Visiting a Volcano

We finally paid this unique and scenic place a personal visit!

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Entrance to Capulin Volcano National Monument at Capulin, NM

Over the past five years, we have traveled regularly to northeast New Mexico in the summer to escape the heat at home a bit.  However, on our drives to and from the area, we have never had time to stop at a rather prominent national monument along the way.  We have always enjoyed seeing it as we drove by and always remarked that we needed to make the time for a quick visit in the future.  So, on our week-long trip to the area back in early September by ourselves, we finally decided to take a little time to make the short drive from our route to check it out in person.

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Our view of Capulin Volcano National Monument back in July while driving Highway 87 from Clayton to Raton.  After some recent rains, the area was beautifully green.  We couldn’t stop for a visit then, but two months later, we did!

Capulin Volcano National Monument is definitely worth a quick (or even longer) visit when driving on Highway 87 between Clayton and Raton.  Since we started visiting this area each summer a few years ago, I have truly loved the beautiful and unique scenery in this remote area that is comprised of extinct volcanoes and grasslands because is it so unique, unlike any other area we have visited.

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Highway 87 cuts across the Raton-Clayton volcano field, and Capulin Volcano is actually one of the youngest cones in this area, listed as *probably* extinct, which I find a little fascinating.  It last erupted 56,000 to 62,000 years ago, and there are about 125 cinder cones in this field.  If this area in northeast New Mexico has been blessed with good rains, this entire area is truly a spectacular sight to see, but I find it spectacular pretty much every time we make the trip, it seems.

Our side trip to the monument only took us a little over an hour, but it was an hour well-spent just to drive up the volcano to see the amazing views.

 

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Visitor center and gift shop

 

 

 

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Wildflowers were in abundance

 

The visitor center sits at the base of the volcano and has a small gift shop where we bought our traditional souvenirs when visiting state and national parks, a magnet for me and a hiking stick medallion for Hubby.  His wooden hiking stick, made from an old broom handle that his father had, is really an impressive thing now.  He did such a great job staining it and adding some thin green rope accents, and it is displays his many medallions in a most impressive way.  He used to use it as his regular hiking stick, but now, it is primarily a display piece in our RV.  My magnets just sit on our refrigerator at home, not nearly as impressive, but I enjoy seeing them everyday and letting them remind me of so many beautiful places and fond memories.

 

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View of the visitor center (and our RV) from the parking area at the top

 

After parking the RV in the visitor center parking lot, we loaded up in the car with the dogs for the drive up the volcano.  The drive to the upper lot was not a long one, but it was pretty curvy in parts while also offering some great views, at least for the passengers.  😉

 

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Starting our drive up the volcano
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Curvy road on the drive up

 

Even though the park allows some folks to drive their RVs to the top, after stopping two-way traffic on both ends to allow the RV sufficient room to make the drive up and back down, there is absolutely no way we could recommend anyone doing that!  The parking lot at the top has very little room for cars, much less RVs.  Just leave the RV in the lot at the bottom and drive the car to the top… and save some aggravation to others by not inconveniencing them on their own drives up and down the volcano.

 

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Small parking area at the top

 

We were slightly disappointed that the parking lot at the top wasn’t actually very close to the top of the volcano, as we hoped it would be.  It was still a pretty steep hike on a long sidewalk to the top of the volcano, and we couldn’t take the dogs along on any trails up there.  I walked up the very steep sidewalk just a bit to grab a few photos, but it wasn’t a good plan to go too far, since I was wearing my flip flops.

Nevertheless, the views of the extinct volcanoes in every direction from this vantage point were fabulous!  Taking in the views of the area while driving on Highway 87 is great, but taking a little time to see these ancient volcanoes from on high was even better.

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I’m glad we finally made this little side trip to see Capulin Volcano, and I certainly encourage others to do the same when in this area.  (Just leave the RV at the visitor center.)  The views are spectacular, especially on a clear day.

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There is also a small, privately-owned RV park (Good Sam rated) nearby in Capulin just a few miles away, that would probably be nice for a night or two.

Also, be sure to check the park hours of operation before planning your visit, as they shorten their operating hours at the park in the off season.

More information on the magnificent ancient volcanoes of northeast New Mexico

More great views, including aerial views, of Capulin Volcano

We certainly enjoyed our nice vacation week in northern New Mexico and the Enchanted Circle, but it’s always good to come home again, too.  After all, there’s no place like home and our always magnificent sunsets.

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Home Sweet Home on the plains

Our own personal “summer” of RV travel was finally beginning after our long, hot actual summer months at home, and little did we know how much fun we would have on our shorter trips in the coming weeks with a family member, with some friends and also on our own.  More to come.

Heading West

Mostly, I want to encourage you to just drive from Alpine to Fort Davis to Balmorhea, as it is some of the prettiest and most unique scenery in the state.

West Texas Route

I just put this suggested itinerary together for a fellow RVer who was interested in a possible alternate route as they are planning to leave south Texas soon, but thought I would also share it here for others as well.

I have nothing against I-10 once you leave Kerrville headed west, but there is really nothing all that special to see on the way either.   If taking I-10, though, I recommend a stop at South Llano River State Park for a night or two.  It is a small but very scenic state park on the Llano River and is quite popular for RVers.  If you have the time and take I-10, stopping in Fredericksburg would be nice.  The Nimitz Museum and Becker Vineyards are great places to visit.  Becker is a few miles outside of town.  Fredericksburg is just a neat place.

Here is the route I would personally take, though.  (Additional information: If you plug the route in from Harlingen to El Paso, Google Maps will show about a five hour time savings by taking I-10 vs the route I shared.  However, there is a good stretch of I-10 leaving the hill country and into far West Texas that is 80 mph on I-10.  No RVer is going to drive that fast, I hope, so there really is not that much time savings by taking I-10.  It’s great if you’re driving a car, though, and as far as interstates go, it is pretty nice, although remote.)

Garner State Park – one of the oldest and most scenic state parks we have visited in Texas, on the beautiful Frio River.  Just avoid it on the weekends, if possible, especially in the summer months.  It is extremely popular on weekends but very nice any other time.  We camped right on the river, and I am more than ready to go back there again.  Lost Maples State Natural Area is nearby, but I don’t recommend driving a large rig there from Garner.  It is akin to driving over a steep mountain pass on a two lane road with no shoulder.  Just take your car over from Garner instead, if you have time to drive over there.  Garner is one of the few state parks that allows winter Texans in the winter months because it is a huge park as far as RV sites, and visitation is much lower in the winter.

Amistad Reservoir and National Recreation Site – this is still on our “to visit” list, but since it is on the way to the mountains of far West Texas, it would be a nice stop.  There are boon-docking sites in the national recreation area or RV parks in town nearby.

Late addition: Seminole Canyon State Park –  Mona Lisa of The Lowe’s RV Adventures also recommends a stop at Seminole Canyon State Park on this route, too.  I have not yet visited this unique park, which is located west of Amistad Reservoir, but she highly recommends it and enjoyed their visit there recently.  She recommends camping here instead of Amistad, too.  Thanks for that recommendation!

Alpine – The Museum of the Big Bend – yet another place on our “to visit” list after we visited Alpine on our most recent trip to the area.  There are also several RV parks in town, but I recommend heading on to the state park in Fort Davis to camp, if possible.  This is a good place to refresh groceries, gas, etc., too.  Far West Texas is a remote place.

Mostly, I want to encourage you to just drive from Alpine to Fort Davis to Balmorhea, as it is some of the prettiest and most unique scenery in the state.  You will be just fine in a large rig, as it is good two-lane road the entire way.  Please don’t drive this as night and miss this pretty scenery.  Watch out for “suicide pigs” – javelina that sometimes can be found on the road in morning and evening hours.

Note: While not on this route, the eclectic little town of Marfa is a very popular tourist destination these days, and the official Marfa Lights viewing platform is located on this same highway between Alpine and Marfa.  Marfa may or may not be for you, though, so before traveling there, just do a little research ahead of time.  Prada Marfa is also much further out past Valentine and probably not worth the long drive there and back.  But, if you should continue directly on this highway to Van Horn and El Paso, you will see these sights.  I highly recommend taking the scenic drive listed above from Alpine to Fort Davis to Balmorhea instead.  The drive between Marfa and Fort Davis is just not as scenic.

Davis Mountains State Park – obviously one of our favorite places to visit each year in any season!  50 amp sites are highly coveted but the 30 amp sites are also nice and are often available when the 50 amp sites are booked.  We have stayed in both.  Fort Davis National Historic Site, 75 Mile Scenic Loop, McDonald Observatory, the neat little town of Fort Davis, the historic Indian Lodge (built by the CCC), and the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center are just some of the things to see here.  The 75 miles scenic loop is especially impressive.  Bird watching and hiking are big activities here, but it is also just a beautiful place, even in the RV sites.  In town, there is a decent grocery store where you can also buy gas.

Balmorhea State Park – a nice place to camp or to just make a quick stopover to see the world’s largest (and very historic) spring-fed pool, built by the CCC.  Only 45 minutes from Fort Davis.  There is one nice convenience store for gas.  Recommend having a full tank when you leave Fort Davis or Balmorhea headed west.

Cattleman’s Restaurant – on the way to El Paso, one of the most memorable places we have ever dined.  I remember the views are just extraordinary at sunset.  It is about 30-45 minutes east of El Paso, just off of I-10.  It’s been quite a while since we’ve dined here, but I believe it is still as good as ever.

White Sands National Monument – if you’ve never been here, it is a must see at least once!  I can’t help with a recommendation as to where to park the RV, though, since we have not RV camped in this area.

We have spent a lot of time in the Ruidoso – Cloudcroft – Alamogordo area (especially Ruidoso) and have RV camped in the national forest at Cloudcroft.  If you have more time in this area, it’s a great area to visit and spend some time.  You cannot drive the RV directly between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft, unfortunately.  There is another way to get there that circles up closer to Ruidoso, then cuts back into Cloudcroft.  You can drive a car directly between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft, though, and it is a great drive as long as your brakes are in good shape.

Of course, diverting down into Big Bend National Park is certainly another possible addition, if time permits.  Driving Big Bend is a great road trip in the car, and you could leave the RV in Marathon, Alpine or Fort Davis for the day and take a picnic lunch along.  We’ve considered doing that many times while in Fort Davis and will probably do it at some point ourselves again, hopefully soon.  Big Bend is just an amazing place.

Hope this helps, if you’re interested in possibly taking a more scenic route west and seeing some great sights!

D
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Driving Peak to Peak

On Sunday, the second day of our Colorado Rocky Mountain adventure over Labor Day weekend, we retraced some of our drive from the previous day as we headed toward Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time.

Side note: Thankfully, we had a gas station with a car wash next to our hotel, and we took that opportunity to finally wash the car before beginning our scenic drive for the day.  Our entire rental car experience is another story about this trip, and perhaps I will share that after my trip posts are done.  Let’s just say that one particular car rental agency at the Denver airport has some serious issues that someone needs to address… quickly… as this was, by far, the worst rental car experience we have ever had, and the condition of our car unfortunately impacted part of the drive we intended to make at RMNP later this day.
Day 2 Drive
Day 2 Drive

The first part of our drive took us back to Boulder, and this part of the drive looked quite different to us than it did the evening before, when we were headed out of the mountains toward Thornton to our hotel for the night.  On Sunday morning, the mountains loomed beautiful and large directly ahead of us.

Driving to Boulder
Driving to Boulder

The mountains at Boulder are called the “flatirons” for their distinctive shape.  We had a much better view of these mountains this morning than on the previous evening when we drove through the area in route to our hotel during a misty rain.

Flatirons at Boulder
Flatirons at Boulder

Boulder is such a pretty and seemingly vibrant town, with beautiful tree-lined streets and bike lanes along the river.  I would love to return sometime and explore the town much more.  And, as I mentioned in my previous post, the scenic drive between Boulder and Nederland was fabulous once again, too.

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Tree-lined street in Boulder
Hwy 119 scenic beauty
Hwy 119 scenic beauty

There is a scenic tunnel on this drive, and I wanted to get a good picture of it as we drove back through this area, but I forgot to watch for it with camera in hand.  It surprised me once again while we were driving, and this blurry photo was the best I could do as I hurried to get my camera in hand.

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A blurry picture is better than no picture, I guess.  It really is a pretty tunnel.

We drove past Barker Reservoir and saw the big City of Boulder dam once again, too.

Barker Dam at Nederland
Barker Reservoir and Dam near Nederland

Barker Dam

After arriving in Nederland, we turned north on Highway 72 and once again resumed our drive on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.  We were amazed at how many people were out on bicycles on this beautiful stretch of road, too.  We agreed that while we enjoy riding our bikes, tackling the hills on this road is something we would not be excited to do, unless we could somehow find a way to only ride the downhill parts, of course.

Cyclists on the Peak to Peak Highway
Cyclists on the scenic Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Scenic beauty on Peak to Peak Hwy 72 north of Nederland
Scenic beauty on Peak to Peak Hwy 72 north of Nederland

Since part of our purpose for making this trip was to check out possible RV campsites, we made a quick stop at the Peaceful Valley campground in the Roosevelt National Forest, which we easily accessed just off of Highway 7 – a continuation of the Peak to Peak route from Highway 72.  It was a truly beautiful place, but given the other nice campgrounds that we saw during our trip, we would likely pass on this one unless we just wanted a quick overnight stop.  It sits on a pretty creek, and each site has bear lockers.  Most sites seemed to be set-up more for tent campers, rather than RVs, and the only facilities were vault toilets.  Over the holiday weekend, the campground was almost full, too.

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Campsite at Peaceful Valley Campground with bear locker
Roosevelt National Forest Camping 2
Peaceful Valley Campground sits right on Middle St. Vrain Creek, and several campsites sit next to it.

 We returned to Highway 7 and continued to drive north on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.  Soon, we found ourselves along the eastern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, and while Highway 7 is not actually in the park, several places in the park are accessed from it, as there is not a park road available to get to them.

Wild Basin Road
Road to Wild Basin Entrance Station at RMNP
Wild Basin Entrance Station
Wild Basin Entrance Station at RMNP

We opted to go ahead and pay our park fee here and hopefully see just a bit of this side of the park.  We paid our fee at this small station pictured above, but just after we drove in the park, the rain began to fall in sheets, and we could barely see in front of our car.  We were able to see a small lake nearby, but that was about it.

Rather than sit and hopefully wait for the rain to subside a bit, we made our way back to Highway 7 and just continued north toward Estes Park and the main entrance to RMNP.  Thankfully, the rain quickly began to subside, and it even cleared off nicely for a while.

Highway 7 Rain
Our Peak to Peak drive was both rainy and sunny.
Highway 7
Highway 7

 A few miles later, we passed the sign for the park entrance at Long’s Peak, but once again, we opted to just continue our drive north.  We pulled over shortly, however, to try to get a picture of Long’s Peak.  Unfortunately, the clouds were still hanging around right over the peak.

Long's Peak entrance to RMNP
Long’s Peak entrance to RMNP
Longs Peak in Clouds
Long’s Peak was hidden in the clouds.
Longs Peak Sign
Long’s Peak is the tallest peak in the area, but it was hidden in the clouds on this day.

We continued our drive toward the beautiful and scenic town of Estes Park, which sits in a pretty valley just a few miles from two of the main entrances to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Driving to Estes Park
Driving to Estes Park in the valley ahead

By now, it was getting close to lunchtime, and we debated whether or not to eat lunch in Estes Park or drive on to the national park.  Since we already had our picnic lunch packed, we opted to just forego lunch in town and drive directly to the Beaver Meadows park entrance.  Even though we ran into quite a bit of traffic in town as we made our way to the park, fortunately it did not take too terribly long to get through town and to the park entrance.  We knew there would be crowds over Labor Day weekend and had already adjusted our expectations accordingly for our time in this area.

In my next post, I will share the rest of our fabulous Sunday drive, including our experience in driving the famous Trail Ridge Road highway to the Alpine Visitor’s Center at almost 12,000 feet for the first time.

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A Golden Day in Colorado

This will be the first of several posts on our recent trip to Colorado!  I’m excited to share this beautiful journey here, too.

Over Labor Day weekend, we visited the greater Denver area on a little reconnaissance trip of sorts.  We are interested in making a trip in our RV to this area sometime in the future, but we wanted to first check out several areas and RV parks before making that very long drive.  We also wanted to visit Rocky Mountain National Park for the very first time on this trip, and we were able to secure flight reservations on the days we wanted to travel, despite the fact that it was a busy holiday weekend and we had waited fairly late to make our reservations.

Our sightseeing drive on Saturday
Our sightseeing drive on Saturday (courtesy of Google Maps)

On Saturday, the first day of our Rocky Mountain adventure, we flew to Denver, then drove to Golden, Colorado. We arrived in the town of Golden at lunchtime, and after walking around the main area of town a bit, we finally opted to dine at a tiny little restaurant called El Callejon that served Colombian and Mexican food, primarily because most of the other restaurants were quite crowded with longer waits.  As it turned out, the food at was very good, and we were quite happy that we ate there.

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Hubby’s lunch
Lunch in Golden b
My lunch

If we are ever back in the area, we would dine at El Callejon again. While my lunch was a break from my usual diet, it was worth it on this particular trip.  At least I had a diet soda. 😉

Golden is a neat little town and one that we would like to revisit again sometime, since we did not have much time to do so on this trip.  Of course, the Coors brewery is there, and we saw it in the distance as we were leaving town.  I’m sure that it draws many visitors to Golden, too.

After lunch, we drove to nearby Golden Gate Canyon State Park for the afternoon, as we especially wanted to check out this particular park in person for a possible RV trip sometime in the next year or two.  While checking it out online, it seemed like a nice park in a pretty area, and it also showed to have 50 amp hookups for RVs, something we always look for when traveling in our motor home, especially in summer months.  Even though we opted to take Golden Gate Canyon Road from Golden to the park, we would likely take another route in the RV, as this road was a little too twisty and steep for our taste when driving the RV.  As I understand, Highway 119 is a better route, even though a bit longer, and RVs must come into the Reverend’s Ridge Campground via 119 and Gap Road anyway.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Sign
The welcome sign outside the park office
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Pond
Fish pond and walking path in front of the visitor’s center

The park did not disappoint at all, and we would love to camp here sometime in the future, if time permits us to make such a long trip for vacation.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Welcome
Visitor information table

The office area has a nice little welcome center, information area and souvenir store, and there is also a small trout pond in front.  Fish food is available to feed the fish for a quarter, which proved to be a popular activity for most visitors in the short time we stopped there.  We found the park staff to be extremely friendly and helpful, too.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Visitors Center
Visitor’s center
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Feeding the Fish
Feeding the fish was a popular activity
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Fish
Fish feeding

The Reverend’s Ridge campground is very nice with several loops for RVs, and it also has cabins and big yurts to rent as well.  Electricity is available at the RV sites, and water is available to fill tanks at different points in the campground.  After seeing these nice options for the cabins and yurts, we are even discussing the possibility of just renting one of them instead of bringing the RV.  The fact that dogs are not allowed in these is complicating that decision a bit, though.  We like to bring the dogs with us when we go camping, both for enjoyment and to avoid expensive boarding fees for two big dogs.

Cabin in the Reverend's Ridge campground
A nice cabin in Reverend’s Ridge campground
Yurt in Reverend's Ridge campground
Large yurt in Reverend’s Ridge campground

We spent quite a bit of time driving through the campground, checking out RV sites, and we were happy to know that we would be quite satisfied with just about any of them.  Specific sites can also be reserved through Reserve America’s website, too.  Since none of the picnic tables are covered, we also made a note to pack our EZ-Up awning for this trip if we come back.  While rain is usually not an issue where we tend to camp most of the time, we realized that it actually rains here in Colorado, so having the awning over the table would be a big plus.

RV site in Reverend's Ridge campground
RV site in Reverend’s Ridge campground

RVs are not allowed to drive on the park road from the visitor’s center to the campground, and they are required to come into the campground from a different park entrance nearby via Hwy. 119 and Gap Road.  Even though Gap Road was in great shape, I can see where it might be a bit difficult to drive on if rain is an issue.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Campground Office
Office at Reverend’s Ridge Campground
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Amphitheater
Amphitheater at Reverend’s Ridge Campground

The short road to the campground from Highway 119 is a packed caliche road, and it was in very good shape.  There is no cell or internet service in the park, but we found a pay phone in the campground, just behind the office and close to the amphitheater.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Pay Phone
Pay phone at Reverend’s Ridge Campground (no cell or internet anywhere in the park)

We also questioned whether or not we would be able to get a signal on our satellite dish, due to the abundance of many wonderful tall trees throughout the campground.  Having no cell, internet or television signals would give us a real getaway-from-it-all vacation, for sure, but on a week-long trip, we have found that relying solely on movies can get a bit old.  However, just being in such a wonderful new location with so many new sites to see would likely be our main entertainment anyway.  Since it is quite a drive to the nearest grocery store, we would want to make sure that we carried all of our needed food items and other supplies into the park and not rely on a drive back to Golden or elsewhere for supplies.

We then drove up to Panorama Point, which is just up from Reverend’s Ridge Campground and took in the amazing views of the Rockies to the west.  “The boardwalks of Panorama Point offer sweeping views across a 100 mile stretch of the Continental Divide.” – Protrails Website

Panorama Point Overlook
Panorama Point Overlook
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Panorama Point
Sign at Panorama Point
Magnificent view of the Rockies from Panorama Point
Magnificent view of the Rockies from Panorama Point

We also hiked part of Raccoon Trail, just down from the overlook, for about 45 minutes.  It turned out to be a fairly steep hike from the overlook, and we found that we felt the altitude a bit the longer we hiked.  So, we cut our hike short, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.  We just needed a bit more time to adjust to the 9311-foot altitude, and we had no issues the rest of our trip while hiking, even at altitudes slightly higher than this.

On the Raccoon Trail at Panorama Point
On the Raccoon Trail at Panorama Point

One of the most interesting sites that we saw while hiking this trail was the abundance of mushrooms in several different colors, a site that was most definitely new for us to see while hiking.

Brown Mushrooms
Brown Mushrooms
Orange Mushroom
Orange Mushroom

By the time we ended our hike, the sun was beginning to creep down toward the horizon, and it was time for us to begin our drive to our hotel for the night in the Thornton area, just north of Denver.  The view as we exited Panorama Point was beautiful!

Driving down from Panorama Point
Driving down from Panorama Point
View of the Rockies to the west
View of the Rockies to the west

Rather than return to the metro area via the interstate once again, we opted to take a more scenic drive to the north, and this particular drive turned out to be a treat of gorgeous scenery.  The first part of the drive on Hwy. 119/72 to Nederland is actually the southern end of the famous Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, and the drive on Hwy. 119 between Nederland and Boulder was absolutely stunning as well. We even stopped at several points to take a few pictures, especially between Nederland and Boulder as the road cut through large cliffs and alongside the flowing creek.  This entire area is part of the Roosevelt National Forest.  In fact, we found ourselves in the forest lands most of the time we were gone, except for the times that we were physically in the state and national parks.

Drive on Highway 119 to Nederland
Drive on Highway 119 to Nederland along the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Barker Reservoir at Nederland
Barker Reservoir at Nederland with Eldora Ski Area in the distance
Drive on Hwy 119 to Boulder a
Scenic drive on Hwy 119 between Nederland and Boulder
Drive on Hwy 119 to Boulder e
Scenic drive on Hwy 119 between Nederland and Boulder

It would have been nice to stay in the beautiful town of Boulder for the night to save a bit of driving on this trip, but our hotel was free on points for the night in Thornton, which also worked out just fine, too.  I’m always good with free.

After driving through the scenic town of Boulder, past the University of Colorado and on to our hotel, we ate dinner at a nearby Perkins Family Restaurant, then made a quick dash to a nice Wally World nearby for a few supplies for our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park the next two days.  We were well advised to carry a picnic lunch and water bottles into the park both days due to lack of dining facilities in the park, and that was excellent advice, for sure.  A quick stop for a small collapsible cooler bag and a few groceries proved to be a great decision for us, and we will enjoy having the little $10 cooler bag to pack on future trips by plane, if needed, as it folds down flat and is easy to bring along.  It also kept our food and drinks very cold for the entire day each day, too.

The next two days of our trip took us to Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time, with an overnight stay at a nice little motel in Estes Park.  More to come!

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