We partnered with Real Simple magazine to help you find your ideal sophisticated Rocky Mountain adventure. If you picture truly getting away from it all and getting a dose of nature, the image isn’t always easy-going. Traditional camping is rewarding but taxing (pitching a tent in the rain?!), and at times it can be alluring to think about roughing it while still coming back to some semblance of comfortable digs at the end of the day.
Enter: glamping, where you can surround yourself with nature and have all your needs tended to as well. Colorado is chock full of top-notch glamping destinations, so we’ve curated some of the best ones with an itinerary that weaves through the Rocky Mountains and helps you experience the state’s natural beauty and unparalleled hospitality, all in one package.
Rise and shine in Denver with a bountiful brunch at Snooze: an A.M Eatery from its enormous menu that spans much of the breakfast spectrum, from pineapple upside-down pancakes and breakfast pot pie to spring vegetable frittatas.
Peruse Denver’s oldest block (essentially where the city was founded), while shopping and sipping on local coffee.
You won’t be disappointed by the Heirloom Tomato Salad, made with Colorado very own Palisade Peaches.
All that fuel should give you the energy to tackle the trails of Golden Gate Canyon State Park, where lush alpine woods provide ample opportunity to experience what’s known in Japan as “shinrin yoku,” or forest immersion. After completing a hike (there are over 36 miles of trails, so you have some options).
Head up to Greeley to chow down on thin-crust pizza at Bulldog Pub & Grub and sample a local beer at WeldWerks Brewing Co. to wind down the day.
Make the 1.5-hour drive to Estes Park for your lodgings.
Once you’ve completed your fabric masterpiece, build a sandwich masterpiece at Scratch Deli and Bakery — but don’t eat it yet! You’re saving it for a picnic atop nearby Prospect Mountain.
Go through the park and make your way to your next stop: the town of Wolcott, where the glamping wonderland of Collective Retreats Vail is ready to ply you with a farm-to-table dinner of chicken roulade and tartare, s’mores over an open fire.
This spot has some of the most luxurious tents this side of the Mississippi — think king-size beds and chandeliers, as well as bath amenities.
On day three, the folks at Collective Retreats Vail come through AGAIN with a delicious à la carte breakfast, including options ranging from homemade granola parfaits to breakfast burritos.
Collective Retreats will organize a horseback ride through the surrounding countryside (for both beginners and experienced riders), where you’ll see breathtaking views of the Sawatch Range. Return to camp for a picnic lunch with your choice of sandwich or salad preparations of delicious lamb BLT, flank steak and more. Finally, squeeze the last drop out of your stay by treating yourself to an in-tent Swedish or deep-tissue massage.
Grab a burger on the patio and lounge by the fire pit at 8 Mile Bar & Grill and sip on a wide selection of Colorado crafted beers on tap as you soak in the stunning mountain scenery.
Once you’ve checked out of Collective Retreats as a more relaxed and limber version of yourself, cruise on down to Cañon City to check in at your final lodging paradise, Royal Gorge Cabins.
And hey, you’re on vacation, so why not attend a wine tasting at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey before your return trip? After all, you were kinda roughing it on this vacation. But only kinda.