The Best Day Trips from Denver on a Budget: Hiking and Rock Climbing
Denver, the capital of Colorado, is an American metropolis dating to the Old West era. Larimer Square, the city's oldest block, features landmark 19th-century buildings. Museums include the Denver Art Museum, an ultramodern complex known for its collection of indigenous works, and the mansion of famed Titanic survivor Molly Brown. As an urban center, Denver has come a long way with a growing culinary and arts scene, plus plenty of brewpubs, great parks and cycling trails, and close proximity to spectacular hiking, skiing and camping in the Rocky Mountains. Thanks to a re-urbanization of the city's central core, Denver now has name-worthy neighborhoods with flavors all their own - River North (RiNo) for hipster bars and eye-catching street art, Lower Highlands (LoHi) and South Broadway for great eateries and live music, Cherry Creek for glam, Lower Downtown (LoDo) for upscale restaurants and cocktail lounges as well as the Golden Triangle and Santa Fe for arts, theater and museums. It is also a great place to use as a base for exploring the nearby vistas of the Rocky Mountains. In all, there's a something of interest for just about anybody. With all of these fabulous attributes, Denver is a great place to experience, and there are several options for budget friendly sightseeing and tours from the city.
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This full-day combo tour from Denver encompasses a handful of Colorado highlights, including the magnificent Pikes Peak. Tour the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, then marvel at the ancient sandstone formations at the beautiful Garden of the Gods park. Take in stunning views of the Rocky Mountains from the summit of Pikes Peak, Colorado's most famous and recognizable mountains. Throughout the 10-hour tour, learn about the history and geology of the sites you visit from your friendly guide. To begin this full-day tour, your friendly driver and guide will pick you up at your Denver hotel. Head south in a comfortable coach while learning about Colorado's history and the changing landscape around you. After an approximately 1-hour drive from Denver, arrive at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and enjoy a tour of the incredible academy. Continue driving south through Colorado Springs to arrive at the enchanting Garden of the Gods park and nature center. Your tour comes to dramatic climax at the summit of Pikes Peak, which towers 14,115 feet (4,302 meters) above sea level. Then sit back and relax on the scenic return drive, where you will be dropped off in central Denver at the end of your 10-hour tour.
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Immerse yourself in the magnificent scenery of the Rocky Mountains on this full-day tour from Denver. Some of the most beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains lies just a short drive from Denver. Your full-day tour begins with pickup at your Denver hotel or the centrally located Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Learn about Colorado's cultural and geologic history from your driver-guide on the approximately 1-hour drive west into the mountains. After leaving the city behind, begin climbing up the hairpin curves of Berthoud Pass, which crosses the Continental Divide. On the other side of the pass, you'll be deep in the heart Colorado's mountain country. Stop at the ski resort town of Winter Park to browse local shops, and continue on to the charming town of Grand Lake, where you'll enjoy a café lunch on the shores of Colorado's deepest and largest natural lake. Continue on to enter Rocky Mountain National Park, beloved by locals and visitors alike for its 265,000 acres of pristine mountain landscapes including rugged peaks, alpine meadows and unspoiled lakes. The park has an array of wildlife such as bighorn sheep, elk, moose and black bears, so be sure to keep your camera handy. On the return trip to Denver, enjoy spectacular mountain vistas as you drive across historic Trail Ridge Road, which peaks over timberline at a breathtaking 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) above sea level. Your 10-hour tour concludes with drop-off at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center in the early evening.
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If you've always wanted to try rock climbing, give it a go while scaling the stunning mesa of Colorado's North Table Mountain during a 4-hour introductory climbing course. Enjoy stellar views of Denver and the Front Range while picking up essentials of equipment, safety and technique. No experience is necessary, and an expert instructor will guide you through the basics for a thrilling cliffside ascent. Begin by meeting your instructor at North Table Mountain. This mountain park provides amazing views of downtown Denver and Golden from an elevated mesa. Your professional guide will provide you with all the required technical equipment including climbing shoes, harnesses, and helmets. Then it's off to the cliff. The trail weaves up the side of the mesa, ultimately ending in a breathtaking panorama. You will learn the basics like climbing knots, equipment safety, technique, belaying and more. You will put these skills to the test as you ascend these elevated cliffs. Your instructor will provide photography at no additional charge.
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Head for the hills on a full-day adventure that takes you from Denver to the stunning peaks and Old West boom towns of the Rocky Mountains. Drive up Mt Evans, one of Colorado's highest mountains, and witness the dramatic ranges of the Continental Divide. Along the way, keep an eye out for bison and bighorn sheep, and pass through historic mining towns that preserve the state's rich silver mining legacy. On this tour you will depart from downtown Denver where you will meet your guide and fellow travelers. Your first stop is a visit to one of the best outdoor music venue's on earth, Red Rocks Amphitheater, where music has echoed off the sandstone cliffs for decades. Drive through Morrison on your way up into Bear Creek Canyon and watch the landscape change as you head up into the mountains. Take in sweeping vistas and the clear waters of Echo Lake, as you continue along on your journey. Drive up to the top of Mount Evans for incredible views. There are plenty of opportunities to get out of the car and take pictures. Please note that the guide can turn around anytime if the drive up to the top does not seem safe based on weather or road condition.
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