John Denver Sanctuary is a scenic, highly desirable venue located in the heart of downtown Aspen next to the Roaring Fork River. Within the sanctuary is the largest perennial flower garden around, which attracts visitors from around the globe. Amidst the gardens you will find an environmentally sound wetlands filter system. Artistically placed engraved landscape rocks add to the overall ambiance and story behind the sanctuary. This location is also the home to Theater Aspen in the summer, providing live stage entertainment to hundreds. http://www.aspenrecreation.com/john-denver-sanctuary
Leadville was once home to H.A.W. Tabor, who became almost as famous for leaving his wife and marrying a younger woman as for discovering one of the richest silver strikes in the state. His second wife, Baby Doe Tabor, became the stuff of legends — there's even an opera about her.
Leadville was a very influential boomtown — it was almost named as Colorado's capital city. Well-preserved, Leadville has 70 square city blocks of Victorian buildings — like the Delaware Hotel — all part of a designated National Historic Landmark District, along with 20 square miles of a preserved mining district. More than 50 buildings date back to the 1870s, including the Tabor Opera House. For a spirited look back on the Old West, don't miss the annual Leadville Boom Days celebration each August, complete with gunslingers, burro races, mining competitions, food and more.
Just 20 miles from the town of Leadville at the base of Independence Pass is the historic Twin Lakes area, where you’ll find world-class fishing and some of Colorado's most spectacular lake and peak scenery. Twin Lakes is close to the trailhead of Mount Elbert and the renowned Interlaken Hotel historical site. It’s a true small-town American West experience.
Vast and grand with dizzying steep cliffs and sheer vertical walls that disappear into disquieting depths, Black Canyon National Park, near Montrose, CO is a rare beauty. Also featuring a stratlingly narrow gorge - a mere 40 feet across at the narrowest point - the canyon is like no other in North America.
About the Black Canyon
Designated a Colorado national park in 1999, Black Canyon earned its name for the darkness within its depths. Looking below can be shadowy business, but the geological wonder is a stunning playground for outdoorsy folks who wish to explore.
As the Gunnison River carved Black Canyon’s narrow, deep crack over time, the hard stone did not crumble away. Instead the rock (some of the oldest exposed rock on the planet) held firm, creating a sharp, almost unfathomably deep fissure plummeting down over 2,000 feet — a shocking vertical drop that swims before your eyes when peering Quick read more or view full articleinto the dark abyss.
Every year the canyon grows only 1/100th of an inch deeper — the mere width of a human hair — the Gunnison River taking just a little more earth with every second it roars through. The rock strata (layers of sedimentary rock) are shockingly beautiful, and the iconic Painted Wall on the canyon’s north side is named for the distinctive cream-to-salmon colored streaks of pegmatite that splash across its face.
Fishing, Kayaking and Rafting the Gunnison River
Countless river groups spend their free time down in the roaring or trickling Gunnison River, depending upon the locale. Water lovers on the river vary from kayakers and rafters pounding through breathtaking sections of world-class rapids and smooth eddies, to the fly-fishers who wade along the calmer sections and expertly whip their custom flies in an elegant dance over the river’s surface. More about rafting and kayaking >>
Climbing at the Black Canyon
In the warmer months, world-renowned rock climbers from across the planet descend upon Montrose. The Black Canyon is an international, bucket-list worthy destinations for climbers, who refer to the outdoor haven as “The Black.” Since the canyon known for its dangerous exposure and limited protection, only seasoned, savvy climbers should pursue its brilliant cliff faces. More about Black Canyon climbing >>
Hiking and Trail Running
Experience the canyon by wandering to the many different overlooks to glance below, strolling the short trails along the rim, embarking on half-day hikes or biting off one of the more challenging trails, which are also popular with trail runners. All you might want to bring is hiking poles, a can of bear spray, an appreciation for natural beauty — and a desire for open spaces, fresh air, sunshine and adventure.
On the North Rim, many enjoy the North Vista Trail, which skirts the rim of the canyon. It’s an easy hike that winds from vista to vista, giving the visitor repeated doses of splendor. Hermit’s Rest Trail, a more challenging hike that starts on the rim and reaches all the way to the river, is another favorite located just a few miles east on State Highway 92. More about hiking at the Black Canyon >>
Road-biking enthusiasts are taking over the world, and the Black Canyon is on many of their lists. If you haven’t tracked your progress on South Rim Road on Strava (a mobile app for runners and cyclists), then you haven’t experienced road biking in the park. Bikers can take in the views while zooming along or opt for a more leisurely trek along the gently rolling rim route. More about road biking in Montrose >>
Discovering the Black Canyon’s Best Views
Picnic tables are available along the South Rim at Gunnison Point, Pulpit Rock, Sunset View, High Point and along the water’s edge at East Portal — all excellent spots to stop and enjoy an alfresco picnic lunch. The Chasm View outlook, featuring a striking near-vertical plunge, is also a favorite.