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Colorado or Wyoming?

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Cind11

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My DH, two daughters and I are thinking about a vacation in August of 2007 that would either encompass Wyoming and visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park or Colorado and seeing Rocky Moutain National Park. This past summer we went to Sedona and loved it for its hiking trails, scenery, shopping and restaurants. I probably won''t stay in any of the parks as we don''t really like that kind of lodging. So we''re going to try to find perhaps a "resort" type town near to whichever park we decide to visit. Has anyone ever been to any of those parks and have any feeling as to whether they like the two in Wyoming or Rocky Mountain National Park in Colo. better? If we go to Wyoming, we''ll probably stay in Jackson Hole to visit the Garnd Tetons and then possibly move to see Yellowstone. I''m sure all three parks are beautiful. Just not sure which state to pick. Any feelings? Thanks.
 

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dmbfan

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I am in CO and have been here for 16yrs. Let me know what you need and I will get you the informtation. I absolutely love this place and will never live anywhere else, so I am a bit partial. I love going everywhere in CO so I know of a lot of good places to check out. just let me know what you need
 

Kaleigh

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My parents took me to Jackson Hole when I was a teenager, and I loved it. I will never forget seeing the Grand Tetons. We also went white water rafting, and rode horses. I saw a bald eagle, that was incredible. Saw bears and a moose too.
 

poptart

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My former neck of the woods! (well close to it in Utah) I''ve been to Jackson Hole a couple of times and really liked it when I was younger, but I feel that Colorado has a LOT of culturally interesting things to offer as well as natural sites, so personally I would pick Colorado.

*M*
 

Cind11

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Thanks for the replies dmbfan, Kaleigh, and poptart. One of my old neighbors actually moved to Jackson Hole so I''m going to call her at some point and ask her about it.

dmbfan, do you know anything about a town called Estes Park? From my reading it looks like it''s in very close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park. I wonder if it might be a good place to stay. I went through VRBO to rent a condo in Sedona, so I think I might do that again. I''d just like a town that has some boutique type shops and nice restaurants. My girls like to BUY things (sheesh) so they''d be happy if in between the scenic things they could go to some shops and find neat things for their rooms, neat jewelry (they found some fun stuff in Jerome, Arizona during our trip) etc. I have read that to do a white water rafting trip you have to drive about an hour to the river from Estes Park. Wish that would be closer but... If you have any other suggestion for a resort type town close to Rocky Mountain National Park I''d appreciate it.
 

dmbfan

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Cin,

Estes park is pretty, I was actually looking there to stay for my honeymoon. Its a small town about 30 minutes north of Boulder so you are looking at 1hr n NW od Denver. That gives you some opions for some things to do close to a city. I would recomend Breckenridge. It about 1hr west of Denver and its in the middle of the mountains. You are dead in the center of everything. If you look in VRBO for places to stay, it is really reasonable during that time of year. Breckenridge is a resort town with tons of shops and lots of activities. You name it you can do it there. RMNP is huge and you can access it form different areas. If you have never been to CO, I would recomend to get up to the mountains (Estes is on the foothills). If you look up Summit County (this is where breck is) you have about 6-8 resorts within 45min. (such as Vail, Aspen, Keystone, etc). You might be better staying in the mountains and taking a day trip to Rocky Mountain Nat Park. From breck, you are about an hour away from some awsome Rafting, the problem with rafting is that it depends on the snowmelt. August is the middle of the summer and the snow is almost all gone. Best time to Raft is May/June. It might not be good to spend money rafting when the water is low and calm.

How Long are you looking at staying? What other activities?

http://breckenridge.snow.com/
 

Ann

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I would certainly do CO over WY.

Estes Park is very crowded in the summer or that was my experience.
Tons of things to do in CO though.
 

Sundial

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I would also pick Colorado over Wyoming. I like the Beaver Creek and Vail area - very pretty, nice resorts, and lots to do. There is shopping, hiking, rafting, golf, and more in the summer.
 

denverappraiser

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This is my home turf and I have a definite fondness for Colorado. In my younger days I actually used to work at Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes has some really first rate lodging but, I must admit, I have a real fondness for Grand Lake as the gateway to the park. It’s on the west side of the park. www.grandlakelodge.com is a personal favorite location although it’s a bit on the rustic side for some folks. The food is fantastic and the drive there will give you vertigo if you’re so inclined. One of the best scenic drives in the country goes from Grand Lake to Blackhawk Colorado by the way. (Cody WY to Red Lodge MT is right up there as well).


Estes Park has the Stanley hotel at www.stanleyhotel.com that is right out of history but do make sure to get a room with a view. The charge extra but it’s worth it. It’s not what flatlanders are accustomed to in a first class hotel but there’s a charm to it that just doesn’t exist anywhere else.


There’s nothing quite like Yellowstone and Cody is the gateway to Yellowstone. There are tons of top knotch B&B’s in Cody that are worth looking into. As with my recommendation of Grand Lake, Red Lodge Montana is one of my favorite places. I can’t recommend any specific hotels but I’m sure the chamber of commerce is a few clicks away.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

Cind11

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Date: 12/4/2006 4:21:51 PM
Author: dmbfan
Cin,

Estes park is pretty, I was actually looking there to stay for my honeymoon. Its a small town about 30 minutes north of Boulder so you are looking at 1hr n NW od Denver. That gives you some opions for some things to do close to a city. I would recomend Breckenridge. It about 1hr west of Denver and its in the middle of the mountains. You are dead in the center of everything. If you look in VRBO for places to stay, it is really reasonable during that time of year. Breckenridge is a resort town with tons of shops and lots of activities. You name it you can do it there. RMNP is huge and you can access it form different areas. If you have never been to CO, I would recomend to get up to the mountains (Estes is on the foothills). If you look up Summit County (this is where breck is) you have about 6-8 resorts within 45min. (such as Vail, Aspen, Keystone, etc). You might be better staying in the mountains and taking a day trip to Rocky Mountain Nat Park. From breck, you are about an hour away from some awsome Rafting, the problem with rafting is that it depends on the snowmelt. August is the middle of the summer and the snow is almost all gone. Best time to Raft is May/June. It might not be good to spend money rafting when the water is low and calm.

How Long are you looking at staying? What other activities?

http://breckenridge.snow.com/
So dmbfan, if we end up staying in Breckenride how far a drive would it be to RMNP? As far as rafting, my twelve year old daughter is a "wimp" so low, calm water might be right up her alley. My fourteen year old would probably like more of a ride, but I thinking just the experience of going down the river would be fun, even if it was slow. I guess we would stay a week. As far as other activities, my DH and I like art galleries, and as I mentioned, the girls like to shop. I do like the idea of perhaps checking out Aspen or Vail, that appeals to me.
 

Cind11

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Thanks Ann and Sundial for your comments.

Denverappraiser, hmm you''ve given me some other things to think about. You say you used to work at RMNP. Do you have any feeling about which park between RMNP and Yellowstone is the more spectacular as far as scenery?
 

perry

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Denverappraiser, hmm you''ve given me some other things to think about. You say you used to work at RMNP. Do you have any feeling about which park between RMNP and Yellowstone is the more spectacular as far as scenery?


I take almost all of my vacations out west. Define "spectacular." Their are all kinds of "Spectacular" parks in the Rocky Moutains from "Glacial" by the Canadian border to places in New Mexico (that I can''t remember the name of). They are all Spectacular... But each seems to have something unique about it...

However, Yellowstone has its own uniqueness - which is why its so popular. You could spend a week or more with ease... Last summer I noted that they have a bid education thing for kids on why the burning of Yellowstone was good for the future of the park.

If I was doing just one trip - and wanted to see great mountain vistas and unique things... with a week... I would recommend a couple days in Yellowstone - then off to the Grand Tetons - and then into Idaho for Craters of the Moon, and EBH-4 (near Craters) which was the first nuclear reactor to generate electricity. It is qute safe and the fuel was removed decades ago - and is the only nuclear plant most people will ever get to tour. You also get to see the test reactors that were ment to power "atomic powered" airplanes - before that program was scrapped (good idea too - who want atomic reactors falling from the sky...).

I do admit that Colorado is also great. Either way you can put together a great vacation.

Lots of other things to look at in each state.

Perry
 

dmbfan

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So dmbfan, if we end up staying in Breckenride how far a drive would it be to RMNP? As far as rafting, my twelve year old daughter is a "wimp" so low, calm water might be right up her alley. My fourteen year old would probably like more of a ride, but I thinking just the experience of going down the river would be fun, even if it was slow. I guess we would stay a week. As far as other activities, my DH and I like art galleries, and as I mentioned, the girls like to shop. I do like the idea of perhaps checking out Aspen or Vail, that appeals to me.
Ok, the drive from breck to RMNF/Estes park is a good 2hrs. (120mi) once again it would be a day trip. you can actually drive through the park through the west side (via granby, CO) but the HWY is 2 lane and the drive would be slower. From Breck you are 60 miles from Buena Vista and you can raft the Colorado River. Browns canyon has a great day trip that include lunch, during that time of year the water is nice and refreshing. Breckenridge is full of shops, I mean, full of shops. You have an area of about 10+ blocks by 4+ blocks of shops and restaurants. Like I mentioned before, Keystone and Vail are both very close (20 Min & 40-45 min) and they are also full of shops. Where are you guys from?

I am also with denverappraiser about Grandlake, I have not been there but have heard nothing but great things about it. I have only been to Estes Park once and DA has better info on that place. So I couldn''t compare them to Breck. I mentioned Breck because of the things you guys are wanting to do and more things for the girls to do. If you do decide to come to CO and need a place for you two to spend a day by youself, I have found a little secret "GOLD" that would amaze both of you.

let me know what else you need, I sound like I''m selling CO.....
 

Cind11

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Perry, you''re right. I guess "spectacular" is pretty subjective. Touring an old nuclear power plant sounds like an interesting thing to me, but I''m not sure how my girls would feel about it.


But I agree, it sounds like Colo. or Wyoming would be great.
 

Cind11

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Date: 12/5/2006 9:49:26 AM
Author: dmbfan

So dmbfan, if we end up staying in Breckenride how far a drive would it be to RMNP? As far as rafting, my twelve year old daughter is a ''wimp'' so low, calm water might be right up her alley. My fourteen year old would probably like more of a ride, but I thinking just the experience of going down the river would be fun, even if it was slow. I guess we would stay a week. As far as other activities, my DH and I like art galleries, and as I mentioned, the girls like to shop. I do like the idea of perhaps checking out Aspen or Vail, that appeals to me.
Ok, the drive from breck to RMNF/Estes park is a good 2hrs. (120mi) once again it would be a day trip. you can actually drive through the park through the west side (via granby, CO) but the HWY is 2 lane and the drive would be slower. From Breck you are 60 miles from Buena Vista and you can raft the Colorado River. Browns canyon has a great day trip that include lunch, during that time of year the water is nice and refreshing. Breckenridge is full of shops, I mean, full of shops. You have an area of about 10+ blocks by 4+ blocks of shops and restaurants. Like I mentioned before, Keystone and Vail are both very close (20 Min & 40-45 min) and they are also full of shops. Where are you guys from?

I am also with denverappraiser about Grandlake, I have not been there but have heard nothing but great things about it. I have only been to Estes Park once and DA has better info on that place. So I couldn''t compare them to Breck. I mentioned Breck because of the things you guys are wanting to do and more things for the girls to do. If you do decide to come to CO and need a place for you two to spend a day by youself, I have found a little secret ''GOLD'' that would amaze both of you.

let me know what else you need, I sound like I''m selling CO.....
dmbfan, I wonder if it would be a good idea for us to spend half the time in Breckenridge and the other half in Estes Park? It does sound like my girls might like Breck better. But I have my heart set on RMNP if we go to Colorado and I like the idea of being closer to the park. I just told my DH maybe we should add an extra day to the vacation if we end up staying in two different places just because of having to move our stuff, driving time etc. Generally, I''m lazy and usually when I go on vacation I like to stay in one place and not move. Well, you have me intrigued about the "secret gold". Only thing is even though Jennifer will be 15 at that point, I wouldn''t feel comfortable leaving the girls alone in a strange place by themselves. I guess it would have to be fairly close to where we''re staying. She does have a cell phone as do we. So, what is this place? And yes, are you a realtor-heehee?
 

dmbfan

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dmbfan, I wonder if it would be a good idea for us to spend half the time in Breckenridge and the other half in Estes Park? It does sound like my girls might like Breck better. But I have my heart set on RMNP if we go to Colorado and I like the idea of being closer to the park. I just told my DH maybe we should add an extra day to the vacation if we end up staying in two different places just because of having to move our stuff, driving time etc. Generally, I'm lazy and usually when I go on vacation I like to stay in one place and not move. Well, you have me intrigued about the "secret gold". Only thing is even though Jennifer will be 15 at that point, I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving the girls alone in a strange place by themselves. I guess it would have to be fairly close to where we're staying. She does have a cell phone as do we. So, what is this place? And yes, are you a realtor-heehee
first of all, dont ever call me a realtor
I sounded like one didn't I.

I think that would be a great Idea to stay at both places. You really cant beat that. You are not far from either place. I would maybe doa n extra day at Breck, but then again I dont know Estes park well enough and would hate for you to miss out on things in that area. The "secret gold" area is actually really close to RMNP about 15-20 miles, its called "Gold Lake" and it is to die for.

http://www.goldlake.com/

I dont share this with many people
 

Cind11

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dmbfan, I forgot, you asked where I''m from. I live in Ohio and have my entire life. I think I''m leaning toward Colorado now, although I''m still going to call that person I know in Jackson Hole. My DH was talking to someone at work who really loved Glacier National Park in Montana. He apparently travels a lot. I told my husband I''m not sure I feel like considering ANOTHER place, it''d make me feel even more indecisive.


Gold Lake looks fabulous. Maybe we could have dinner there. Or, I''d love to take advantage of the spa services. You''ve actually shared it with all of Pricescope, or whoever reads this thread anyway.


I think I''m leaning toward the Colorado trip and staying in the two places. Thanks so much for your help and everybody else who chimed in.
 

dmbfan

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I have been to Gold Lake twice, once for brunch and once for dinner, you can go wrong if you utilize your time efficiently. Las time I was there we got a couples massage and then enjoyed the pools overlooking the continental divide. We are both big bath/hottub fans. we will never forget that day. I wish we were still together to spend some more time there.
 

Cind11

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Date: 12/5/2006 4:42:21 PM
Author: dmbfan
I have been to Gold Lake twice, once for brunch and once for dinner, you can go wrong if you utilize your time efficiently. Las time I was there we got a couples massage and then enjoyed the pools overlooking the continental divide. We are both big bath/hottub fans. we will never forget that day. I wish we were still together to spend some more time there.
That sounds divine!
 

denverappraiser

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Date: 12/4/2006 9:08:53 PM
Author: Cind11

Denverappraiser, hmm you''ve given me some other things to think about. You say you used to work at RMNP. Do you have any feeling about which park between RMNP and Yellowstone is the more spectacular as far as scenery?
Obviously ''spectacular'' is in the eye of the beholder. People would always ask questions at the gate like ''How long does it take to see the park?''. I was there full time for about 6 months and I didn''t come close to seeing the whole park. For many people the answer seems to boil down to how fast they can drive. Yellowstone is a bit more developed, meaning there are more roads connecting things together, more rangers to point things out to you and it''s a little eaiser to spend the afternoon there and feel like you actually saw something. For most people, RMNP is more of a wilderness experience where you get away from your car. Which is better? Who''s to know? What makes a vacation wonderful is a complex cocktail of different things and often they aren''t the things that you were expecting. It''s all good.

I love Colorado. I love Wyoming. Heck, I had a great time in Kansas City where I found a Chinese art museum that was just unbelievable!

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

Cind11

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denverappraiser, thanks for your comments. I really don''t think we could go wrong with either state. Right now I am leaning toward Co. but being a woman I have been known to change my mind.
 
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