Colorado Travel Guide
A new Colorado company called Red Rock Biofuels is beginning to catch on in a big way.
Based in Fort Collins, Red Rock converts "woody biomass," including bark and tree branches, into renewable jet fuels. Last summer, it landed a contract with the U.S. military and this week, Southwest Airlines agreed to purchase 3 million gallons of the biofuel per year. The fuel will be produced at a soon-to-exist production plant in Oregon, and the first batch will be ready in 2016.
Photo Gallery / Adventure Travel / Trail Ridge Road / Colorado Travel / Denver Travel / Grand Lake Travel / Estes Park Travel / → All Tags
Last year, we gave you the rundown about how you can drive Trail Ridge Road, America's "highest elevated continuously paved road," located outside of Denver. A few weeks ago, this travel writer decided to bike it, all 48 miles from Estes Park to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park. Eleven miles of it are above treeline, topping out at 12,183 feet.
Obviously, it was quite the physical challenge, but it also brought about spectacular scenery (and a very large post-ride beer), which we share with you below. Does it entice you to give it a go? There's still a few more months until the snow falls and the road closes if you're feeling motivated.
Marijuana Tourism / Pot Tourism / Denver Travel / Colorado Travel / Drug Travel / Colorado Pot Guide / → All Tags
Since marijuana was legalized in Denver at the beginning of 2014, this travel writer has fielded all sorts of questions from people around the world. Whenever I tell someone I'm from Denver, their eyes go wide. "Oh, really? What's it like there now? Is it crazy? Did you bring any with you?"
I always laugh. People get so much of their perspective from secondary sources - typically ones that focus on highly sensationalized and dramatic outliers - that they have a hard time thinking rationally about reality. No, I tell them. Denver has not burned down yet. A thick cloud of smoke does not hover over the city. And no, most Coloradans do not smoke weed all day, every day. Just as you might drink a beer at the end of a long day, I tell them, those of us who reside in Colorado can partake in a joint.
Adventure Travel / Mountain Travel / Steamboat Springs Travel / Colorado Travel / Rocky Mountain Travel / Mountain Biking / Ski Travel / → All Tags
Then, as the snow melted in April, we explained why ski towns are also awesome during the summer months. Practicing what we preach, we paid a visit to Steamboat at the end of July for some mountain biking, and the result was an cool contrast that demonstrates why the mountains rock all year round. Skiing dominates the winter, but there's actually more to do in the summer, including biking, camping, hiking, climbing, and whitewater rafting.
Easy Day Trips / Colorado Travel / Denver Travel / New Belgium / Poudre River / Fort Collins Travel / → All Tags
Action shot of our rafting trip down the Poudre River in Fort Collins
Colorado is often talked about during the winter months, when the snow falls and people travel from around the world to ski its slopes. Perhaps this is one reason why Fort Collins, despite being a mecca of beer brewing and the location of the most joked-about river in the state, has continued to fly under the radar. Because it doesn't have a ski hill and isn't a major city, it gets lost in the shuffle of Denver and the iconic mountain towns of Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge.
This is good news as far as we're concerned. Fort Collins is located only an hour's drive from Denver, but it seems more remote than that thanks to this aforementioned low profile. The locals are incredibly down-to-earth and genuine, and tourists that find their way to Fort Collins aren't there by accident or because they've heard about the town their entire lives. They've sought it out because of one reason or another, so there's an aspect of realness and authenticity to everyone you meet. We experienced two of those reasons this past weekend: Beer and underrated whitewater rafting.
Adventure Travel / National Park Travel / National Parks / Great Sand Dunes National Park / Colorado Travel / Denver Travel / → All Tags
Great Sand Dunes National Park at sunset
With the calendar now on June and nighttime temperatures becoming more consistent, camping season is upon us across most of the country. Things are moving a bit slower in Colorado, though, as the snow-filled winter has translated into a wet, spring runoff that has left campsites and surrounding trails soggy.
But that doesn't mean we can't have a good adventure while we wait for things to dry out. In this travel snapshot, we feature Great Sand Dunes National Park, located four hours south of Denver. When things have the potential to be wet and sloppy during the spring or late fall, seek refuge amongst the gigantic sand dunes, where it is sure to be warm and dry.
Fantasy Friday / Sports Travel / USA Pro Challenge / Cycling / Biking / Colorado Travel / Tax Refund Vacations / Denver Travel / Aspen Travel / Crested Butte Travel / Breckenridge Travel / Colorado Springs Travel / Boulder Travel / → All Tags
Fans of the cycling circuit are no doubt looking forward to this summer's USA Pro Challenge in Denver, when the world's best racers will take on an eight-city route through the Rocky Mountains, including Aspen, Crested Butte, Colorado Springs, Gunnison, Breckenridge, Vail, Denver, and Boulder. The typical spectator might hit one or two of them, but a company called NextGreatTrip has created the mother of all VIP itineraries for the race should you have an extra $9,500 lying around.
If you drink enough cheap beer, you are probably hip to the fact that Coors Light uses a mountain range not only as the background to its logo, but as an indicator of when your beer is cold enough to drink. When the mountains turn blue, the party begins.
Well, here's one for the next round of bar trivia: Those mountains actually exist, the design based off of Wilson Peak in the San Juan Mountains 11 miles west of Telluride, Colorado. Long before it became iconic with Coors, the range has been a scenic staple for those skiing Telluride Mountain.
Monday Five Thirty / Drinking Travel / Colorado Travel / Denver Travel / Beer / Rocky Mountain Oysters / Wynkoop Brewery / → All Tags
In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, we went to Grand Cayman to try out some of the local rum, Seven Fathoms, which is aged underwater. This week, we head to the Mile High City where one beer is brewed with an usual delicacy.
If you don't know what a Rocky Mountain Oyster is, we'll be blunt: It's a bull's testicle, and it is often eaten fried in the American West cattle-raising culture. We know, we know. It's hard to say who to feel worse for - the bull who lost the testicles, or the person who's putting them in their mouth.
Ski Travel / Colorado Travel / Steamboat Springs Travel / Utah Travel / Park City Travel / Salt Lake City Travel / → All Tags
Utah Claims to Have the Greatest Snow on Earth, But How Does Steamboat's 'Champagne Powder' Compare?
We told you about the sexy, clothing-optional Strawberry hot springs and showed you photos of a pretty amazing ski day, but now it's time to get a little nerdy. For years, Utah has claimed to have "the greatest snow on earth" with its classic trademark, but Steamboat Springs and its "Champagne Powder" might have something to say about that.
We'll save you the science lesson, but what it all boils down to is the amount of water in the snow. A study conducted by the University of Utah concluded that while other areas may get similar snow fall, it is the low water content of Utah's powder (along with smart marketing) that gives it its worldwide reputation.
Those crazy Coloradans are up to it again!
We gave you the scoop on how to buy pot legally in Colorado, and although smoking marijuana isn't technically allowed on the slopes, you can now showcase your bro-tastic apres habit thanks to the new "Juicy Fruit" design from Folsom Custom Skis out of Denver.
Over a foot of new snowfall dropped on Steamboat Springs prior to Super Bowl weekend, setting up deep runs through its infamous trees on Saturday. The locals refer to the area's snow as "Champagne Powder" (which we'll tell you about later), but it was when the storm passed that things got epic.
Every skier/boarder loves a good snowfall, but one thing that gets sacrificed on the account of a storm is the views and scenery on the mountain. When we woke up on Sunday morning, the clouds had cleared to reveal what is known as a "blue-bird sky" in ski lingo, providing a striking contrast with the white of the snow that had caked on to the Aspen and pine trees. Because the Broncos had yet to embarrass themselves, hope was indeed heavy in the thin Rocky Mountain air.
As we begin February and settle in for the last home stretch of winter, we thought a glimpse of how beautiful it can be would do you well.