The largest city by land area in the state of Colorado, with 194.9 square miles, Colorado Springs is located in the east-central part of the state, on Fountain Creek. About 60 miles south of the city of Denver, Colorado Springs is more than one mile above sea level and close to the base of Pikes Peak, which reaches 14,115 feet. Just north of the city is the United States Air Force Academy and 24 national sports governing bodies are based in the city, which is home to an estimated 472,688. Named by the U.S. News as the most desirable place to live in the United States in 2018, the city has a myriad of things to do, both indoors and out.
While there is no shortage of ways to spend time in Colorado Springs, a road trip offers a great opportunity to explore other parts of the country and be introduced to new things. For example, consider taking a drive from Colorado Springs to Ogden, Utah. With a little less than nine hours of drive time, you can easily arrive at your destination in two or three days, while seeing plenty of sights along the way.
Upon arriving in Ogden, you are in for a treat. Located about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, Ogden is home to around 87,325 people and is known for historic buildings and for being close to the Wasatch Mountains. Outdoor activities are plentiful no matter the time of year and you will find other interesting things to do during your visit as well. And with camping options in and around the city, you can enjoy a few days of exploring!
Less than two hours from Colorado Springs is Loveland, Colorado and Boyd Lake State Park. With 1700 surface acres of water, Boyd Lake is popular for those who enjoy water sports; ski boats, fishing boats, jet skis, kayaks, and sailboats can all be enjoyed on the lake. In addition, the lake has a sandy beach where you can relax and easily go for a swim.
Boyd Lake State Park includes a campground with 148 campsites, so it is easy to spend the night at the Park after a day of outdoor fun. Other activities available at the park are hiking, biking, fishing, and hunting. Visitors to Boyd Lake State Park will find plenty of things to do and excellent scenery to enjoy.
After leaving Boyd Lake State Park, continue north for less than an hour until you reach Cheyenne, Wyoming, and your next destination; Terry Bison Ranch. Purchased in 1991 to raise bison, Terry Bison Ranch has become an attraction for those interested in the opportunity to view the resident bison.
The Terry Bison Ranch has a lot to offer; there is a restaurant, called the Senator’s Steakhouse, horseback riding tours, train tours, pony rides, ATV tours, and more. There are also cabins and a campground for those looking to spend a night or more to explore the area. A large gift shop is available onsite, making it easy to purchase gifts and souvenirs as well as snacks; with so much to see and do, you can expect to get hungry!
Less than an hour from Cheyenne is Laramie and the Ivinson Mansion, which is now home to the Laramie Plains Museum. The mansion was built in 1892 by Jane and Edward Ivinson and was considered the most significant residence in town upon being finished. Eventually, the Laramie Plains Museum Association took over ownership of the mansion from the Episcopal Church that Edward Ivinson left it to and began utilizing it as a museum as well as to host events.
The mansion is Victorian-style and includes more than 11,000 square feet of living space full of Victorian-style details. During your visit, you will be able to marvel at the restored mansion (as well as a carriage house that is more than 2,000 square feet) and view the collection of the Laramie Plains Museum.
An hour and a half from Laramie is the town of Saratoga where you can check out the Saratoga Hot Springs and engage in other activities as well. Saratoga Resort and Spa is home to the hot springs, with a 70-foot outdoor pool as well as five smaller soaking pools that are covered by a teepee. A soak is a perfect way to relax after engaging in another of the area’s many activities.
The area is known to have excellent trout fishing and offers multiple public access points along the river. A myriad of opportunities for hiking is available, with Saratoga being surrounded by several mountains. Snowmobiling is also popular in the area, with more than 300 miles of trails available to be explored. Saratoga has plenty of unique shopping opportunities as well.
Less than three hours from Saratoga Hot Springs is the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge outside of Green River. The Refuge includes 26,400 acres that are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with 36 miles of the Green River, which provides water to the shrugs and cottonwoods in the area. Within the Refuge, 220 bird species have been viewed, including migratory birds that choose to nest there.
The Refuge is also home to a number of animals, including coyote, porcupine, moose, and bobcat. The region where the Refuge is located was inhabited by the Shoshone people as far back as 1300 and the Refuge got its name from the Shoshone language. Visitors to the Refuge can enjoy its wide-open spaces and possibly spot some birds and mammals!
After exploring the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, you are just two hours and 40 minutes from your destination of Ogden. The city includes 26.6 square miles of land, with elevations ranging from 4300 to 5000 feet above sea level. Both the Ogden and Weber Rivers, which begin in the mountains east of the city, flow through it and meet one another just west of the city.
With mountains and rivers so close to the city, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to engage in, no matter the time of year. There is a trail system at the eastern edge of the city that offers the opportunity to explore the foothills of the Wasatch Range, whether for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. There are also trails that make their way into the mountains that are easy to access from the city.
In addition, there are paved trails along both the Ogden and Weber Rivers. Rock climbing fans will enjoy the quartzite cliffs that rise above the foothills. The mountains to the east of Ogden offer three ski areas for those looking to do some downhill skiing and the rivers are popular among kayakers.
The city also hosts a number of festivals throughout the year; it is a satellite venue for the Sundance Film Festival, it hosts the Foursite Film Festival, as well as the Ogden Arts Festival and the Harvest Moon Festival. Those who enjoy college sports can take in a sporting event at Weber State University, which makes its home in Ogden. Visitors may also want to check out the Eccles Avenue Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to camp both in the city of Ogden and its surrounding area, so you can stay a few days and explore all that the city has to offer!