"Would you like a glass of wine?" Ira asked, as he pointed out the lighting on a grove of aspen trees in a humongous oil painting.
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This wasn't the first time I'd had to duck into a local business to escape an afternoon rain shower, but it was the first time I'd ever been offered a glass of wine while I waited out the rain.
This is one of the many experiences to be had on the Rio Grande Trail. From the mountain views of the open trail to the high-end shops, art galleries, and restaurants in Aspen, you will never run out of activities to keep you occupied, entertained, and fascinated.
You have (at least) three trail options. You can start in Glenwood Springs and journey uphill to Aspen, then take the RFTA (Roaring Fork Transit Authority) bus back; you can bus to Aspen and ride downhill (net) back. Or you can ride out and back. (Are you crazy?) (-:
Of course there are also options to just ride a portion of the trail with various RFTA bus stops along the way in towns such as El Jebel and Carbondale. If you choose to take one of the RFTA bus, not only will that save your weary legs, but it will give you a chance to mingle with some of the locals.
No matter which way you choose to go, you will enjoy this world-class, high altitude trail. This trail, is great for family bonding trips by foot, horseback, bike, inline skate, Trikke, recumbent, tandem, or nordic skis. The trail is also wheelchair accessible and great for walking with your best friend, whether that friend is the two-legged or four-legged variety.
Another positive aspect of the Rio Grande Trail is all of the resting spots, picnic tables, trailheads, and view points. You can easily spend a full day just enjoying a small portion of this trail, then head into one of the towns for a coffee, snack, beer, wine, or soak in a hot springs or hot tub.
Below are some suggestions to enhance your visit to the Rio Grande Trail:
- Glenwood Springs may be the adventure capitol of the United States. From here, you can ride the trails, whitewater raft the rivers, fish, hike into a wilderness, scream down a zipline, go on a Segway cruise, soak in natural hot springs, or, if you're here in the winter, ski Sunlight Basin.
- Aspen also offers winter skiing at Aspen, Highlands, and Buttermilk mountains. It also offers delectable dining, upscale shopping, fantastic art galleries, and amazing people-watching experiences.
- Towns in between Glenwood Springs and Aspen include Carbondale, El Jebel, Basalt, and Woody Creek. Each of these has attractions such as festivals, farmers' markets, dining, and various specialized activities/attractions.
The Aspen/Glenwood Springs area is accessible by car, bus, train, and plane. A great way to visit Glenwood Springs is via the Amtrak train. The route from Denver to Glenwood is gorgeous and much more relaxing than driving. A link for RMA tours is included with this guide and contains package deals for the train, lodging, and activities such as the hot springs pool. less «