The Park County towns of Fairplay, Bailey and Lake George are packed with scenic vistas, meandering streams and placid rivers, historic sites and friendly places to eat and commune with the locals.
A few tips:
• Prime leaf-peeping is in September
• Check restaurant schedules, as some are closed in the winter or during weekdays
• Visit natural areas during the week to get some alone time with nature
The South Park National Heritage Area frequently seeks volunteers to help with their geo-tour maintenance and other projects.
This moderate hike within the park is an excellent route for spotting elk on the way to the waterfalls. Pack plenty of water and energy — it's 10 miles long round trip! Learn more >>
Riverbend is the perfect spot to wind down the day with dessert and a cocktail.
This 1.5-mile hike runs beside ancient pine trees gnarled and twisted by mountain livin'.
Drive through the stunning Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area. The dirt road used to be a railroad bed and runs under a canopy of large shade trees.
Mountain River Lodge is the ideal stop for the evening. Their scenic patio awaits grilling enthusiasts for alfresco dining, providing gas and charcoal grills and a fully stocked food-prep area. Once you're done savoring dinner, gather round to fire roast some s'mores before grabbing a room at the lodge for the night.
Have your lunch in the Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area.