Colorado has been my favorite state for as long as I can remember. I went on an RV trip with my grandparents and cousin when I was 12. We went from Texas, worked our way up to North Dakota and came back down. My favorite part of that trip was seeing all of Colorado. It's just so different from anything you can see in the south and everywhere we we went was just beautiful.
Jesse and I have wanted to take a road trip to Colorado for a long time, and we were able to do that in May. We debated back and forth about bringing our dogs. After talking with the vet and deciding we just really did not want to be away from them for a week, we packed up and headed out. Lois was given a light sedative (jealous) and slept and just chilled for most of the drive there. Neither of the dogs got sick, thankfully. Having them there and seeing them play and discover new things was probably my favorite part of this trip.
We took turns driving through the night and in the morning I woke up at The Big Texan in Amarillo.
We are "those people".
I obviously had to request that we pull over and take a picture at the first sight of mountains.
The first night, we camped at Mueller State Park near Colorado Springs. We were at a pretty high elevation and it got supper chilly that night. I believe that was also the coldest night we had.
The next morning we went to a small town on our way to Pike's Peak. We went to a restaurant called the Pantry and their special was a cinnamon roll french toast. So yeah..we had to do that.
We found a trail on our way up to Pike's Peak. Up the trail a little bit, we let the dogs off of their leashes and they went crazy. Lois had never seen snow before and she was obsessed.
Oh hey cutie!
the Kissing Camels formation at Garden of the Gods
We got a hotel one night because it was late and rainy and not a good night for camping.
The dogs were living their best life.
We headed to Denver the next morning and went to a restaurant called Jelly. They had vintage cereals boxes lining the walls, homemade jelly and our waitress was the sweetest. I would definitely go back.
The state capitol with my girls.
Lois really loved the capitol.
Pho with the hubby
Little Man ice cream had unique, yummy flavors. It was right beside the restaurant Linger.
Went to TJ's to stock up on all the things, obvs
Soo...we discovered that Voodoo Doughnuts isn't just a Portland thing. Hallelujah.
We headed west towards Grand Junction, but made lots of stops along the way.
We stopped in the cutest little town called Frisco. We found an area off the road and let the dogs roam.
That night, we camped at Elk Creek Campground. We were hesitant about camping here due to some really poor reviews of the owner. People said he was rude and inattentive. We got to the campground and paid for our spot and discovered that the owner wasn't really rude or inattentive; he was just really laid back and easy going, but also a rough mountain man (basically just Luke Danes), which Jesse and I really appreciated. Also, he referred to his golf cart as his office.
This water was ice cold, but Lois loved it so much. She would hop into the water and hop out just as quickly. She did it again and again because she really wanted to be in there but it was just too cold!
Pretty things we saw near the Hanging Lake Trail
We continued west to Grand Junction and drove through the Colorado National Monument
our little desert dog
We planned on camping in Grand Junction that night, but it was in the 90's and felt way too much like Louisiana, so we headed south from GJ. The next town we wanted to see was Ouray. This town is known as the "Switzerland of America".
Ouray was such a fun little mountain town. We only spent a few hours there, but we really enjoyed our time in Ouray.
Telluride was the town I was looking forward to the whole trip. I'd heard about the mountains, Alpine lakes and gondola rides up and down the mountains and it really did not disappoint.
Telluride being gross
Jesse pulled a total dad move and made the dogs stand on this rock for a picture 😂
we grabbed lunch at the Butcher & the Baker
We took the gondola up to Mountain Village. Izzy acted like she does this every day.
Lois..not so much. She kind of hated it. As soon as we got off the gondola she we completely fine, but she was just not a fan of being in the air.
The weekend we were in Telluride turned out to be the weekend of Mountainfilm. There were more hipster videographers/photographers/artists than we could count.
We camped at Sunshine Campground that night. At one point, we thought there was a bear outside of our tent. There was definitely a large animal roaming around in the middle of the night, but we aren't sure what it was. We didn't die, so that's cool.
We let the dogs run around in the snow and watched people sled down these hills here. Not sure where this was.
Lois REALLY wanted to be best friends with this swan.
On our way out of town, we headed to the Great Sand Dunes. We had to wait about an hour to get into the park because there were so many people there. I thought the sand dunes were pretty amazing, but I don't think we would go back.
Lois really, really loved the sand.
I enjoyed our trip so much. We covered a lot of ground (like..all of Colorado), but we still tried to take time to relax and enjoy everything. This is roughly the itinerary we used, minus Boulder and Mesa Verde. We started in Colorado Springs and ended at the Sand Dunes. If you have any questions about where we went or things we did, just let me know!