If you want to experience some of the best mountain of Colorado’s mountainscapes, look no further than the San Jaun Mountain region. Actually, you’ll have to “look further” in terms of Colorado. Most people who think of Colorado think of the classic Rocky Mountains and wonder why they would ever want to go anywhere else in Colorado. We’d even go so far to say that if given the choice of only experience one we’d choose the San Juans over the Rockies. Why?
Typically, the folks that go to Colorado want to experience stuff like this – mountains, the great outdoors, wildlife, cool mountain towns, outdoor concerts, the go-with-the-flow vibe of the hippie and mountain folks, mountain breweries, skiing and snowboarding, hiking, and growing trends of an occasional yoga and a smoke.
We’re all about cheap travel alternatives. The San Juan region offers all of these things at way less of a cost than heading to the Rockies. Sure, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is a beautiful sight and worth it if you’re in the area and have a National Park Pass but it can also be costly. The general areas around RMNP are packed with people and known for being pricey (i.e. Boulder, Co). You’re going to pay more and you’re unlikely to experience any feeling of serenity with all of the people around. The San Juans, on the other hand, offer acres of quiet mountain escapes, with tall snow-capped peaks, for you outdoorsy folks like us. There’s much more opportunities for camping for free in the surrounding National Forest lands. And for those of you that want to socialize and experience the mountain town vibe there’s Ouray tucked high in the San Juans, Telluride for hiking and skiing opportunities, and Durango to the south with breweries, cafes, and a great mountain-feel.
So, with all this greatness, why is it still Colorado’s best kept secret? Well, I won’t lie, plenty of people know about the San Juans and visit each year. But trust me, the crowding effect and cost is way less than in the Rocky Mountain region. Also, there’s there local issue. The Rockies are so easily accessible to the millions of people living on the front range in Denver and Colorado Springs that many of those millions never even make it to the amazing San Juan region! I’m always shocked to meet a Colorado who hasn’t been there, but it happens a lot!
If you’re interested in learning more about the San Juan secret, read our other post that highlights the best of the San Juans. Below are some pictures from this beautiful place.