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Planning your summer Adventures: What to Book Now to Avoid Disappointment Later

Since the pandemic shutdown, it seems that people are looking for more and more outdoor adventures that are new and exciting. However, with the influx of people taking advantage of the outdoors and everything it has to offer, it is becoming more and more evident that reservations are required as much as 6 months in advance. When planning your summer adventures in 2022, make sure you check for COVID guidelines and reservation requirements. Here are a few adventures you need to book now to make sure you can make the most of your Colorado Adventures.

1) State Camping Reservations: State camping sites are a challenge to book and often becomes a strategic game of timing. If you are trying to book a camper site, it will require signing on at 12:01 am exactly 6 months and a couple days in advance of your reservation. I know this is confusing, but here is an example. If you are wanting to book a site at Chatfield Reservoir for July 21-25. You would have to login to the website January 21 to book your site. You may even have to go in on January 19 to see what will come available on July 21. It is a game and has become a very difficult process. If you are just looking to tent camp, the sites do not fill up as quickly. The website for booking a state park reservation is Reserve America.

2) Lodinging- AirBnB and VRBO: The best places to stay book up very quickly in Colorado. Sometimes you can catch a reservation that opened up from a cancellation. But, if you can give yourself some advance notice, 3-6 months, you can get some great deals and find the perfect location.

3) Hot Springs Pools: many of the Hot Springs are limiting visits to 2 hours and have to be booked well in advance. Strawberry Park, Steamboat Springs, CO books out very quickly. However, you cannot book prior to 30 days in advance. Again, if you set a reminder in your calendar for 30 days prior to your arrival to get the time and day you prefer. Here are a few other popular hot springs pools that you will need to make a reservation in advance. Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Springs, CO., Glenwood Hot Springs Pool and Resort, Ouray Hot Springs Pool, Ouray, CO, Indian Hot Springs, Idaho Springs, CO, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, and so many more. Be sure to check several months in advance regarding their booking policy.

4) National Parks: More and more national parks are requiring a reservation to enter the park now. Rocky Mountain National Park is no exception. A timed reservation is required May 28 through October 11. However, here is a little known secret from a COMortgageGal that grew up spending summers in Grand Lake. If you enter the park by 6:30 a.m., the gate is not staffed, and you can drive right through. The best part about arriving prior to 6:30 a.m. is that the moose and elk are feeding around this time, as well, making it the best time to photograph some amazing wildlife. Mesa Verde National Park will require a reservation if you plan on taking a tour of the ruins. The Great Sand Dunes National Park is the most spectacular in May and June because of spring runoff of Medano Creek. The actual park does not require a reservation however the campground and picnic areas require advance reservations and book up very quickly. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The only reservation needed in this park is for the south rim campground, however a day pass is required for entry into the park.

5) Rafting, kayaking or other Adventures - When planning your summer be sure to check for special adventures that are offered in that particular area. If you can book your adventure during the week, you will be more likely to get the day and time you are looking for. Colorado is known for its world class rapids, but make sure you do your homework and book with a reputable company and well in advance of your visit. I highly recommend Defiance Rafting Company within the Glenwood Canyon Resort or closer to Denver, located just off I-70 in Idaho Springs, Colorado Adventure Center.

There are so many fun and amazing sites to see in Colorado, but if you don’t plan accordingly, you will find yourself turned away with no reservation and unable to take advantage of the local attractions. Planning ahead will make your vacation less stressful and more fulfilling. When planning your Colorado Adventures this summer, be sure to check out our Colorado Activities page and create your own bucket list of Colorado Adventures.

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