Two weeks ago now, we traveled to Colorado to visit our families. My sister, her family and mother both live in Colorado as does Brian’s mom. We decided to make a road trip out of our visit. We traveled from Dallas to Denver to Grand Junction. It was one of my favorite trips to date, excluding Hilton Head, nothing compares! It was such a wonderful drive and we both really enjoyed it.
I wanted to share all the details on our road trip, just in case you were thinking about making the same drive. I have to say visiting during this time of year has been my favorite. Brian and I both have visited Colorado numerous times, he was born there, but this was our first time together. The weather is beautiful (not too hot and not too cold) and plus you get to see the changing of the leaves! Which has been on my bucket list for years!
Our first stop my visiting my sister and mom in Denver. We spent 3 days with them and packed a lot into such a short time! Keep reading to see what we did.
ROCK CREEK FARMS PUMPKIN PATCH
We went to the pumpkin farm and maze with the kids on Monday afternoon. It was the first time I have ever seen a pumpkin farm where you can actually pick the pumpkins off the vine. It was so much fun seeing how excited the kids got to pick out their pumpkins. This particular patch also had farm animals, a corn maze and much more to do with kids. The weather was beautiful this particular day, so we spent about an hour or so doing all sorts of activities. There is no admission fee to enter, all you have to pay for is the pumpkins you pick.
HIKING IN BOULDER
I have been to Boulder before, but it was fun to go back a show Brian around. We went to Boulder Creek Path and it was beautiful. It was a nice easy hike, nothing too strenuous…since we had kids with us. I highly recommend checking it out. It is a beautiful way to see all the sights.
WHERE WE ATE IN DENVER:
Post Brewing Company
My sister and brother in law love this place! They are famous for their fried chicken, it’s been on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I couldn’t agree with Guy more, this place has some killer fried chicken. I wish we had one closer in our area!
Snarf’s is a great option for lunch. The sandwiches are good and it’s an easy in/out if you are in a hurry! Again, I wish we had one in our area.
Denver Biscuit Company
This was our first stop when we arrived in Denver. It was just what we needed too! The biscuits are so good!
After we left my sister’s house we drove from Denver to Grand Junction. We researched the best scenic route and decided to make several stops along the way, which included Vail, Aspen, Twin Lakes and the Continental Divide (which we actually didn’t know was on our route). This drive is a long one. It took us 7 hours, but in my opinion it was totally worth it. It was beautiful and we got to see so many places I have been wanting to visit.
THE SCENIC ROUTE
I highly recommend this route. The views are insane. We stopped so many times along the way to snap all the photos!
If you are interested in our exact route here you go:
Starting in Denver, Colorado
Drive from I-70 W to Vail
Take exit 176 from I-70 W
Follow Vail Rd to your destination Vail, Colorado 81657
(Stop and visit. They have free and paid parking available)
Get on I-70 W from Vail Rd.
Take US-24 E to Co Rd 99 in Lake County.
Continue on Co Rd 99. Take Rd 5 to US-24 E.
Turn right onto US-24 E.
Follow CO-82 W to 5th St.
Twin Lakes, Colorado 81251 (Notice Actual Twin Lakes are on your left before you get to the city of Twin Lakes. Parking is free)
Head south on 5th St toward CO-82 E.
Turn right at the 1st cross street onto CO-82 W. (Parts of this road may be closed at certain times or days)
(Continental Divide) Independence Pass, Colorado 81210 (Again Parking if free and 50ft off of road. & just a small hike maybe 250yds from parking area brings you to a beautiful scene)
Head southwest on CO-82 W toward Lost Man Loop Trail – (Parts of this road may be closed at certain times or days)
Turn right onto S Original St
Continue onto E Main St
Turn right onto N Galena St
Aspen, Colorado 81611
Get on I-70 W in Glenwood Springs from CO-82 W
Follow I-70 W to I-70BL W/US-6 W in Clifton. Take exit 37 from I-70 W 1 h 7 min (79.8 mi)
Follow I-70BL W to S 13th St in Grand Junction
Grand Junction, Colorado
***These directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly. (Call 511 In state (or 303-639-1111 if out of state) for information about road and weather conditions on Colorado’s highways. Also if you plan on being there during snow season you must carry tire chains or risk service fees and large fines from Colorado State Police)
I was most excited to see Vail. It is such a charming little town and I loved walking around the village to all the shops. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time here, as we wanted to see other spots, but we did love it. I want to go back to spend more time.
TWIN LAKES, COLORADO
This is a must stop in my opinion. The lakes are gorgeous and we spent a lot of time here talking photos and soaking it all in. This view was by far my favorite of the trip up to Grand Junction.
Brian was most excited for this stop. However, we were both a little underwhelmed with Aspen. It wasn’t at all what we were thinking it would be. We did stop to grab a bite to eat at the White House Tavern…which was really good. I would go back just to have their fish sandwich again.
THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
Honestly, we didn’t even know we would be running into the Continental Divide, but it was a happy surprise. We stopped and walked up the mountain a little ways (elevation was 14,000) to see the view. It was blustery, but totally worth it for the view.
STUDT’S PUMPKIN PATCH & FARM
We had to go to another pumpkin patch while we were in Junction visiting Brian’s family. This little pumpkin patch is about 15 minutes outside of town. It was too cute and had some really fun activities including a giant slide, farm animals (way more than the first pumpkin patch), corn maze and of course pumpkins.
GRAND MESA LOOKOUT
On our last day in Junction, we drove up to the lookout point. It was so beautiful up there. It even started snowing on us. It is a little bit of a scary drive, but worth it for the view at the top!
GRAND MESA LODGE
On our way down the mountain we stopped at the Grand Mesa Lodge for a bite to eat. I am so glad we decided to stop here because it ended up being such a cute spot! The food was yummy too. I told Brian that we have to come back and stay in one of the cabins.