This past week I went on a big roadtrip with two friends around the Mountain states (that includes Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Utah). Over the next two weeks I’ll post bits and bobs of what I did and hopefully you’ll find it interesting, exciting and maybe useful? I’d definitely recommend getting out there as it truly is a different experience full of amazing scenery and nature, querky people and hardcore American adventure.
We started the trip by all flying into Denver, Colorado. Our plan was to drive in a square around Wyoming and hit up places along the way including Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore. Driving through Denver is stunning as there are huge mountains surrounding you on all turns. The first thing we did was actually leave the city though haha and head to Mount Evans. It is a mountain that has the highest paved road in North America ascending up it.
The drive is really beautiful and goes through old towns oppose to the highway. Most of these photos are going to views as I just couldn’t get enough of it. It starts off flat but then gradually gets steeper and steeper. Initially you see the mountains in the distance and everything is green and luscious (as seen above) but the higher you get, the colder and snowier it becomes. I stupidly wasn’t expecting this and went in shorts and sandals like a moron, so make sure you wear appropriate shoes as it will be cold up there! The drive also gets risky the higher you go and has a lack of walls/fences so there are times you’re driving right by the edge of a cliff which is terrifying but also pretty adrenaline pumping.
It was a really hot and sunny day down below but at the top it was freezing. You ascend so quickly to a higher altitude that once we stepped out of our car we all felt pretty dizzy and nauseous. Photos do not do it justice and you need to get the full sensory experience. Also make sure you take snacks and water as there aren’t any major stops and it’s probably a good idea to hydrate your body at that altitude.
We then headed to the Red Rocks and did a little hike around the amphitheatre there. It’s a complete contrast to the white mountain peaks of Evans and I kind of felt like I was in the Flintstones. The sun was scorching but it really brought out the redness and I just couldn’t help but take a ton of photos! The area pictured below surrounds the theatre, which if you get the chance to see someone play there do it! It’s called the Red Rocks if you want to look it up and is an outdoor venue amongst all this.
That evening we headed out downtown which is a very happening and alive area. As marijuana is legal in Colorado we had to check it out and bizarrely enough the shops are like little supermarkets with edibles, clothes and the raw plants. I was just shocked with how normal and easy it all was but I guess that’s the point of it being legalised haha. As for downtown you should definitely wander down the 16th street mall as it is full of shops, restaurants and lots of entertainment. There’s also a bus that runs up and down it which is free to hop on and off. We ate at the Mellow Mushroom which had eclectic pizza’s (all very delicious!) and then went to a few bars and clubs before calling it a night. Day two which is filled with thunder storms and Mt Rushmore coming in a few days!