It’s that time of year again. The temperatures are rising. The tourists are thinning out. Summer is making its approach and for those of us in the Valley who aren’t snowbirds, there’s no alternative except to tough it out. Or is there?
We took a look at the states bordering Arizona and selected our favorite stops. So pull out your frequent flier miles and pack your bags. It’s time for a road trip!
This renowned winter playground is often overlooked in the summer months. But even though the snow is gone, there’s still plenty to do and see in Colorado. Majestic mountains and lush green valleys abound in this state, so hiking and mountain biking opportunities are plentiful. Or you can rent a raft or kayak and navigate the waters of one of the state’s many rivers, such as the Colorado River, Roaring Fork River or Arkansas River. Vail, Aspen and Telluride are all well-known gems of the state, but don’t overlook smaller towns such as Breckenridge, Durango or Crested Butte.
Aspen Paragliding, Aspen
Strap into a harness and paraglide tandem off the slopes of Aspen Mountain. This awe-inspiring flight will take you high above the city of Aspen and its surrounding countryside.
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Aspen Whitewater Rafting, Aspen
Choose from 11 different rafting trips down either the Arkansas or Roaring Fork Rivers. Depending on which trip you choose, a lunch or snack will be served.
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C Lazy U Ranch, Granby
Stay or dine at this authentic dude ranch. Horseback riding, fly fishing, tennis, bicycling and zip line are just a few of the activities available on the ranch grounds.
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Country Boy Gold Mine, Breckenridge
Explore this mine that was built more than 100 years ago. Pan for gold, slide down a 55-foot ore chute or examine original mining equipment, old photos and exhibits that help you discover the past.
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Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango
This railroad has been operating for more than 125 years. Climb aboard for a trip through the canyons of San Juan National Forest to Silverton, an old mining town.
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Fly Fishing on the Blue River, Breckenridge
The Blue River flows through the heart of Breckenridge and is popular among fly fishermen for its rainbow trout, browns and native cutthroat. Check with the town’s local chamber for a list of fly fishing companies that can take you on a guided fly fishing trip.
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Gunfight at the Diamond Belle Saloon, Durango
This staged gunfight is a reenactment of what a gunfight in the 1800s would have looked like. Be sure to step inside the saloon, where employees dress in Victorian Era clothing and the interior is designed similar to the saloons in the old days.
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Gunnison Outdoors, Gunnison/Crested Butte
Make use of this concierge service that helps you book your next adventure. They can set up everything from trail rides, rock climbing, jeep tours, balloon rides, ATV rentals, fishing, hunting and float trips.
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Hiking in Telluride
Telluride has more than 90 trails and historic walks to explore both around town and in the vast terrain of the San Juan Mountains. For a detailed description of the trails, check out the Telluride Hiking Guide for maps and more.
Mesa Verde National Park, Durango
Discover cliff dwellings once called home by ancestral Pueblo tribes from 600 to 1300.
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Nova Guides, Vail
This outdoor adventure company offers whitewater rafting, Jeep and ATV tours, guided fishing trips and mountain biking tours.
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Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen
Ride this gondola 2.5 miles to the summit of Aspen Mountain, where you can then go on a hike, play disc golf, enjoy summer concerts or play a large selection of games with your children.
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Telluride Golf Course, Telluride
Want to improve your game? Play a round at Telluride Golf Course, where your ball will travel greater distance than usual thanks to the region’s thin air, which creates less resistance. The par 70, 18-hole course was designed 9,300 feet above sea level and is surrounded by majestic mountains.
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Trimble Spa and Natural Hot Springs, Durango
While in Colorado, take advantage of one of its natural hot springs, such as this one in Durango. Its two saunas and natural heated mineral-rich hot pool provide the ultimate in therapeutic relaxation. Or choose from among more than 20 massage and body treatments.
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Stay tuned for the rest of this Summer Getaways series.
Next stop? Nevada!
Missed the other parts of the Summer Getaways series?
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