Category Archives: Natural Wonders

Vacationing The Summer Away In Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Summer is in full bloom and vacations are upon us. Living in the Midwest you never know what the weather is going to be. It could be hotter than Hades, or it could be cold and rainy. You might have humidity that makes you want to cry, or you could end up with a day that feels like fall is moving in. Take heart in knowing that you can escape the madness by adventuring to either coast, or leaving the country completely.

If you are looking for a great summer destination with beautiful weather and great scenery, in the month of July, allow me to recommend Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat is a great location for your summer vacay, because this city has a little bit of everything. You will be surrounded by great hiking territory and a quaint downtown area that has lots of great food options as well as shops.

There are tons of lodging options in Steamboat. You can choose a hotel, a condo, or look to VRBO, which is what my family did on our vacation. We managed to rent a five bedroom home overlooking the mountains, on the outskirts of town. This particular location was beautiful and felt like home away from home. We had a hot tub, a horseshoe pit, a grill, and large open living spaces. Check out VRBO.com, sometimes they give last minute deals to fill their rentals.

If you plan a trip to Steamboat, and you like rodeos, you should check out their Pro Rodeo Series. They host a special rodeo event on the 4th of July. My family had a blast, and it was a fairly inexpensive and entertaining way to spend an evening.

Other fun things to do while in Steamboat are as follows: The alpine slide, gondola rides, bike trails, fishing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing, climbing, zip lining, the water park, and the hot springs. If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do in and around this town; there are many more options than what I named above.

While we were out hiking in July we did see quite a few wild flowers. There are nearby hikes that include waterfall destinations. If you don’t feel like hiking, there are also some scenic drives that will provide you with some great views and photographs.

While I have only visited Steamboat once, just thinking back to our last trip there makes me want to return. The feel of the town is small, but also clean and crisp. You can breathe in that mountain air and enjoy the river running along the edge of town. The feeling is serene.

For more information on Steamboat Springs, please visit: http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat

http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat/western/rodeo

 

A Side Trip To The Black Canyon Of The Gunnison

This past July, while touring Colorado with my husband, we took some time out to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This particular canyon has been a stop on our adventures twice now. We love the views and it’s always worth a second look, or more.

There are several great points to stop and wander around. You can take scenic drives around the perimeter or if you would like, you can venture down toward the Gunnison River. There are plenty of activities if you choose to stay in the park. You can camp, fish, kayak, rock climb, and hike.

If you enjoy wildlife watching, there are plenty of animals that call the Black Canyon their home. With a little patience you may see animals such as black bear, mountain lion, or big horn sheep. More commonly you will see deer, marmot, chipmunk, and a variety of birds. To find out more about the wildlife in the Black Canyon, I recommend checking out the visitor center.

One neat thing that the park offers is an Astronomy Evening Program that runs from the end of May until the end of September. Neal and I did not partake in this activity, but if we had been there at the right time it would have been neat to see. This event takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays in the South Rim Campground Amphitheater.

While we were in the park we took time to wander, but we did not do any serious hiking. We arrived a bit later in the day and we knew that daylight was running short. We drove the scenic route along the outer rim and stopped to enjoy the view at several different spots. I was completely satisfied with this side adventure and came away with a bunch of fun photos. I definitely recommend finding a great viewing spot to watch the sun go down. The Canyon looks pretty awesome as the light begins to change across the rocks.

During this last trip to the Black Canyon, we had intended to camp inside the park. Unfortunately we procrastinated a little too long. All of the campsites were sold out by the time we decided to seek out the Park Ranger. I honestly was not overly sad about losing out on this camping experience, because the sites are quite small and very close together. Neal and I prefer to camp with a little more space and a little more seclusion, so we headed up the road a short distance to some BLM land and we camped out there.

For more information on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm