Five Day Trips from Denver, Colorado CheapOair Staff October 11, 2010 Interests There are plenty of things to do in the Mile High city, of course, but even more to do outside of it. Here are five of the best places to go. Rocky Mountain National Park About a 90 minute drive north of Denver lies the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Gateway town Estes Park is worth a visit in itself as it’s the home of the Stanley Hotel – the hotel which Stephen King based The Shining on. It’s supposedly very haunted and ghost tours run every half hour. After you’ve spooked yourself, carry on up to the National Park – within a half hour drive you’ll see elk, lakes (take the road to Bear Lake), snow-capped peaks and, if you visit right now, the yellowing aspens below them. Boulder Funky little Boulder is fast becoming almost as much of a draw to Colorado as Denver itself. Hit the pedestrianised Pearl Street Mall and take in the scene from the cafes on the sidewalks; then wander up to the University Hill district for a gander at the students. There are hiking trails, too, around Mount Sanitas, as well as a 16 mile Boulder Creek cycling trail. Salida 150 miles southwest of Denver, the hot springs at Salida are well worth a visit. It’s in a beautiful location – on the Arkansas River – and during the day you can take rafting trips or hit the five tubs at Cottonwood Hot Springs. If you have time, and you really want to get away from it all, stay overnight at the springs and soak in the tubs under the stars. Vail Uberluxe Vail is one of Colorado’s top ski resorts for the rich and famous, but not only is it nearer to Denver than Aspen, it’s a little more laid back, too. If you’re not a skier, you can hike the area instead (weather permitting, of course). Great Sands National Park It’s a hefty three hour drive south of Denver, but Great Sands is more than worth it. It’s an extraordinary sight – over 150,000 acres of sand dunes stacked up under the Sangue de Cristo mountain range (where it builds up). The main area of dunes is 30 square miles and the highest point is 750ft – they’re actually the highest dunes in North America. What’s even better is that you can walk, run and slide down any point you like. It’s a brilliant way to fulfill your Sahara fantasies in Colorado.