It’s Summer, the kids are out of school, and the open road is calling. Summer is the ideal time for an old-fashioned American road trip. We’ve compiled a list of the best Colorado Summer road trips in a pickup truck.
At Dye Autos, we’ve sold thousands of pickup trucks from light duty, to mid-size, to heavy duty…and everything in between. A lot of our customers are repeat buyers. They come back to us because they know we listen and we deliver. We’ve heard each customer’s reasons they buy… and one of the most common is, “I just want to have fun family vacations in my pickup truck!”
Colorado has so much to offer.
It’s difficult to narrow down the best Colorado Summer road trips in a pickup truck. After careful consideration, we decided to highlight three outings – short, medium and extended – that begin from the Denver area.
Today’s pickup trucks are versatile but choosing the right one for your trip can be overwhelming. We’ve created a pickup truck size comparison article to help you choose what’s right for you >>here<<.
Short Excursion to Eldorado State Park
When you are hiking in the solitude-filled Eldorado Canyon State Park, it’s hard to believe you are just 45 minutes from Denver.
A magnet for climbers from around the world, Eldorado features jaw-dropping cliffs that soar into the blue sky. As you gaze at the walls above you, you’ll start to spot tiny, bright-colored figures climbing the park’s 500-plus climbing routes.
Bring a picnic here [two grocery stores are 6 miles away, Lucky’s Market and King Soopers] and sit alongside South Boulder Creek to gaze up at the climbers. Or cast your line in the creek in search of brown and rainbow trout.
Explore the trails: Fowler Trail is an easy hike, while the more moderate Rattlesnake Gulch Trail starts in the canyon before climbing 1.4 miles up 800 feet to give you spectacular views.
Stop in the visitor center to buy a fishing license and get hiking information. The best time to visit Eldorado is during a weekday. If you go on a weekend, arrive early as the park often reaches capacity during Summer months.
Mid-Size Trek to State Forest State Park
Escape the crowds at Rocky Mountain State Park and head to State Forest State Park in Walden, a nice 3 hour drive from Denver. You’ll find peaks that reach to the sky, alpine lakes, and a mixture of camping, yurt and cabin rentals to match your family’s desires.
Take a hike less than a mile to Lake Agnes, an alpine lake filled with stunning turquoise waters. There’s actually an island in the middle of it.
Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for moose. The North Park area, where the park is located, is considered Colorado’s “moose capital” with more than 600 of the large animals living here. Stop at the Moose Visitor Center for maps, information and to view interpretive displays.
Full-Size Voyage to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is one of America’s most breathtaking scenic treasures. Its narrow canyon walls stretch 2,700 feet high from the canyon bottom up to the sky. Five hours from Denver makes this trip perfect for a 2-3 or more day break.
Aside from its scenic splendor, the Black Canyon plays host to an amazing variety of outdoor adventures. In Summer, the park offers plentiful options for hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, and expert-level rock climbing.
Reconnect with friends during an overnight stay in the rustic camping area on the canyon rim, fish the Gold Medal waters of the Gunnison River in the canyon’s depths, and marvel at the celestial display in the night sky.
An International Dark Sky Park, the Black (as locals fondly refer to the canyon) offers not only a unique mosaic of beauty during the day, but paints a surreal lightscape at night.
Which trip sounds good to you?
Maybe all three of these places are calling your name. After all, what’s better than Colorado Summer road trips in a pickup truck?
Are you ready to go but need to consider replacing your current truck…or even getting into a pickup truck that would take you and your family on these trips…and so much more?