Colorado Stargazing: Experience the Night

7
 days
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On this trip, you get to visit multiple locations around the state known for their dark skies and jaw-dropping stargazing opportunities — is that Orion's Belt? The towns of Westcliffe, Silver Cliff, La Veta, Cuchara, Creede and Lake City are waiting to greet you with incredible hospitality during the day too.

Sustainability Activity
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Day
1
Activity
Hike Lakes of the Clouds in Westcliffe

This trail offers a breathtaking, moderate approach and views of some of Colorado's most beautiful lakes. Along the hike is a magnificent waterfall, so bring your camera!

Tony's Mountain Pizza in Westcliffe Photo
Lunch
Tony's Mountain Pizza

Family friendly in Westcliffe. Plan your next get-together here. Occasional live entertainment, casual cocktail area. Take out available.

Activity
Bishop Castle
For nearly 60 years, Jim Bishop has been constructing one of the most impressive monuments to perseverance in Colorado. Bishop castle is a monumental…
Dinner
Alpine Lodge & Restaurant
Open year round. Quaint mountain cabins nestled among pines and aspens and bordered by San Isabel National Forest with its famous Rainbow Trail to…
Activity
Smokey Jack Observatory
The Smokey Jack Observatory boasts a retractable roof and a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with computer-guided pointing and tracking to view…
Insider's Tip
See the Colorado's First International Dark-Sky Community

If the observatory is packed, head to DeWeese Reservoir.

Lodging
Dark Skies Vacations
Dark Skies Vacations helps travelers experience amazing views from comfortable vacation homes. During the day explore views of nearby wildlife,…
Day
2
Breakfast
Candy's Coffee

If you're looking for amazing coffee in our tiny town, Candy's is the place to be! More than a coffee shop - Coffee, Tea, Espresso, Gazpacho,…

Activity
Wahatoya State Wildlife Area
The main trail meanders through fields, woods and into a deep arroyo on the south side. There is a by-pass trail for people who prefer not to enter…
Lunch
Charlie's Market
Charlie's has been locally owned and operated in La Veta Colorado since 1937. We are a full-service grocery store with a soda fountain.
Activity
Tour La Veta's Art Galleries

La Veta may be small and laid-back, but it’s also the Spanish Peaks Region's art hub. Galleries featuring local, national and international artists dot the town's quaint Main Street.

Dinner
Alys' Restaurant
Each evening, we offer a delicious selection from our menu choices of lamb, steak, chicken, seafood or vegetarian complemented with fresh vegetables…
Activity
Go Stargazing at Uptop Historic District

Located at the top of La Veta Pass, this district is not only a fantastic place to see the stars but also a place filled with history and several historic buildings are currently being restored.

Lodging
La Veta Inn

This isn't your basic franchise cookie cutter property. Originally built as the La Veta Hotel and featuring the ledger in the lobby dating back to…

Day
3
Breakfast
Ryus Ave Bakery

We are a small-town artisan bakery in the heart of Spanish Peaks Country serving artisan breads, pastries, breakfast and lunch.

Activity
Do the Highway of Legends Audio Tour

Travel beneath the iconic Spanish Peaks on the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway while listening to an audio tour that tells stories of historic cities and towns, former mining camps and even a few ghost towns.

Lunch
Dog Bar & Grill

Long considered the heart and soul of the Cuchara Valley, Dog Bar & Grill is the place to enjoy lunch on the outdoor deck with your favorite…

Activity
Cuchara Mountain Park
The park is roughly 50 acres, mostly at the base of the old ski resort.
Dinner
Alys' Restaurant
Each evening, we offer a delicious selection from our menu choices of lamb, steak, chicken, seafood or vegetarian complemented with fresh vegetables…
Activity
Stargaze at Blue Lake or Bear Lake

Located right next to one another, Blue Lake and Bear Lake Campgrounds offer the best stargazing around. Be amazed by the night sky shimmering off the lake in front of you.

Lodging
Yellow Pine Guest Ranch

Enjoy a trail ride on horseback, flyfishing and delicious barbecue - all without leaving the ranch! Serving families Western hospitality for 87…

Day
4
Breakfast
Paradise Coffee
Family-owned Paradise Coffee was brewed in April 2012. Serving a variety of delicious espresso, lattes and coffees.
Activity
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Because the dunes and surrounding mountains are designated wilderness, this is a great place to enjoy unspoiled natural beauty in a variety of ways…
Activity
Zapata Falls Recreation Area

Cut from the rock face by glaciers and scoured by millennia of rushing water, cold water crashes through a 30 ft. cleft in the rock walls. The…

Dinner
Zapata Ranch

103,000-acre cattle, bison and guest ranch invites you to experience life on a real ranch.

Activity
See the Stars at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

An evening at Great Sand Dunes can include exploring dunes under a full moon, viewing thousands of stars on a clear night, listening for owls along the foothills or observing migrating amphibians on a wet night.

Lodging
Zapata Ranch

103,000-acre cattle, bison and guest ranch invites you to experience life on a real ranch.

Day
5
Breakfast
Zapata Ranch

103,000-acre cattle, bison and guest ranch invites you to experience life on a real ranch.

Activity
Explore Downtown Crestone

Pop into galleries and spiritual centers found throughout town.

Lunch
Elephant Cloud Market

Elephant Cloud is a full service health food store and produce market complete with a cafe. The Cloud Station dishes up a diverse selection of…

Activity
Hike Willow Lake

Strap on your hiking boots for this difficult trail that provides spectacular views in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

Dinner
Elephant Cloud Market

Elephant Cloud is a full service health food store and produce market complete with a cafe. The Cloud Station dishes up a diverse selection of…

Activity
UFO Watchtower
The watchtower is a 10-foot-tall viewing platform that takes advantage of the remote area’s high elevation. Pass the time with your eyes on the sky,…
Insider's Tip
Stargazing

While the platform at the UFO Watchtower was built for spotting UFOs, it's not a bad place to check out the stars on a clear night.

Lodging
Enchanted Forest Accommodations

Enchanted Forest accommodations are perfect for small group retreats, family gatherings, weddings, celebrations, Sacred Ceremonies or simply…

Day
6
Breakfast
Elephant Cloud Market

Elephant Cloud is a full service health food store and produce market complete with a cafe. The Cloud Station dishes up a diverse selection of…

Activity
Underground Mining Museum

Learn about stopeing, what Lymers are, blacksmithing, mucking, blasting and assaying, all underground in the cool heart of the mountain. Twenty…

Lunch
Arp's
Domestic and international comfort food. Full bar. Dine in. Take out. Catering. Eat at Arp's!
Activity
Wheeler Geologic Area

One of the most astounding geologic sites in Colorado, the area is accessed by hiking a 7-mile trail or driving a 14-mile 4WD road.  The 640 acre…

Dinner
Antlers Rio Grande Lodge & Riverside Restaurant
An old-fashioned American vacation destination with modern riverside cabins, rooms, RVs, private fishing and riverside dining.
Activity
Go Stargazing at Love Lake Picnic Site

This picnic site sits on the shore of Love Lake and is a secluded place to check out the stars.

Lodging
4UR Ranch

Tucked into the slender Goose Creek Valley of the San Juan Mountains, this historic Colorado guest ranch truly is "one of Colorado's last perfect…

Day
7
Activity
Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway

Weaves past valleys and peaks in the San Juan Mountains connecting the towns of South Fork, Creede and Lake City and ending at Blue Mesa reservoir…

Lunch
Lake City Cafe

Our menu is a mix of southern style. We have a little something for everyone.

Activity
Spend the Afternoon on the Water

Kayak or stand-up paddleboard your way around Lake San Cristobal. If you need to rent equipment, Sportsman Outdoors is a great local joint.

Dinner
Climb Elevated Eatery

Elevated comfort food and craft cocktails served with attentive, friendly service.

Activity
Go Stargazing at Windy Point Observation Site

An initiative is underway to have a sixty-acre parcel near Lake City designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. In the meantime, you can visit Windy Point Overlook to see all the constellations.

Lodging
G&M Cabins

G&M Cabins is centrally located in downtown Lake City. Our cabins are completely furnished with kitchens, 1 or 2 bedrooms, private baths and cable…