Wednesday, September 16, 2015

4 things to do in Colorado before summer ends


Summer is winding down, but for the next few weeks you can still enjoy warm weather activities in Colorado.
Colorado Fruit and Wine Country

Peach orchard near Palisade
 
On Colorado's Western Slope, primarily around PalisadeGrand JunctionPaoniaHotchkiss and Cedaredge, the mountains and plains conspire to create a perfect climate for some of the country's most innovative and charming wineries. Amid orchards of peach, cherry and apple trees, acre upon acre of neat green rows of grapevines stand in stark contrast to the red sandstone mesas and deep azure sky. Stop in some of the intimate wineries for stellar classics like chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon and interesting Rieslings, gew├╝rztraminers, petit verdots and malbecs.
Vineyard near Grand Junction
Read more: Beyond Wine in Colorado's Wine CountryFrom Fine Wine to Fossils
Vineyards in Colorado wine countryds in Colorado wine country
Ute Mountain Tribal Park


Mesa Verde National Park
Ute Mountain Tribal Park near Cortez is only open to the public through a unique program in which Ute guides navigate visitors into the wilderness that abuts Mesa Verde National Park's southern boundary. This land was home to Ancestral Puebloans 1,000 years ago, who built cliff dwellings and irrigated and farmed the land. With only 1,300 visitors per year, Ute Mountain is undeveloped and quiet. Hike narrow trails and climb steep ladders onto high ledges — and feel like you have the place to yourself.
Read more: Colorado Scenic Byways: Trail of the AncientsGaming in Colorado's Four Corners Region

Zapata Falls
Great Sand Dunes National Park
As hikers approach the falls along a winding, half-mile trail at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the way to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Alamosa, it feels a bit like they're chasing it — they can hear the roar of the 40-foot-tall Zapata Falls and feel its cooling effect long before they can actually see it. The view from the trailhead encompasses the expansive San Luis Valley and the entire field of the distant dunes. Other wilderness hiking and biking trails can be accessed in the same area.


Zapata Falls
Concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre or a Colorado Rockies Night Game

Choosing just one essential Denver summer experience is difficult — squeezing both into one weekend will have you in Colorado bliss.
Red Rocks Amphitheater gets its name from the topography there.
Every Coloradan's — and perhaps even the nation's — favorite outdoor concert venue, Red Rocks' massive, slanting red-rock outcroppings rise from the earth to create an acoustically ideal natural amphitheater. But the experience goes beyond the music itself. The iconic rocks provide a powerful mystique. Early evening concerts are especially enchanting, as the waning rays of a Colorado sunset frame the stage and paint the setting with pastel colors.

Fans of Colorado's boys of summer are the luckiest we know. Coors Field is one of the Major League Baseball's most scenic, friendly and reasonably priced venues.
Information and some photos provided by Colorado Tourism, www.colorado.com
Other photos by Larry Burmeier

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