Gunnison, Colorado, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offers an abundance of natural …
Eagle County, Colorado, is renowned for its stunning mountain landscapes, world-class ski resorts, and outdoor recreational opportunities. While venturing into the wild beauty of the county is undoubtedly captivating, there is a wealth of hidden gems in nearby towns waiting to be discovered. Embark on a delightful day trip from Eagle County and uncover the charm and allure of these surrounding destinations and their unique offerings. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a change of scenery, the nearby towns offer a satisfying escape. Here are a few you won’t want to miss:
1. Glenwood Springs
Just a short drive west from Eagle County, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, lies the captivating town of Glenwood Springs. Known for its geothermal hot springs and natural wonders, this charming town offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. A visit to Glenwood Hot Springs Resort allows you to plunge into the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, where you can relax and rejuvenate while surrounded by breathtaking mountain views.
For a thrilling adventure, ride the historic Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, which offers a breathtaking aerial perspective of the town and surrounding landscapes. If you crave even more excitement, explore the enchanting Glenwood Caverns, where you can witness stunning geological formations and learn about the region’s fascinating history.
Located to the southeast of Eagle County, the historic mining town of Leadville offers a glimpse into Colorado’s rich past. Surrounded by towering mountain peaks, Leadville sits at an elevation of 10,152 feet, making it the highest incorporated city in the United States. Step back in time as you wander through the well-preserved Victorian architecture and explore the famous Mining Museum, which showcases the town’s mining heritage.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find ample opportunities for recreation in Leadville. The nearby Turquoise Lake provides a picturesque setting for boating, fishing, and hiking. If you’re up for a challenge, consider hiking to the top of Colorado’s highest peak, Mount Elbert, or embark on a scenic drive along the Top of the Rockies Byway, offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Nestled in the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Elk Mountains, Carbondale is a vibrant town with an artistic soul. Explore the enchanting downtown area, filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Don’t miss a visit to the Carbondale Clay Center, a hub of ceramic artistry and creativity.
Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted by the town’s proximity to the vast White River National Forest. Embark on a hiking or mountain biking adventure on the countless trails that wind through pristine wilderness and reward you with breathtaking views. In the winter months, Carbondale serves as a gateway to world-class skiing and snowboarding at nearby Aspen/Snowmass resorts.
Situated on the banks of the Arkansas River, the picturesque town of Salida offers a perfect blend of outdoor recreation, cultural attractions, and a thriving arts scene. Discover the vibrant historic downtown adorned with beautifully preserved Victorian buildings, housing an array of art galleries, boutique shops, and delightful eateries.
Nature enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice with the surrounding natural wonders. Hike along the picturesque trails of the nearby Browns Canyon National Monument and experience the thrilling rapids on a whitewater rafting expedition. For a more relaxed adventure, take a scenic drive through the stunning Arkansas River Valley or cast your fishing line into the renowned Gold Medal Waters of the Arkansas River.
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the idyllic town of Redstone offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Known as “Colorado’s Ruby of the Rockies,” Redstone is renowned for its scenic beauty, rich history, and unique architecture. Marvel at the historic Redstone Castle, an impressive 42-room mansion built by coal magnate John Osgood in the early 20th century.
Explore the picturesque Redstone Coke Ovens, a National Historic District, where you can learn about the town’s coal mining past and the significance of these historic ovens. Immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes as you hike or bike along the nearby Crystal River. In the winter, enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, surrounded by a winter wonderland.
Tucked away in a picturesque valley between Vail and Beaver Creek, the charming town of Minturn exudes a small-town charm that will capture your heart. Stroll through the vibrant streets lined with colorful Victorian buildings, boutique shops, and local eateries. Don’t miss the iconic Minturn Mile, a legendary backcountry ski run that takes you from Vail Mountain to Minturn – a must-try for experienced skiers and snowboarders.
Minturn is also a gateway to the vast wilderness of the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails that wind through lush forests, alpine meadows, and stunning mountain peaks. In the warmer months, enjoy fly fishing in the Gold Medal Waters of the Eagle River or embark on a thrilling rafting trip.
Tucked away in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, the charming town of Marble offers a tranquil retreat surrounded by majestic mountains and pristine wilderness. Famous for its exceptional marble quarries, this picturesque town has supplied marble for iconic landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Embark on a fascinating guided tour of the Yule Marble Quarry, where you can witness the intricate process of marble extraction and learn about the town’s history. For outdoor enthusiasts, Marble is a gateway to the dazzling beauty of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. Hike through alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and towering peaks, including the iconic Maroon Bells, known as one of Colorado’s most-photographed locations.
Located east of Eagle County, the charming town of Georgetown is a historic gem nestled in the picturesque Clear Creek Valley. As one of Colorado’s best-preserved mining towns, Georgetown boasts a rich history dating back to the Colorado Gold Rush era. Stroll along the quaint downtown streets lined with Victorian buildings and explore the unique shops, museums, and art galleries.
Don’t miss a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a historic narrow-gauge railway that takes you on a scenic journey through breathtaking mountain scenery and ancient mining sites. If you’re seeking more outdoor adventures, explore the nearby Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, offering stunning panoramas, hiking trails, and opportunities for fishing and camping.
9. Idaho Springs
Nestled in the foothills of the Rockies, the charming town of Idaho Springs beckons with its rich history, natural beauty, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Known as the birthplace of the Colorado Gold Rush, Idaho Springs is home to the Argo Mill and Tunnel, an iconic mining attraction where you can experience the gold mining process firsthand.
Indulge your taste buds with a visit to the local microbreweries and restaurants, offering craft beers and delicious mountain cuisine. For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Mount Evans Scenic Byway leads you to the summit of Mount Evans, one of Colorado’s majestic fourteeners. Enjoy hiking, wildlife spotting, and breathtaking views from the highest paved road in North America.
10. Buena Vista
Nestled in the Arkansas River Valley, the picturesque town of Buena Vista offers a captivating blend of outdoor adventures and small-town charm. Surrounded by towering mountain peaks and the mighty Arkansas River, Buena Vista is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting trip through the renowned Browns Canyon, or hike along the endless trails that wind through the nearby Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. Marvel at the stunning views from the top of the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Overlook, providing sweeping vistas of the Rocky Mountains. Don’t forget to relax and soak in the rejuvenating waters of the Mount Princeton Hot Springs, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.
Embarking on day trips from Eagle County opens up a world of exploration and adventure beyond the well-known mountain resorts. From geothermal hot springs to historic mining towns, charming main streets to breathtaking natural wonders, nearby towns offer a diverse array of captivating experiences. Discover the hidden gems, immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Pack your bags, hit the road, and let the nearby towns from Eagle County delight you with their distinctive allure.