2020 Bucket List Travel
See what Colorado has to offer this year
It’s a new year and a new season and it is time to start planning 2020 travel. Whether you hop on a plane to reach your destination or simply get in the car and drive, Colorado has a lot to offer the adventurous traveler including four national parks and 41 state parks.
Yurt at Cameron Pass. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.
Currently, six of Colorado’s state parks have yurts available to rent. From Ridgway State Park to Golden State Canyon less than an hour from Denver, yurts are available.
Whether you want to ski in or drive up, there are a variety of types of yurts to choose from. Yurt Village at Snow Mountain Ranch offers a community bathhouse and outdoor fire pits and picnic tables. Plus, at Snow Mountain Ranch there’s everything from frisbee golf to horseback riding. This is yurting in true family-friendly style.
Never Summer Nordic North Park Yurts. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.
For a more remote stay that still has vehicle access, try one of the three Never Summer Nordic Yurts near Cameron Pass. Often dog-friendly, yurting takes camping to another level of comfort.
Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.
A lot of bucket lists include train travel and it is an activity that should be on yours. Colorado has several scenic trains such as the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad along the southern border with New Mexico and the famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
If you’d rather ride a train with destination, board the Winter Park Express, better known as the Ski Train. Running from January through March, not only is this a more relaxing way to travel than Interstate 70, it’s a fun experience.
Also run by Amtrak and starting at Denver’s Union Station, the California Zephyr to Glenwood Springs and back is a trip that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Who knows, once you’ve taken this route to Glenwood Springs for the weekend, you may not want to take any other.
The Springs, Pagosa Springs. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.
If I am going to visit a hot springs destination, it’s a real luxury to be able to stay at the site. There are a few places in Colorado where this is available including The Springs in Pagosa Springs.
This hot springs venue provides lodging that includes 24 hours access to the soaking pools. Relaxation Terrace at The Springs is one of the most idyllic spots in all of Colorado and soaking here as the sun rises only increases its charm.
Sunrise after the snow at Avalanche Ranch near Carbondale, CO. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.
Enjoy a much more rustic stay at Avalanche Ranch Cabins & Hot Springs. Choose to holiday in a historic cabin, one of three wagons or a tiny home. A sojourn here comes with a soak in one of their naturally fed hot springs pools.
Being at Redstone Castle feels much like living at Downton Abbey, and who wouldn’t want to be the Countess of Redstone for a couple of days?
Perhaps one of the most unique stays on this list, while you can simply take a tour without booking a suite, I’d encourage you to spend a night or two at the castle. A vacation here comes with a story no matter if you book the Roosevelt Suite where the man himself stayed or the Octagon Suite which features an 8-sided sitting room.
Redstone Castle, The Sunshine Suite. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.
Built as Cleveholm Manor in the late 1800s, these castle walls have welcomed dignitaries from around the globe. Today, there are seven suites in the main house and a stay includes an afternoon managers reception in the sunroom followed by a tour, plus a scrumptious breakfast.
Sunset at Redstone Castle. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.
Twenty minutes to Carbondale or an hour to Aspen, Redstone is tucked into its own corner of Rocky Mountain paradise. There are more than 150 acres along the Crystal River here and a walk down Lovers Lane is a must and so is a visit to the riverside gazebo.