Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week One

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

Summer road trips are all the rage! Something about getting in your car and just going makes me feel all giddy inside. 😄 Seeing so many places in just a short amount of time keeps the excitement and the anticipation to the max. Now of course we do our research on the major things that we want to see, but unexpected things come up along the way and there were definitely a few of those on this trip!

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com(Week One Map)

I have a couple of cousins that were having a graduation party so we started off in Fort Collins where my aunt resides. We all wanted to do something together so early on Sunday morning we all hopped in the car and headed to the Manitou Incline.

– Manitou Incline –

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

I’m not gonna lie, the incline was brutal!

A 2,000 foot gain in one mile!

The stairs are all different depths, from short steps to super long steps which made it ten times harder! The climb took Bo about a half an hour and for me, just under an hour. The views are great, but I’m not so sure I would try this one again!

– Rocky Mountain National Park –

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com(Alberta Falls)

This place is like Alice’s Wonderland, ok maybe just mine! There is so much to see here. I can’t wait to move to Colorado (five year plan) and to explore every trail, swoon over every lake, frolic in the wildflowers, photograph every waterfall and make friends with all the wild animals! We actually visited three different times during the course of the road trip. Sunday afternoon we checked out Bear Lake, Dream Lake and Alberta Falls. On Monday morning, we took a drive all the way through from one end and out the other on the Trail Ridge Road making many pit stops along the way.

– Pagosa Springs – 

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

You can’t visit Colorado without checking out one of their many hot spring pools. After the drive through Rocky Mountain National Park we headed south for about six hours until we reached the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring at The Springs Resort and Spa in Pagosa Springs.

Located on the banks of the San Juan River, this luxury resort has 23 mineral pools all with different soaking temperatures.

A perfect relaxing ending to a long day in the car and especially after climbing that incline the day before!

– Telluride –

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

Visit Telluride is a Facebook page that I’ve followed for many years, so naturally we had to go a little out of our way to visit this amazing little mountain ski village. This little gem of a town stole my heart.

Home to the tallest free falling waterfall in Colorado, Bridal Veil Falls, we headed there first.

Switchback after switchback all the way up the two mile trail with immaculate views the whole way. We rode the free gondolas, dined, shopped and also hiked up to Cornet Creek Falls and all the way around the Jud Wiebe Trail. According to my watch, I took 45,467 steps = 19.62 miles! Quite the day and we didn’t even scratch the surface – so many more trails and beautiful lakes to see, I can’t wait to go back!

– Mesa Verde National Park –

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

Known for it’s well-preserved Pueblo cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde National Park, was a great dose of history. When we arrived we bought our $10 tours to the Cliff Palace and Balcony House. The tours were short and sweet and allowed us to get up close to these intricate built dwellings. There are a few hiking trails throughout the park. If you do plan on hiking, I definitely recommend Petroglyph Point Trail.

The Petroglyph Trail is the only trail that you can view petroglyphs and have great views of the Spruce and Navajo Canyons.

– Page, Arizona – 

Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

on the way to Page, we made a pit stop at the Four Corners Monument,

the only place in the United States where four states intersect at one point.

We took our photos and traveled along Hwy 160 with views of Monument Valley at sunset until we reached Page.  After a few hours of sleep, we spent the whole day in Page and had a blast! We visited the iconic Horseshoe Bend THREE times, toured the Lower Antelope Canyon which was so incredible and took a nice relaxing boat ride on Lake Powell.

– Grand Canyon, North Rim –

The Ultimate Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

 We weren’t sure what rim of the Grand Canyon to visit, but we ultimately chose the more remote North Rim due to it being less populated and a shorter distance. We hiked a few short trails and viewed a few points (Bright Angel Point) near the Grand Canyon Lodge and made our way over to the Cliff Springs Trail, Cape Royal and Angel’s Window. 

– Zion National Park – Day One – 

The Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week 1 | afternoonstroll.com

Day one of Zion we kind of just figured out the layout, how the buses worked and what stops the trails were on. We hiked a few of the easier trails including Emerald Pools, The Grotto, Weeping Rock, Riverside Walk, and checked out The Narrows. We weren’t quite prepared for The Narrows because it’s a full on water hike and I didn’t have the proper shoes, so we made sure we were on day two! The craziest part of the day was meeting a couple at Weeping Rock and finding out the girl was from my hometown! What are the odds!

Stay tuned for week two of our ultimate summer road trip of 2017!

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Read Next: Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week Two

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