Fall Getaways to Southeastern Colorado and Northeastern New Mexico

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Advisor - Beckye Dalton
Curated By

Beckye Dalton

  • Colorado

  • New Mexico

  • Taos

  • Nature Escapes

  • Wellness Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Culture

  • History

A landscape in the fall.
Curator’s statement

I was attending the Emergency Nurses Association Conference in Denver last fall. My husband and I decided to spend a few days prior to the conference exploring Colorado and New Mexico. We are working on traveling to all 50 states. We have been to all the states around New Mexico, but we had not been there. We made our way south from Denver, Colorado to Taos, New Mexico. It turned out to be an outstanding adventure.

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Day 1: Road trip to Colorado Springs

A man sitting on the rock watching the green hills.

We took an early flight from Knoxville to Denver. We picked up our rental car and started making our way south to Colorado Springs. Our first stop was for a quick brunch at Burnt Toast in Colorado Springs. I would highly recommend Burnt Toast – great food and great atmosphere.

We drove to the Garden of the Gods, a designated National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs. We took the driving tour making a few stops at the White Rock, Tower of Babel, Sentinel Rock and Balanced Rock. We drove through the town of Manitou Springs (home of the Manitou Incline). We did not have enough time to hike the Manitou Incline, but we will definitely be going back.

Our next adventure was to drive the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway to the summit at an altitude of 14,115 feet. My husband is terrified of heights, but we made it up the summit. There are many viewing areas to stop for those scenic pictures. Be careful riding your brakes on the way down, but as a courtesy the Pikes Peak Highway Rangers conduct a temperature check on your brakes. They may ask you to pull over and let your brakes cool off. We then made our way to Canon City to prepare for Day 2.

Day 2: Royal Gorge

Green hilly area with mountains at the back during sunset.

We woke up super excited for Day 2, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. We boarded the train and immediately grabbed out spot on the observation deck. We bought tickets for the club car, but stood outside the entire time. The amazing scenery along the winding tracks along the Arkansas River deep within the granite cliffs of Colorado's grandest canyon was a moment we will never forget.

After de-boarding the train, we drove up to the Royal Gorge Bridge Visitor Center to take in the sights of the Arkansas River from the Royal Gorge Bridge, one of the highest suspension bridges in the world.

We rode the Gondolas across the river and then I talked my husband into the Cloudscraper Zip Line, America’s highest zip line soaring 1200 ft above the Arkansas River (remember my husband is scared of heights.) To calm our nerves we took a took a nice relaxing stroll across the bridge and back.

Leaving Canon City, we drove to Taos, New Mexico checking into the Adobe & Pines Inn, a historic top 10 most romantic B&B's in Taos, New Mexico.

Day 3: Explore Taos

Mountains in day light.

We hiked the West Rim Trail at the Rio Grande Bridge (we did have a few hiking partners- tarantulas.) We spent time eating lots of Mexican food and walking around Taos Plaza. We would highly recommend La Cueva Café in Tao’s Plaza. The Adobe & Pines B&B is also on our highly recommend list. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the porch of the B&B.

Day 4: Drive to Denver

Aerial view of Denver's skyline.

We drove through parts of the Enchanted Circle seeing Angel Fire and Eagle Nest Lake on our way back to downtown Denver to check in for the conference.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Awilda Rivera ’s guide, 3-Day Itinerary for Exploring Colorado in September.

Advisor - Beckye Dalton

Travel Advisor

Beckye Dalton

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Colorado and travel to New Mexico.