We booked the tickets two days before with Hotel Radisson, Aurora Denver for long weekend. We planned to travel from Omaha to Denver via Car- a road trip. It shows eight hours route on GPS but took us around 10 hours with refreshment breaks. We started our journey from Omaha around 10 am with country side route on the way. You’ll see lots of farmlands, livestock’s and breathtaking scenic landscapes during the travel. So if you are a group of friends planning to visit Denver you should travel via road. I insist.
( 5th July 2019 )
Rocky Mountain National Park.
One of the most popular tourist destinations of Denver is Rocky Mountain National Park. It is situated 76 miles northwest of Denver International Airport. The most famous elements of this park are Mountains, Alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments from wooded forest to mountain tundra.
In 1976 UNESCO designated the park as one of the first world Biosphere reserve, 4.5 Million recreational visitors entered the Park in 2018. The Rocky National Park ranked third most visited national park in 2015. Rocky National Park consists of various number of trails and breathtaking scenic beauty. If you are planning to see all the trails it will take you months to cover . If you have a short time to cover the Rocky Mountains then, I must say, you should start with trails near “Beaver Meadows visitor center”. If you are planning to visit the National Park by car, it is recommended to reach there around 9 am since the parking gets full pretty quickly.
Rocky Mountain National Park consists of 5 Visitors Centers.
- Estate Park Visitors Center
- Fall River Visitors Center
- Beaver Meadow Visitors Center
- Alpine Visitors Center
- Kawunceche Visitors Center
It is better to park at Estate Park Visitors center and take the bus for your preferred trails. You’ll get all the information about trails and various activities around Rocky Mountain through “Estate Park” and you can book your tickets online through the computers there as you’ll not get cellular network at this area. Many food joints and restaurant are located here. I highly recommend you to grab extra food and enough water for trails. If you’ll miss it, you’ll keep re-asking yourself why didn’t I follow Ani and Dj’s advice? as you will progress further .
“Things we missed you should not”
Olar Hike- hydration Backpack with 2L water Capacity (4.9 Ratings)
Why do you need this?
In addition to 2 Liters capacity of water it has an additional space to carry clothes, snacks, keys, towels, Mobile Phones, Shoes and Sunglasses which are super essential things for trekking/hiking. Click below to purchase
Shoes play a vital role during trekking .I saw many people wearing flip-flops and Sandals during our 3.5 miles round-trip hike. Don’t make this mistake. It is necessary to have hiking shoes on hikes like this for comfort and safety. There are many uneven tracks, wet and snowy surfaces and it is extremely dangerous to hike on them with flip flops and sandals.Click below to purchase
Many people were carrying trekking poles with them. It adds some comfort to your trekking but it is optional. Click below to purchase
Hiking Trails in the Bear Lake Area
After taking bus from Estate Park Visitors Center, we planned our Bear Lake Area Hiking. Bear Lake trails starts from, “Beaver Meadows Visitors Center”. You can find Maps and other information about trails from forest rangers working at this visitors center. There is a water fountain near the waiting area at this visitors center, make sure to fill up your water bag before starting of your trail.
The restrooms at Beaver Meadows Visitors center are extremely bad. There is no water and flushing system, please try to use restroom at “Estate Park Visitors Center”.
The Beaver Lake Trailhead will surprise you with its scenic beauty. Most hikers stop at Bear Lake to check out the beautiful scenes from east shore before proceeding to the ultimate destination i.e Emerald Lake. Often people starts early in the morning to witness the scenic reflection of Hallett peak off the water. I highly recommend starting early morning for this trail to avoid the crows that flocks to this popular area.
You’ll get enough information regarding this trails everywhere (online/offline). Read it and forget it. Just enjoy the moment. Be with the nature at that very moment, see everything around. You’ll love the organic composition of nature. I used to see these kind of scenes in the paintings. It was my first time to encounter this magical moment through naked eyes. In reality, this place will take your breath away.
My wife once asked me “what do you like the most, water or mountains? “ I got the answer after coming here- both.
(6 July 2019)
Red Rock Amphitheater
Since, 4th July was really tiring hike, we have decided to visit “Red Rock Amphitheater” bit late. Red rock amphitheater is an open air amphitheater built into a rock structure at Morrison Colorado, 10 miles west of Denver. As you’ll enter in this region you’ll see huge red rock surrounded all over the place. This area is famous for its red sandstone outcrops. Many of these rock formation within the park have names from the mushroom shaped seat of Pluto to the inclined cave of the seven Ladders. The most popular rocks around this region are Creation Rocks to the north, Ship Rock to the south and Stage Rock to the east.
As, you’ll enter in this region, you’ll see various parking around the park but if you are planning to visit Red Rock amphitheater specially, it’s better to park in the area from where red rock amphitheater is visible, there is enough parking for the visitors. As always don’t forget to carry ample amount of water with you.
Incredible Place for Photography and Videography.
We fell in love with this region as soon as we entered in it. Wear some dress which is in contrast with the surrounding for incredible photographs. Light colors like white, yellow and light blue are highly solicited.
Red Rock Amphitheater Itself
We were fortunate to see Red rock Amphitheater in our lifetime. Such an incredible place, an amphitheater inside the rocks. In the first decade of the twentieth century, John walker had a vision of artist performing on stage nestled in the perfect acoustic surroundings of Red rock. Walker produced a number of concerts between 1906 & 1910 on a temporary platform and from his dream, the history of Red rocks as an entertainment venue began. It took the natural amphitheater of Red Rocks over 200 million years to form. Many national and international performance takes place in this area. In August 26, 1964, the Beatles also performed here. When we went there it was a bit cloudy, we were not able to spend much time at the Amphitheater. But this incredible place having amazing vistas from every step of the amphitheater. Surrounding rocks, city skyline and sky, everything seems so breathtaking from here.
Restrooms are at the entrance of the amphitheater.
“The Red Rock Shop”
Taste of the Rockies
The official shop at Red Rock Amphitheater is at the entrance of amphitheater. They have a restaurant facility too at this place. So if you are hungry, feel free to grab some lunch or snacks from here. The taste of Rockies shop has incredible collections of various items associated with Rocks and Red Rock Amphitheater’s history. They have a creative collection of t-shirts, keys, magnets and many more on the concept of rocks. One of the most creative and minimalist chocolates and candies collection I have ever seen. Must must buy it.
Star Thai Restaurant
One of the best Thai food I have ever had. The restaurant is small with limited dishes but it has a taste of authenticity. The owner of the restaurant is super friendly and humble. If you are planning to visit Red Rock Amphitheater you must stop at Star Thai restaurant.
We have ordered Thai ice tea, Pad thai noodles with chicken, Star thai noodles with shrimp and Steamed dumplings. I have attached the menu and picture below for your reference.
Denver Art Museum
One of the best museums I have ever seen, in an hour. Daniel Libeskind’s architecture will startle you. A must visit place for an Art and Architecture lovers.
Union Station ( Travel by train )
Elegant and quiet. Visit this place to some rest and enjoy the ambiance with coffee and snacks.
Big Blue Bear
Perhaps the most iconic art installation in downtown Denver, the “I See What You Mean” piece, also known as the “Big Blue Bear,” is hard to miss.
(7 July 2019)
Bear Creek Lake Regional Park
While returning back to Omaha, we have stopped at “Bear Creek Lake Regional Park” for few hours. It’s an incredible place for family outing and get together. I saw many people doing tailgating and open Barbeque here. There is a small lake for boating and water games, so feel free to bring your swim suits and game stuffs. It’s a perfect picnic place in summer with water and mountains in the background.