Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Colorado Springs to Copper Mountain - 3 Day Trip

Normally, on holidays, I like visiting warm places. Especially when I am (otherwise) on the east coast of US and it is November end.

But this one time my friends were planning a trip to Colorado Springs and Copper Mountain, and I tagged along. In hindsight, without any regrets! J Yes we had lug on with our thick jackets and out feet were freezing two-thirds of the day. But the picturesque views of the Rocky ice-capped Mountains more than made up for it.
Such a Scenic Drive
It was supposed to be a skiing trip, but turns out skiing is not much of my thing! While it was fun to try and sort of a tick-off from the bucket list, let’s just say it was too much effort to keep myself from falling every 2 minutes. So while I will leave some of the details in here, for most part I will stick to our visits to the nearby towns and the majestic views they offered.

The Rocky Mountains of Colorado Springs

Day 1 – We had driven 2 hours from Denver to Colorado Springs the previous night, and slept off with the aim of getting out and about early and driving to the popular Pikes Peak. But then, it was Thanksgiving, and our hotel was offering us a full Thanksgiving special brunch for a throwaway price. Needless to say, we did not make it to Pikes Peak that day. Don’t be lazy (AND gluttony) like us.

However, we did make it to the Garden of Gods later that day. It is a public park full of these beautiful red rock formations. There are different trails in there, but we just chose one and walked along. I will let pictures do rest of the talking.

The Garden of Gods

One thing that I really wanted to do, but we missed because we did not plan ahead, was the Cog Train. It is supposed to be the highest Cog Train of the world, leaves from Manitou, and in 3-4 hours, takes you to Pikes Peak and brings you back. The pictures on the website were so incredible, that it sort of broke my heart that we couldn’t do it. But then, there always needs to be a reason to come back!

That evening, we drove to Frisco, where we had our hotel booked for the next three nights. This is a quaint town 5-6 miles away from Copper Mountain, which was our skiing destination. It was a 3 hour drive, and we stopped in between to pick up our skiing gears (pants, gloves, etc.). It is very conveniently located, right on the way and has pretty much everything to offer on rent. I will leave their details towards the end of the blog in case it comes in handy.

Day 2 – This was our day of skiing. We had pre-booked our passes from Liftopia and needless to say, started with the easiest slope. Most people graduate to higher slopes by the end of the day. We were those few who ended in the easiest slope as well :P Little tip for first time skiiers – booking time of an instructor sort of helped us getting the technique right. Cost us an extra $400 (for a maximum group of 6) though.

The Skiing Slopes - Was Bright and Sunny, but Somehow Looks Dark due to the Lighting

The Copper Mountain Base
There are small shops and eateries at the foothills, and just the vibe of the place was very fun and cosy – had fireplaces at the crossroads, cross-over bridge set-ups, cafes, etc. Good to spend some time after the tiring day at Skiing and getting some sugar back into the body.

Fireplace at the Copper Mountain Foothills

Day 3 – Since this day was sort of free for us, we had a couple of options to choose from. There are a few walking trails of different difficulty levels, but since it was just beginning of the winters, the trails had not officially started yet. Secondly, there are a few quaint scenic towns around, all connected via free local transport, to explore.

After a little bit of research, we started with one of the walking trails. With snow all around us, the ice-capped trees, and snow covered mountain peaks in the skyline, the views were indeed to die for.

The Road Less Taken

Miles to go...

...Before I Sleep

Next, we thought of exploring one of the nearby towns – Breckenridge. Best decision ever, because they had this amazing and very steep ski-lifts. I guess it was to take the skiers up the slopes, but we took a ride of it anyways, just for the thrills. It was a pretty little city, with some restaurants, some shopping stores, and since it was Thanksgiving time, everything around was too Christmassy!

Breckenridge - Ain't it Like a Painted Town?

That night, a terrible snow storm was forecast, so next day we started early to head back to Denver to catch out flights back home. Overall a short fun trip, but I do intend to go back once again, and this time in the summers. Winters here are more about skiing and snow-boarding, but I am guessing summers would have a different feel to this place altogether. Can’t wait!

The Snow Capped Trees

 Details of Ski-rentals:

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