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Colorado Stargazing: Experience the Night

Colorado Stargazing: Experience the Night
7 days

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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Sustainability Activity
Day 1
Activity

Hike Lakes of the Clouds in Westcliffe

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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!
Lunch

Tony's Mountain Pizza

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

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Activity

Bishop Castle

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For nearly 60 years, Jim Bishop has been constructing one of the most impressive monuments to perseverance in Colorado. Bishop castle is a monumental statue in stone and iron. Read More
Dinner

Alpine Lodge & Restaurant

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Open year round. Quaint mountain cabins nestled among pines and aspens and bordered by San Isabel National Forest with its famous Rainbow Trail to the high country. Two-bedroom cabins sleep 2-4,... Read More
Activity

Smokey Jack Observatory

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The Smokey Jack Observatory boasts a retractable roof and a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with computer-guided pointing and tracking to view the majestic night sky. Attend one of the free... Read More

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

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Dark Skies Vacations helps travelers experience amazing views from comfortable vacation homes. During the day explore views of nearby wildlife, verdant grassland valleys, rolling hills and the... Read More
Day 2
Breakfast

Candy's Coffee

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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, Veggie Sandwiches, Paninis, Smoothies

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Activity

Wahatoya State Wildlife Area

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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 the arroyo. The trail follows a berm on the north... Read More
Lunch

Charlie's Market

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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. Read More
Activity

Tour La Veta's Art Galleries

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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

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Each evening, we offer a delicious selection from our menu choices of lamb, steak, chicken, seafood or vegetarian complemented with fresh vegetables and potato, rice or pasta, along with soup or... Read More
Activity

Go Stargazing at Uptop Historic District

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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

Inn at the Spanish Peaks

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The Inn at the Spanish Peaks B&B has three guest suites all with private baths and private decks which have spectacular views of the beautiful mountains that grace this unique area. Read More
Day 3
Breakfast

Ryus Ave Bakery

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

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Activity

Do the Highway of Legends Audio Tour

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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

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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 canine or a casual dine-in evening for dinner and... Read More

Activity

Cuchara Mountain Park

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The park is roughly 50 acres, mostly at the base of the old ski resort. Read More
Dinner

The Timbers Restaurant and Gallery

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The Timbers is an upscale mountain restaurant. Specializing in made-from-scratch items and we use locally grown and organic foods when available. If you have special dietary needs we can usually... Read More

Activity

Stargaze at Blue Lake or Bear Lake

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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

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

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Day 4
Breakfast

Paradise Coffee

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Family-owned Paradise Coffee was brewed in April 2012. Serving a variety of delicious espresso, lattes and coffees. Read More
Activity

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

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Because the dunes and surrounding mountains are designated wilderness, this is a great place to enjoy unspoiled natural beauty in a variety of ways. Whether you play in Medano Creek, build a sand... Read More
Lunch

Great Sand Dunes Oasis

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The Oasis Restaurant and Store, located at the main park entrance, is the only restaurant within 25 miles of the national park. The Oasis is open April through October. Read More
Activity

Zapata Falls Recreation Area

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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 falls are a half-mile hike from the parking area,... Read More

Dinner

Zapata Ranch

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

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Activity

See the Stars at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

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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

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

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Day 5
Breakfast

Zapata Ranch

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

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Activity

Explore Downtown Crestone

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Pop into galleries and spiritual centers found throughout town.
Lunch

Elephant Cloud Market

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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 breakfast and lunch items as well as freshly... Read More

Activity

Hike Willow Lake

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

Crestone Brewing Co

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Crestone Brewing Co. is a nano brewpub in the amazing and mysterious San Luis Valley, serving up delicious locally sourced food and craft beverages. Our culinary experts love working with all of... Read More
Activity

UFO Watchtower

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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, checking out the Healing Garden or even camping... Read More

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

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Enchanted Forest accommodations are perfect for small group retreats, family gatherings, weddings, celebrations, Sacred Ceremonies or simply private individual get-a-ways. A magically enchanting... Read More

Day 6
Breakfast

Elephant Cloud Market

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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 breakfast and lunch items as well as freshly... Read More

Activity

Underground Mining Museum

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Learn about stopeing, what Lymers are, blacksmithing, mucking, blasting and assaying, all underground in the cool heart of the mountain. Twenty-two displays show how mining was done in Creede... Read More

Lunch

Arp's

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Domestic and international comfort food. Full bar. Dine in. Take out. Catering. Eat at Arp's! Read More
Activity

Wheeler Geologic Area

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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 area is filled with ghostly spires and flowing... Read More

Dinner

Antlers Rio Grande Lodge & Riverside Restaurant

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An old-fashioned American vacation destination with modern riverside cabins, rooms, RVs, private fishing and riverside dining. Read More
Activity

Go Stargazing at Love Lake Picnic Site

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

4UR Ranch

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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 places." Within its 3000 acres wind 6 miles of... Read More

Day 7
Breakfast

MJ's Cafe

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Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at this local spot in Creede. Read More
Activity

Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway

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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. Encounter astounding geological formations,... Read More

Lunch

Lake City Cafe

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

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Activity

Spend the Afternoon on the Water

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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

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

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Activity

Go Stargazing at Windy Point Observation Site

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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

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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 TV. FREE WI-FI.  No smoking in cabins and no... Read More