Rocky Mountains - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains

Colorado's beautiful landscape, and its lifestyle, is dominated by mountains, and much of northwest Colorado is covered by the world-renowned Rocky Mountains that are famous for their scenery, as well as for their skiing, snowboarding and hiking opportunities. The Rocky Mountains feature many popular ski resorts like Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge where winter and summer activities abound. The magnificent scenery of Pikes Peak Country and Garden of the Gods can be explored from Colorado Springs, while the alpine meadows and rugged cliffs around the peaks known as Maroon Bells near Aspen is one of the most photographed spots in Colorado. One of the state's most popular attractions is the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park with its alpine lakes, snow encrusted peaks, meadows and waterfalls that are the some of the most recognisable images of Colorado's natural beauty.

Information & Facts


The Rocky Mountains experiences a highland climate. The average daily temperatures in the valley bottoms are around 43°F (6°C), while during the hottest month of July the temperature reaches 82°F (28°C). The coldest month of January sees average daily highs of 7°F (14°C). Summers are warm and dry with average daytime temperatures reaching 59°F (15°C), the perfect time to enjoy walking in the Rockies.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Colorado Springs is a growing city that was originally developed as a vacation destination in 1871 as part of the 'health centre' boom of Colorado, being blessed with the nearby mineral waters of Manitou Springs, its high mountain ranges and fresh mountain air. Today it is a popular tourist destination (its main source of income), attracting visitors to the magnificent scenery of Pikes Peak Country and the pleasant climate. It is a good base from which to explore the beauty of the surrounding area and most tourists come to marvel at the landscape of Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, as well as to see the US Air Force Academy. Most of Colorado Springs' residents are retired or active military personnel and this lends a conservative mood to the city. Colorado Springs sits at the foot of its most famous landmark, the 14,110ft (4,301m) Pikes Peak and a breathtaking journey on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway takes passengers to the summit from where incredible views over the Rocky Mountain Range, Denver and the endless Great Plains can be enjoyed. The marvellous red sandstone formations of the nearby Garden of the Gods have been sculpted into pinnacles and weirdly-eroded shapes by the wind and rain over millions of years, and the park has numerous walking trails that allow visitors to explore the landscape away from the tourist-travelled roads.

The most popular attraction in Colorado is the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park, with its snow-covered peaks, flower-flecked meadows, alpine lakes, thundering waterfalls and wildlife. These images of beauty have graced countless calendars and coffee-table books and are instantly recognisable as Colorado. Because of the high elevation of the park, of which a third is over 11,500ft (3,505m), there are large areas above the tree line of alpine tundra, constant snow and flora seldom found outside the Arctic. Although usually considered the realm of hikers, climbers, fishermen and horse riders, it is possible to enjoy the park without breaking a sweat thanks to one of America's most scenic drives, the Trail Ridge Road. Crossing the Continental Divide at over two miles (3km) above sea level, the 48-mile (77km) highway linking Estes Park to Grand Lake is one of the highest continuous highways in the country, affording dizzying views in all directions. The sweeping vistas of snowy peaks and glaciers, forests, streams and meadows where elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep can be seen, are exceptional. The road also provides access to several walking trails. In winter the road is closed, but activities such as cross-country skiing, ice fishing and snow-shoeing are popular. Most visitors come during the summer months, but the park can get quite crowded and the roads congested; the best time to enjoy the park is early autumn, after the crowds and before the winter snows. The resort village of Estes Park is the eastern gateway to the park and very popular with visitors, while the western resort of Grand Lake is quieter with an idyllic setting on the shores of a large lake.

Boasting some of the world's top ski resorts, such as Vail and Aspen to name a couple, the main attraction of the Rocky Mountains has to be its plethora of ski resorts. Travellers looking for the ultimate winter ski holiday are spoilt for choice when they visit Colorado's Rockies as there are at least 20 resorts to choose from. For amateurs and intermediates to those looking to carve their way down pristine black runs, there's a skiing or snowboarding opportunity for everyone. See our comprehensive listings for or a more detailed look at the Rocky Mountains ski resorts.

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