of its most scenic byways, Ward is the ideal Front Range escape. The village is just one highlight along the 55-mile Peak to Peak Byway, just an hour from Denver. Other attractions along the popular circuit include Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest, ghost towns, the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Eldora Mountain ski resort.
The historic town of Ward, like many villages in Colorado, was founded on silver. It was once the richest town in the state. When the railroad reached town and the byway grew as a popular tourist route, Ward became a small center of commerce. Ravaged twice by fires, many of the town's structures were damaged or destroyed. However numerous historic buildings still remain and will make for an interesting self-guided tour.
Today the town is most popular for its surrounding natural wonders. Endless trail networks in the Roosevelt National Forest, including pathways at Brainard Lake, a popular hiking, camping and snowshoeing area, lie just west of the rustic town.
To the east is the historic Gold Lake area. The panoramic views of both the Continental Divide and the flatlands of eastern Colorado, first inspired Araphos, Utes, and other American Indian tribes, who also harvested Gold Lake's lodgepole pine for teepees. Later, in the late 1800s, miners created a gold rush district here, but found no riches. The pristine land has since been used for many retreat centers, but currently operates as the Gold Lake resort and spa. The upscale center offers gourmet dining, spa therapies, scenic lakeside hotpools, and restored cabins.