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The road less traveled

by April E. ClarkPost Independent Staff
Post Independent / Kara K. Pearson
ALL |

Watching the leaves turn was never so adventurous.From four legs to eight wheels, ways to view the area’s changing foliage have taken a turn toward excitement. Starting this season, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is offering rentals of its new ARGO eight-wheel all-terrain vehicles to take up Transfer Trail to the Flat Tops area and White River National Forest.”What a great way to see the leaves,” said Darrah Casperson, an assistant business manager at the park who took her first ride in an ARGO Wednesday. “A lot of things you can do at the Caverns you need a guide, but this you can do on your own.”The $16,000 eight-wheel vehicles seat up to six and can be rented for leaf viewing, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and trail riding. Rates are $75 for the first hour and $50 every hour thereafter; $400 for a full day (sunrise to sunset); or $1,200 per week.”There are a lot of people who have never been up to the Flat Tops, let alone even know how to get to the trailhead, especially for a family from Denver or Chicago,” said Russell Disberger, the park’s general manager. “There’s a lot of history up there. Allegedly Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp not only came to Glenwood for the hot springs, but also they were chasing some cowboys up there.”Albeit a bumpy ride, a cruise in the amphibious vehicle provides an unforgettable leaf-viewing experience – especially up at Windy Point which overlooks the No Name Creek valley and beyond.”Can you imagine being Teddy Roosevelt coming out here for hunting trips?” Disberger said. “You are totally away from civilization. Here, in some places, there are drop-offs as deep as the Grand Canyon. This is definitely an adventure.”

Crystal River 4×4 Tours offers another type of bumpy ride with its four-hour High Country Tour. The excursion takes passengers up Lead King Basin above Marble. Cost is $55 per person and can include up to seven passengers in a Blazer or Suburban, or four in a Jeep. A steep, but less rugged path takes people up to Crystal City and the Crystal Mill for a 212-tour for $35 per person.For those seeking a less motorized view of the changing foliage, horseback riding might just be their speed. Sunlight Mountain Resort is one of several venues which offers trail riding opportunities to enjoy the season’s colors. Rides are $30 per person per hour.”Since our stables are up at about 8,000 feet in elevation, the aspens are already in the middle of a dramatic transformation. Every day the scenery slips a little deeper into autumn and the air gets a little more brisk,” said Sunlight marketing director John Seaberry. “We’re taking two-hour rides out on weekends only through September. We ride up to about 9,000 feet in Babbish Gulch, a secluded valley adjacent to Sunlight ski area.”Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com

Recommended spots for leaf peeping: Carbonate Creek-Marble area Doc Holliday’s Grave (Linwood Cemetery) Flat Tops Four Mile Road to Sunlight Mountain Resort Hagerman, Independence and McClure passes Hanging Lake Grizzly Creek Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park/Iron Mountain Missouri Heights Maroon Bells Mt. Sopris Rifle Falls Redstone


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