Spring has sprung: the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and across the state bars, restaurants, venues, businesses and attractions are all opening up after a long pandemic hibernation.
Which means it’s time to get the fuck out of the city! Hit the highway and head for the hills, Colorado. Pack your subaru, strap on your chakos, slip into your favorite flannel and get out there: go explore the river parks, bike parks, alpine lake trails and geothermal hot springs; experience the distilleries, breweries, wineries and restaurants that give this state it’s finger-licking flavor; visit the bizarre landmarks and soak in the relief that the world that once was, is slowly coming back again.
Quarantine is over — it’s time to start acting like it. That’s why, we at the Rooster put our heads together to come up with our Ultimate Coloradical guide to the “Art of Road Trippin.” We planned the routes and destinations so you don’t have to.
Planted on the side of the road in Colorado’s strangest mountain valley, is the state’s only UFO watchtower. And it gets a lot of action — since they started logging sightings in 2000, hundreds of unidentified flying objects have been observed in the sky. Which doesn’t even count the area’s frequent cattle mutilations…
Ever dream of shunning society, moving deep into the mountains, to build a fantasy castle all by yourself? Well, that’s exactly what Jim Bishop has been doing for the last 60 years. And his castle is open to visitors.
Ghost Town Disc Golf Course
There’s nothing quite like throwing discs around an abandoned mining town hidden in the high country.
Prison Museum in Canyon City
Canyon City is famous for two things: their prison and their prison museum — which is housed in the old Canyon City detention center.
Full Moon Crestone Drum Circle
Join the hippies, wooks, moon-lovers and percussionists of Crestone on the full moon, to get down and get weird celebrating a new lunar cycle.
ColoRADical things to do
Cliff Jumping: Nothing makes you feel more alive than hurling yourself off a cliff into the unknown. Luckily, Colorado’s got plenty of places where you can do exactly that.
Paradise cove, Green Reservoir, devil’s punchbowl, outside dotsero, radium hot springs,
Parks and Wildlife Yurts for rent: Sure, you could use a tent, or sleep in the car (or if you’re really desperate, book a hotel) — but, there are also a handful of places where you can rent out yurts or huts from the State. They aren’t free, but they’re dope as hell.
Sylvan Lake, Golden Gate Canyon, Mancos, Pearl Lake, Ridgeway, State Forest State Park
Alpine Lake Hikes: Alpine lakes are the hidden oases of Colorado — and they give any hike a tangible destination.
Gore Lake, Chicago Lakes Loop, Isabelle Glacier Trail, Columbine Lake Trail, Beaver Lake Trail, Hope Lake Trail
Natural hot springs: Hidden in the high country like little gemstones, natural hot springs are a dirtbag delight: wholesome, organic, warm, flush with healthy minerals, clothing optional, and best of all, free.
south canyon hot springs, conundrum hot springs, Radium hot springs, piedra river hot springs, Orient Land Trust
Developed hot springs: If you don’t mind bathing in a swimsuit, or pasting a little extra for unecessary amenities like showers and lockerooms, then you’ll dig any of these commercial hotsprings.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Cottonwood Pass, Strawberry Hot Springs, Hot Sulfur Springs Resort and Spa, Juniper Hot Springs, The SPrings Resort and Spa (pagosa)
SUP/Kayak/Raft Water Parks: The snow is melting, the rivers are starting to swell with runoff and river rats everywhere are itching to hit the water. Here’s a few hotspots:
Buena Vista, Eagle, Salida, Durango, Glenwood Springs, Lyons, Clear Creek
BMX/Mountain Bike parks: Mountain and road biking are cool and all but who’s trying to SEND IT?!
Wellington Bike Park (Breck), Trestle (Winter Park), North Face Park (Carbondale), Eagle Ice Rink Bike Park,
Ziplining courses: Zip lining is the perfect cross between a theme park ride and a hike — enjoy a view while you’re zipping along hundreds of feet in the air.
Cloudscraper (Canyon City); Top of the Rockies (leadville); Soaring Tree (Durango)
Ghost town disc golf course
Haunted Hotels: Hotel Colorado, The Black Monarch Hotel, The Redstone Inn, Hand Hotel B&B, Beaumont Hotel, Hotel Jerome
Prison Museum in Canyon City
Crestone drum circle (full moon)
Lake City site of Alfred Packer Cannibal incident
10th Mountain Division Distillery, Gypsum
Woody Creek Distillery, Carbondale
Montanya Distillers (rum), Crested Butte
Deerhammer Distillery, Buena Vista
Peach Street Distillers, Palisade
Roaring Fork Brewery, Carbondale
Bonfire Brewing, Eagle
Butcherknife Brewing, Steamboat
Avalanche Brewing, Silverton
Lumpy Ridge, Estes Park
Soulcraft Brewing, Salida
Sand Dunes National Park
Mesa Verde State Park
Colorado National Monument State Park
Paint Mines State Park
Rifle Falls State Park
Steamboat Lake State Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Podcasts to Dig On
Up and Vanished (true crime)
Your Mom’s House – with Tom Segura and Christina P (comedy)
Useful Idiots (politics)
Forgotten: Women of Juarez (true crime)
Dr. Death (WTF story)
Dirty John (WTF story)
Disgraceland (sex, drugs and rock n’ roll)
RFK Tapes (conspiracy)
Sidedoor (interesting shit)
Last Podcast on the Left (comedy)
Once Upon a Time in the Valley (WTF story)