While there are plenty of frugal & free things to do right in Denver, don’t let that stop you from venturing out to explore the other wonderful things that colorful Colorado has to offer.
Matthew and I are big outdoor fans, so we’ve had some fun exploring beyond Denver over the past few weeks. Here are just a few things we’ve done:
Hiked two 14ers.
A big thing to do in Colorado is to hike. But, not the type of hiking we did in Georgia. Coloradans like to hike up mountains. Big mountains. 14,000 feet+ mountains. These crazy high mountains are called 14ers and from Class 1 (easiest) to Class 5 (hardest), they are some of the most grueling, difficult hikes in the world.
So, since we’re now officially Coloradans, we decided to give it a shot. And it was awesome. And painful. But totally worth it.
The first 14er we conquered was Quandary’s Peak, which we hiked with our new friends that we met off Craigslist. Yep, that’s right (Craigslist has done a lot for us over the past few weeks). Matthew bought a bike on Craigslist from someone who had actually just moved to Denver with his girlfriend, so he asked us if we wanted to hang out, and since we’re always up for new friends (especially since we don’t have many here yet..), we said heck yeah. So, for our first outing with our new friends, we hiked our first 14er! While it was a little bit of a drive (about an hour and a half), we carpooled, parked for free, and we hiked up to the summit of a 14,265 foot mountain, caught the most beautiful views, made some goat friends, and got a great workout in – all for free.
Honestly, after our first 14er, we were tired. And sore. Seriously, I was sore for 5 days afterwards..and I run every day. But, of course, we couldn’t just stop at one. We hiked our second 14er this past weekend – Mt. Bierstadt, 14,060 feet. This one is the most popular because it is the easiest. However, it is definitely still a challenge! All in all, the views are worth every step.
Frugal tip: While 14ers aren’t for everyone (seriously, hiking up that elevation can be really difficult), I strongly suggest trying at least one in your life time. Every step is worth the views. Just be prepared to take it slow, and be sure to pack a lot of water and some food, and you’ll be good to go!
Hiked. A lot.
All over Colorado are these beautiful parks called Open Spaces that are just completely full of natural beauty, and they’re great. Matthew and I went to an open space a few weeks ago – Castlewood Canyon State Park – and it was miles of trails, rivers, and beautiful views. Most of these open spaces could definitely be a full day trip, and the only thing you have to pay for is parking. So, if you go hiking a lot, I would consider buying yourself an Open Space parking pass, because with the amount of parks and trails out there, you’re going to save a lot of money if you don’t have to pay to park each time.
Re-visited and showed off the place we originally fell in love with.
Like I said in my previous post, we originally fell in love with Colorado when we visited my forever friend in Boulder. So, of course, when we moved here, we definitely made sure to spend some time there. While staying in Boulder before we found our new home, we hiked up the Flat Irons at Chatauqua Park to watch the sunrise one morning, watched the street performers on Pearl Street, walked and ran along Boulder Creek, and went to beautiful Flagstaff to watch the sunset.
& of course, we also visited Boulder Beer, where my friend works, to get a free tour and the most complimentary beer tastings I have ever had in my life.
Then, we did most all of it again when Matthew’s family came to visit. We just had to show them everything that made us fall in love with Colorado in the first place. So, we took them to Boulder, hiked the Flat Irons, showed them Boulder Creek, Pearl Street Mall, and watched the sunset on Flagstaff.
The MillerCoors Brew Plant
One popular attraction in Colorado is the MillerCoors Brewery in Golden, Colorado. Not only is it situated in a cool mountain town, but the Coors Plant offers free tours and tastings that are always a good time. So, this past weekend, we went to the plant with Matthew’s family and had a great time sampling the different beers!
Although Matthew & I have only been in Colorado for just over a month, we are clearly already loving this place. There is just so much to do here, and we are already planning our future adventures:
Check back here for updates on our newest adventures as we take on this exciting Coloradan lifestyle!
forever frugal & free,