I set out from Cañon City on heading west on Hwy 50 and then turned south on Hwy 69 at Texas Creek. My excitement grew with each bend in the road and glimpse of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Soon they came into full view. It's one of the most beautiful scenes I've seen in Colorado, especially in the spring and summer when the fields are green against the snow-capped mountains. West of the town, you'll find the impressive Beckwith Ranch on the south side of the road (definitely worth a photo stop!). Continue on Hwy 69 and you'll soon arrive in Westcliffe. There you'll discover lots of great restaurants, galleries and shops. Just park the car and explore Main Street. Click here to visit the Custer County Tourism Board's webpage. North of Westcliffe is the adjacent town of Silver Cliff, which has an interesting museum and shops and restaurants of its own to offer.
I returned to Cañon taking Hwy 96 north out of Westcliffe/Silver Cliff and then turned left onto Hwy 67 in Wetmore before returning to Hwy 50. Taking this route made for a wonderful driving loop (see linked map). I can't wait to visit again. :)
For those with a Jeep and a sense of adventure, check out the Medano Pass Primitive Road over the Sangres to Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Wanting to spend more time in Westcliffe? There are many lodging opportunities with hotels, b&bs and cabins. Outdoor activities abound with numerous hiking, horseback riding and fishing opportunities.
Click here to see all of my Westcliffe posts and photos.
For reviews of restaurants, lodging and things to do in the Westcliffe area, click below:
Westcliffe and Silver Cliff have made news for being designated Dark Sky Communities -- which means they very intentionally sought to curb light pollution in their communities to ensure the starry skies can be seen and enjoyed by all. Watch this video to learn more:
The Towns That Embraced Darkness to See Starlight from Great Big Story on Vimeo.
To watch another report on the "Dark Skies" initiative from the Today show, click here.