Looking for a romantic location to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Colorado? Look to the great outdoors! Brenda Stuart highlights the eight most romantic parks in Colorado, just in time for an outdoorsy Valentine’s Day weekend!
An Outdoorsy Valentine’s Day Weekend in Colorado
Want to show the love of your life how special they really are? Prove you’d climb the highest mountain for them – literally. Sure, chocolates are great, but there’s nothing like working off that sugar with an outdoor view of the scenic wilderness. Here are eight of the most romantic parks in Colorado for your outdoorsy Valentine’s Day weekend.
1. Royal Gorge and Park
This park features the tallest suspension bridge in the U.S. This majestic walkway rises nearly a thousand feet above the Arkansas River and stretches more than 1,200 feet across the Royal Gorge. Thrill seekers can try ziplining across the gorge. The Cloudscraper Zipline is the highest in North America.
If you’re not up for hiking the red granite hills, there’s always a jeep tour or gondola ride. All three will offer you plenty of opportunities to view the wildlife in the area. The park is home to elk, bighorn sheep, deer, and eagles.
You may want to book a room at the Royal Gorge Cabins or Bighorn Mountain Top Lodge in Canon City. That will give you a chance to check out the annual Chocolate Walk down Main Street. This year’s walk takes place on Saturday, February 9th.
2. Pikes Peak
Perhaps the most famous of Colorado’s mountains and one of the best outdoor destinations, Pikes Peak measures 14,110 feet high. You’ll need your winter gear to hike this mountain in February.
No boots? No problem. You can drive up for a spectacular view or walk up the Barr Trail which begins in nearby Manitou Springs and continues to the summit. The trail will close at the halfway point if a snowstorm moves in.
3. Seven Falls in Colorado Springs
Named for the seven cascading waterfalls, this natural wonder in Colorado Springs offers hiking, wildlife viewing, and guided tours. This series of waterfalls is situated in a deep canyon. The entire hike up to the top is only about half a mile, but it is a steep climb. You’ll want to take your time and perhaps steal a kiss just before you get to the top.
4. Skiing in Winter Park
Want your significant other to fall head-over-heels for you? Book a weekend getaway to this ski resort about 90 minutes northwest of Denver. In addition to having some of the best ski
5. Rocky Mountain National Park/Estes Park
Instead of wearing your heart on your sleeve, why not wear it on your hiking boots? Rocky Mountain National Park features more than 400 square miles of natural wilderness surrounding the Continental Divide. The park is known for its views of elk, moose, deer and mountain goats that make their home in the higher regions of the park. After a day of hiking or snowshoeing, drive into neighboring Estes Park for a romantic dinner and nightcap.
6. Conundrum Hot Springs
Conundrum Hot Springs is part of the Maroon Bells/Snowmass wilderness area on Colorado’s western slope. Leave your cell phones and laptops behind and enjoy the quiet solitude with your significant other. Be prepared for a rugged workout. The hike is about 17 miles round trip and it’s an uphill climb to the hot springs. Since campsites are limited (and not recommended in the winter) your best bet is to reserve a hotel in Aspen.
When you step into the mountain town of Frisco, you’ll think you’ve walked into an Ansel Adams photograph. The Frisco Adventure Park is a real winter wonderland with everything from skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, tubing, sleigh rides, and tumble bubbles. The rentals cabins fill up quickly so you’ll want to make your reservations now. Most come complete with fireplaces and hot tubs.
You’ll have so much fun, you and your sweetheart will want to return in the summer. Once the ice thaws on Lake Dillon, it’s time to kayak in the lake or bike and hike around it!
8. Grand Lake
Get a close-up view of the snow-capped mountains while driving a snowmobile through hundreds of miles of wilderness trails. Several outfitters and local companies in town offer rentals and all the cold weather gear you’ll need for a day of adventure. Try out the free ice skating next to the Grand Lake Center. If you don’t like skating on the ice, how about fishing on it?
You’ll want to arrive the weekend before Valentine’s Day this year. The Grand Lake Winter Carnival takes place February 9th. So bundle up and sign up for the snowman contest or the bed sled races. The night ends with plenty of hot cocoa and fireworks.
Sure, a dozen roses and box of chocolates are nice gifts. But if you’re looking for an even better way to heat up Valentine’s Day book a weekend any one of these eight romantic parks in Colorado where the cold, crisp mountain air is sure to be a heart melting-experience.
Brenda Stuart is a freelance journalist who enjoys hiking, boating, skiing, and traveling to new places. When she’s not writing or exploring, you’ll find her