The Centennial State | Colorado
The Beehive State | Utah
The next few days in Colorado and Utah – my 5th and 6th States – were phenomenal. I was travelling on my own, and loving every minute of it. There is nature at some serious American scale here and I fail to see how you could not be impressed! Hire a car and get exploring.
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3 THINGS YOU REALLY CANNOT MISS:
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK | visiting this spectacular place in Utah was one of my favourite days of the entire 5 month trip. It is nature to another level. Put your trainers on and get hiking to Delicate and Double O arches, and my all time best spot at the ‘Top of the World’.
MONUMENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK | another spectacular spot in neighbouring Colorado. I visited here first, and it blew my mind. Remember a car is essential in this part of the mighty world.
DOORS OPEN DENVER | I was lucky enough to be in Denver, Colorado, during this event: such an eye-opener to the city. A behind the scenes tour of gorgeous old Paramount Theatre made me feel tearful!, whilst the Masonic Temple was fascinating.
3 THINGS WORTH A SNOOP:
FOUR CORNERS MONUMENT | as you’ll have a car to see the NPs above, make a detour to this unique spot where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet – the only instance across the USA.
DENVER ART SCENE | it’s a great city and I’d highly recommended – alongside the Denver Art Museum – keeping your eyes peeled for the Blue Bear, the Dikeou Collection of Contemporary Art, Byers Evans house, and Clifford Still museum. Also check out: Rooster and Moon for coffee, and re-charge with yoga and dinner at City o City.
DURANGO | this was my first stop over after leaving the sunshine of New Mexico, only to arrive in cute, snowy Durango, Colorado. At this point it dropped to -6 out of car! I certainly hadn’t accounted for altitude in my route planning. Also check out: Breakfast at Oscar’s.
3 THINGS TO STEER CLEAR:
COLORADO STATE CAPITOL | in Denver: be aware there’s a bit of a dodgy feel at night around this area due to homeless problems. I had good cheap accomm at 11th Avenue hotel, close to 16th street mall and Latimer Square – where I splurged on dinner at Tamayo. Also check out: The Tavern Downtown and Coors Field for baseball.
LAZY LIZARD | I stayed here. You probably shouldn’t. It’s in Moab, Utah – a base for Arches National Park – and the only cheap place to stay I could find, but it was grim and felt dirty.
POSH SNOW GITS | this watch out stems from a bit of jealousy! I drove solo through some awesome scenery in Colorado and what would be the bases of Aspen and Vale snow resorts. No après-ski for me though….
1 THING I WISH I’D DONE:
RED ROCKS AMPITHEATRE | 10 miles west of Denver, sounds like an incredible music venue, although it’s a tough call between this and the host of National Parks I had to skip: Bryce Canyon, Zion, and The Rockies of course.
AND KNOW THIS: 60% of the residents of Utah belong to the Mormon Church, whilst The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is credited with being the inspiration for the haunted hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining.