Celebrate Colorado’s Unique Western History by Discovering its National Heritage Areas

DENVER (December 13, 2016) — Once roamed by mighty dinosaurs, then formed by native people, westward exploration and expansion, Colorado historic sites and heritage landmarks are among the best preserved in the country. Today, Colorado has the distinct honor of being one of only 16 states to celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage with more than one National Heritage Area including: Cache la Poudre River Corridor, South Park National Heritage Area and Sangre De Cristo National Heritage Area. Designated by Congress, National Heritage Areas are places where natural, cultural and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. These three diverse areas each offer unique opportunities to learn about Colorado’s past, enjoy distinct recreational activities and encourage visitors to immerse themselves in one-of-a-kind cultural experiences. For more information, visit www.colorado.com/articles/complete-guide-colorado-national-heritage-areas

Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area
The 120-mile Cache la Poudre River is the heart of the National Heritage Area which follows the Poudre downstream for 45 miles, beginning in Larimer County at Roosevelt National Forest’s eastern border, through Fort Collins, and ending east of Greeley. The Poudre is significant for its contribution to the development of Western water law and the evolution of complex water delivery systems. The Poudre has become a focal point for recreation where visitors can explore the river front’s 31 miles of paved trail on foot or bike. Day trips include visits to the Fort Collins 1883 Water Works, the Centennial Village Museum, Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center, or drive the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway. There are ample venues for shopping, dining and visiting art galleries within the historical districts. State parks and wildlife refuges offer year-round outdoor adventures.

South Park National Heritage Area
Colorado’s mining and ranching heritage lives on in Park County’s South Park, an area known for its wealth of lovingly preserved historic structures and exquisite landscapes. Incorporating the central Colorado communities of Alma, Como, Fairplay, Hartsel, Jefferson and Lake George, the South Park National Heritage Area is situated in a vast river valley surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks, the area possesses an abundance of natural resources, including mineral deposits, ancient Bristlecone pines, unique geological formations and more than 100 rare or endangered plant and animal species. Visitors can spend the day boating in sparkling waters south of Jefferson at Tarryall Reservoir State Wildlife Area affords excellent trout fishing and wildlife viewing or get an idea of what South Park looked like during the Gold Rush at South Park City in Fairplay, a recreated 1800s mining town with more than 40 historic buildings filled with period furnishings and equipment.

Sangre De Cristo National Heritage Area
Designated in 2009, the vast San Luis Valley, cradle of Colorado’s early settlement and a treasure trove of important natural, cultural and historical features, is America’s newest national heritage area. Encompassing Conejos, Costilla and Alamosa counties and more than 3,000 square miles, the massive area includes portions of the Sangre De Cristo Range, three national wildlife refuges, a national forest and two forest wilderness areas, 15 state wildlife areas and a Nature Conservancy preserve, the Medano-Zapata Ranch. It also includes the beginnings of the Rio Grande, the third-longest river system in North America. In the summer travelers, must stop at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the 750-foot mounds are the tallest dunes on the continent and are great way to enjoy recreational activities such as sandboarding and hiking. The Monte Vista National Wildlife Preserve near Alamosa is birding paradise where lush wetlands supply a year-round habitat for more than 200 species of birds and other wildlife.

Colorado Is the Perfect Destination for a Memorable Guys or Girls Escape
DENVER (December 14, 2015)— Whether it’s a getaway with the guys, or a girls-only weekend, Colorado is the perfect place for friends to reconnect and create lasting memories. From heart racing adventures to rejuvenating spa retreats, Colorado offers a host of accommodations and packages that are designed for groups looking to enjoy a friendly weekend getaway or extended vacation. For more information visit www.colorado.com.
Hit the Slopes
Skies to Skis (Aspen).
For ski aficionados who are looking for a thrill that goes beyond the traditional ski lifts, the Gant Hotel and Nomad Inc. have partnered to create a one-of-a-kind experience that combines epic adventure with upscale accommodations, libations and relaxation. Experience 13,500ft of vertical skiing in the San Juan Mountains during this three-night getaway, available Jan. 2 – Apr. 16, 2017. To commemorate the experience, guests can take home a pint glass, Aspen Brewery growler and keepsake Aspen picture frame.
Women’s Edge Ski & Snowboard School Program (Aspen).
Taught by PSIA-certified pros with an emphasis in women’s ski instruction, Women’s Edge provides an opportunity to train intermediate skiers/riders looking to build confidence and advise advanced riders eager for the challenges of double-black-diamond terrain. Women can look forward to fine-tuning their skills and developing lasting friendships along the way. The program entails a four-day program that takes place Monday–Friday, Jan. 9-Mar. 16, 2017. On the first day, the ladies meet at Snowmass to ski or snowboard, but for the other three days, the group decides which mountains to head to—Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands or Buttermilk.
Breck Guides: The Ultimate Way to Experience Breck (Breckenridge).
Breck guides is a European-style, in-bounds guide experience that helps adventurers explore some of Breckenridge’s best high-alpine terrain, secret powder stashes and more with a private top guide that gets visitors on the mountain earlier by loading the chairlift before the public and getting the day’s trail conditions from Breck’s experts on Ski Patrol. Groups can create their own experience by choosing the skills and terrain for that day; from the basics of avalanche awareness, to the high alpine travel and avalanche rescue, a Breck Guide will train participants to enjoy the mountain safely.
Only in Colorado
Pikes Peak International Raceway (Colorado Springs).
Home to the Richard Petty and Rusty Wallace Driving Experiences, Pikes Peak International Raceway is a regional hub for all things automotive and the place to push the envelope on motorsports expectations. With a myriad of racing options, guests can face off against each other in a car versus car race, race individually and let the leader-board decide the best times or sit passenger and buckle up for a ride with a professional driver at top speeds.
Women’s Only Clinic at Front Range Climbing Company (Colorado Springs).
High adventure ladies can take a women’s only climbing clinic at Garden of the Gods, a National Historic Landmark that boasts a colorful history of climbing that is deeply rooted in the rock walls that soar toward the sky. Whether climbers are beginners to the sport or ready to master advanced techniques, expert guides are there to teach, encourage and provide an atmosphere that’s perfect for creating lasting memories.
Western Angler’s Guided Fly Fishing (Paonia).
Reel in epic catches with Western Angler’s Guided Fly Fishing trip to Paonia’s Bar ZX Ranch. At this 640-acre ranch located at 7,500 feet at the base of the Ragged Mountains fishermen and women can catch Browns, Rainbows, Cutthroat and Brookies. A trip includes transportation to/from the ranch, a full lunch, and all the gear, flies and instruction one would need for a day on the river. At the end of the day, guests enjoy dinner at Grand Junction’s number one rated restaurant, Bin 707 Foodbar and end the day at the Springhill Suites on Main Street.
Unique Group Lodging
A is for Adventure (Boulder).
Centrally located in the heart of Boulder, the St. Julien Hotel brings together luxurious accommodations and stunning views of the Flatiron Mountains. For those seeking to build their own adventure, the hotel brings together a package that includes lodging, food credit, spa credit and a Hydropack backpack filled with an assortment of Boulder snacks and a 2 liter water pouch to fuel travelers on their hiking, snowshoeing, fly fishing, skiing or other expedition.
Gunnison River Farms (Austin).
An organic oasis, Gunnison River farms crafts local fishing experiences with fresh produce that is harvested daily from their bountiful farm gardens and orchards. The farm has three historic cabins on the property where guests can stay as they spend several days exploring the river’s many offerings such as fly fishing, whitewater rafting, hiking and swimming. Evenings consists of appetizers and wine under the outdoor pergola, followed by a three-course dinner.
Alternative Colorado (Ordway).
On Colorado’s Southeastern plains, Ordway is home to Alternative Colorado, an outdoor recreation center where guests can book group stays and take part in an authentic Colorado lifestyle that focuses on open spaces, serenity and nature. Parties choose from a range of accommodations and engage in activities including windsurfing, horse riding, fishing, heritage tours and more. Travelers should make sure to stop by Spirits of the Rockies in Pueblo for local handcrafted moonshine to accompany an evening around the campfire.
Relax and Wine
Refresh Spa (Breckenridge).
Ladies who are looking for a rejuvenating experience should make their way to Refresh Spa and mention the Girlfriends’ Getaway for an extra 10% off for groups of five or more. The group is sure to enjoy some laughs as champagne is served while receiving services such as manicures, pedicures, massages, waxing, facials and body wraps. To top the day off, the group can relax in the indoor/outdoor pools and hot tubs, detox in the luxurious steam room and soak up some rays surrounded by the gorgeous mountain views on the deck at the Grand Timber Lodge.
Tour Colorado Wine Country (Palisade).
Rapid Creek Cycles in Palisade, rents out their bicycles to groups looking to take a relaxed cruise through the orchards, vineyards and wineries of Palisade. Following an afternoon on two wheels, ladies can enjoy dinner downtown at the Palisade Cafe 11.0, where their farm to table menu changes with the seasons. Nestled among the vineyards, the Wine Country Inn is the perfect place to rest after a day on the town. By booking the Girls Getaway package groups will receive breakfast, complimentary happy hour, a bottle of private label wine and a spa gift basket.

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