If you’re attending the 2019 National Western Stock Show, you already have an entire itinerary of PBR events to watch, livestock shows to see, and tractor races to win — as do 700,000 other people.
While National Western itself is like Christmas in January, it can also be overwhelming to deal with crowds, the hustle and bustle of Denver, and the constant activity.
If you already know you can only handle big crowds for so long, we recommend bookending your trip with a few Colorado activities or escaping to solitude in the middle of National Western.
Here are some ideas for trips that are close to Denver but will transport you to a different world entirely.
1. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park
You know those stunning, 14,000-foot snow-capped peaks you see in the distance? You can actually stand at the base of those (or on top of them, but we don’t recommend that for January) with a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Open all year round, Rocky Mountain National Park is the front yard of the Rocky Mountains. Go on moderate hikes with snowshoes to see once-in-a-lifetime vistas, or wake up early to catch scenes of wild moose bathing in ice cold mountain lakes.
There’s no shortage of activities and sights to behold in Rocky Mountain, just a short drive from Denver.
2. Check Out The Stanley Hotel
If you’re a fan of The Shining and Stephen King, you have to visit the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. In the 1970s, King stayed overnight in the Stanley and this visit inspired his subsequent novel and classic horror film.
Beyond its role in The Shining, the Stanley Hotel has its own fascinating history. Check out the hallowed halls for yourself with a visit to Estes Park.