BEYOND DENVER! Part I
For those of you interested in extending your stay
in Colorado and venturing into the mountains, here are 3 close-by destinations.
From Golden, if you get on I-70 and go west, in just a few more minutes you will come to Genesee Park (elevation 7,648 mi.)
Genesee Park is the largest park in the Denver Mountain Parks system, with a total of 2,413 acres. I-70 traverses the park between exits 252 and 254 along the Lariat Loop Scenic & Historic Byway. On I-70 just west of exit 254, there are scenic overlooks for both directions for viewing the historic bison herd, which live on maintained pastures on the north and south sides of I-70. The park offers trails for back country hiking as well.
Continue on I-70 west from Genesee, and you come to Idaho Springs (elevation 7,526), nestled in the mountains.
Nowhere in Colorado is the state's mining history more obvious than in Idaho Springs. Gold was first discovered in Colorado here in 1859. Several mine tours give visitors insight into local mining history. In town is the Argo Gold Mine and Mill where you can see what a working mill looked like, and try your hand at gold panning. Not far from town is the Phoenix Gold Mine, a working mine, where you can learn about modern and historical mining techniques and do a little gold panning yourself.
Stop into the Heritage Museum and Visitor Center to get more ideas for exploring the area and peek at the free exhibits on the towns colorful mining roots
After a long day of playing tourist, enjoy the hot mineral waters of the springs for which the town is named. Visit the geothermal springs and caves at Indian Springs Resort. They also have a hot-spring-fed indoor pool. Under a translucent dome lies a tropical paradise, complete with flowering plants and live banana and palm trees. The swimming pool is continually fed with hot mineral water at 115°F, with an average pool temperature of 90° to 100°F.
This is, of course, a very small sampling of all there is to enjoy in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We hope many of you will be able to explore the beauty here.