Outdoor Vacations: San Juan Mountains, CO

Enjoy hiking, biking, rafting, and exploring in a charming Colorado town.



Why go?
If your family enjoys hiking, biking, rafting, and exploring, put this charming town, surrounded by the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, near the top of your vacation list.

While you're there
Take a day trip to Mesa Verde National Park to explore the mysterious ancient cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians, or hop aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for the 45-mile trip along the Animas River to Silverton, a former Victorian-era boomtown.

Where to stay
The festive 1887 Strater Hotel, a historic landmark on Main Avenue, offers 93 spacious period rooms decked in Victorian antiques; room rates start around $212 a night. The hotel also stages mock Wild West cowboy gunfights for young guests every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the summer.
* All hotel prices are approximate.

Insider tip
Follow the locals to the historic Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs, an expansive geothermal hot spring that's been helping ease achy muscles since the 1880s. Now you can relax in the dry sauna or practice your breaststroke in the outdoor Olympic-size pool, which, happily, stays open until 9 p.m. most evenings.

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If you like this destination, and are interested in a variety of other travel spots, feel free to visit the following websites:

You will find travel information for a number of agencies including Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.

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