The surrounding beauty
The quite natural beauty of the scenic places in and around Aurora will leave you spellbound and be falling for this city with its hidden treasures.
Before we dig in, we do want to mention one thing: not all of these locations are pet-friendly. Coloradans want to take their dog everywhere. We get it. While many areas will allow you to bring your dog, most require that your dog stays on a leash at all times. There are also concerns about lepto and wildlife while exploring the natural beauty with your pet. We think this is a good time to mention our recent post going over the best pet services in Aurora. Before going on any outdoor adventures with your dog we recommend you talk to your veterinarian or at least have a great Aurora veterinary clinic ready to be contacted.
A few of the hidden treasures that surround Aurora
Rattlesnake Arches – McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
Although not recommended for inexperienced hikers as the trail is quite tricky, the Rattlesnake Canyon Arches trail has the best views of the nations second-biggest concentration of natural arches.
Great Sand Dunes National Park – San Luis Valley
Has North America’s tallest sand dunes, overseen by the ominous dark peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Range the combination and the scenery gives this site a rather unique look.
As it is a long hike and the temperature can get rather hot it is best to set out early for this round trip and ensure you have a lot of water and or energy snacks.
You can also go sandboarding here but be warned – sand tends to get in “everywhere”!
Conundrum Hot Springs – Aspen
This secluded hot springs, which is quite a hike to get to as it is 8.5 miles into the White River National Forest. Although it is quite a challenging hike to get to the springs it is well worth it and what better way to reward yourself after a long hike than in the soothing waters at 11000 feet above!
Bishop Castle – Rye
This is more of a fascinating odd project from a well-known local man, Jim Bishops, who some may call offensive and opinionated. The odd and mysterious building sprawls across a property that Jim Bishops, who is also the sole builder of the project, has had many a property rights battle over.
The building has many and weird and intriguing features that visitors can explore including a bridge that just leads to nowhere.
Mount Evans Road – Clear Creek County
The highest paved road in North America where a drive to the top will give you views far and wide of the state. Here you can feel like you are on the top of the world without the long trek up a mountain and may even be able to spot some mountain goats, marmots or bighorn sheep.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway – Manitou Springs
Take a ride to the top of the 14,115ft tall mountain that towers over Downtown Colorado Springs in the worlds highest cog train.
A trip that inspired a song is a trip you know you are going to see some breathtaking scenery as you experience riding up the mountain in a cog train.
Bear Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park
A popular destination with some great hikes suitable for newbies which afford some terrific views of the alpine lakes and Half Mountain.
A great starting trail for people still acclimatizing to high altitudes and wanting to start hiking.
If it is adventure trails, steep climbs, thrills and wildlife you are looking for you cannot go wrong by taking a trip to Aurora, after all, it is not nicknamed “Gateway to the Rockies” for nothing!
Before setting out it is always best to check on the various conditions such as the weather, etc. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a good place to get information from.