Fort Collins to Walden
In the early 1900s, crews of convicts helped blast away granite rock in Larimer County’s Big Narrows to accommodate a stretch of road alongside one of the country’s most iconic waterways. (Truly: The Cache la Poudre River is the state’s only National Wild and Scenic River, a designation made by the National Park Service.) The river is so narrow it’s often white water, but by September the muddy spring snowmelt has cleared and you can often see its resident rainbow trout. Drive west to crest Cameron Pass—which tops out at 10,276 feet—and enter a glacial valley that is inhabited by plenty of moose (time for a game of I Spy).
Got wiggly kids in the back seat asking, “Are we there yet?” Stop at Hewlett Gulch Trail, a three-mile (one way) gentle trek where they can run, bike, or hike. 150 Hewlett Gulch Trail, Bellvue
When driving west, pull over just past Cameron Pass for views of Seven Utes Mountain.
Before you hit the byway, load up on plenty of surf, turf, and locally grown veggies from the Regional. 130 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-689-3508
Catch a live jam session at Mishawaka Amphitheatre, known simply as “the Mish.” Through Sept. 21; 13714 Poudre Canyon Highway, Bellvue, 888-843-6474