Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
When we think of Colorado, a lot of images come to mind: majestic mountains covered with fresh snow, vast green forests stretching for miles, and crystal blue lakes and rivers. Colorado is the outdoors person’s idea of paradise on earth, but there’s so much more. Hollywood ventures to these parts for the annual Sundance Film Festival, which is hosted by Colorado resident Robert Redford, and of course there’s a very up-to-the-minute arts and culture scene to provide a counterpoint to the rough-and-rugged terrain of the Centennial State. Many of us are familiar with cities like Aspen and Telluride, which get all the glamorous press, but this trip’s going to take us through some places you may not have heard of. By the time we’re done, you’ll want to keep their location a well-guarded secret!
Our kickoff point of Gunnison is home to one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in the continental U.S., the world-renowned Black Canyon Monument. Sheer walls drop nearly 2,000 feet into the Gunnison River, and several observation points allow us to feel dizzying waves of vertigo as we look into the depths so very far below. While some of the more adventurous among us might be tempted to go rock climbing, the treacherous footing makes it virtually impossible. There’s plenty of opportunity for hiking and camping within the Black Canyon park, and we can stare up at the imposing, sheer rock face from the river below, while we sit with rod and reel in the cool waters.
Our route from Gunnison takes us eastbound on the US-50 for 8 miles, where we merge with Highway 114-E and stay on it for a little more than 60 miles, being treated to some beautiful terrain as we drive. We’ll merge with the southbound US-285 for 24 miles, then once we come to the westbound Highway 112, we’ll take it and follow it for 13 miles until we come to the final road on this leg, the westbound US-160, which we’ll stay on for 16 miles until it brings us into our second stop; the town of South Fork.
South Fork is an A-1 place to come to get in some good old-fashioned whitewater rafting. The section of the Rio Grande that runs through Colorado is prime high country river, and Mountain Man tours offers the best way to enjoy your river rafting experience in a safe, yet fun-filled manner. They offer guided tours that allow you to take part in the action or just sit back in the raft and leave the “driving” to them.
Twenty-one miles to the northwest is the city of Creede, easily accessed by Highway 149. An interesting site to visit is the Underground Mining Museum, hacked from solid rock and standing as a monument to the processes and equipment used in the dangerous production of ore mining. The museum is completely underground, and has many displays of real mining equipment. One suggestion – wear a jacket, even in the summer. It gets cold down there.
Also in Creede, we have the spectacular Pillars of Hercules, 100-foot high volcanic cliffs that stab into the air like the arms of a Greek god and tower over Creede’s downtown area. Nearby Lake City is filled with opportunities to go four-wheeling, hunting, backpacking, or fishing, so be sure and take some time to enjoy this secluded woodland while in town.
A quick trip north on Highway-149 brings us back to our starting point of Gunnison, simply and easily. As I said before, once you’ve seen the awe-inspiring sights of this part of Colorado, you’ll want to keep their true beauty a secret that you share with only a trusted few.
Other Area Sponsors in Colorado:
A&A Mesa Verde RV Park & Campground