The Rocky Mountains will be calling the minute you land in Denver and the Front Range is the closest point of contact. Within two hours of the capital you are entering Rocky Mountain National Park which is by no means a walk in the park – rather, a 660 km 2 expanse of snowy peaks, with roads where moose and deer filled meadows are common place.
Boulder is the ‘hip-happening’ city in the Front Range, a place where if you don’t have Birkenstocks, a bike and an all year round mountain tan you are looked upon as somewhat alien. Fort Collins is in the foothills of the Rockies, and the Poudre River which gathers its power in the peaks flows through the town, so rafting and kayaking are never far from the agenda. This clean water source has been one of the reasons for the surging brewing industry here, led by the New Belgian Brewing Company.
Estes Park takes you even closer to the peaks. You can mellow out canoeing on Lake Estes, or snowshoe around back country trails. Or delve into the deeper countryside, pushing your outdoor skills and taking on the likes of Longs Peak
, one of the notorious Fourteen’ers, meaning it is over 14,000 feet high. Estes experts need only apply for this one though. And last but not least is Loveland. With walking and cycling trails to places like Devil’s Backbone and Horsetooth, it all just sounds too much like a country and western song to be real.