I love to travel and sometimes when I get to a destination by plane, I then will get into a car to really cover more of the area. One destination is never enough to fulfill my wanderlust pang. Therefore, my recent travels in Colorado led me from Colorado Springs to Durango Colorado, about 6 hours spread from Point A to Point B.
Scenery ranged from stones to scenic mountaintop passes, to small towns, it was just unending travel photography blissful moments. Fortunately for me, I had Where Niko Travels with me, snapping photos everywhere. When we stopped I went photo crazy!
Honestly, just as I was exploring the area, I was exploring the Mazda CX5 as well. Features in the vehicle absolutely impressed me with every acceleration and deceleration. Driving a vehicle with great features and MPG Matters. Trust me, the drive is different from every city, in fact, we experienced, tunnels, mountain ranges, steep grades, and passing lanes only.
Now, let’s get onto road tripping destinations from Colorado Springs to Durango, Colorado so you can start mapping out your destinations for your next trip!
Road Tripping Destinations From Colorado Springs To Durango, Colorado
First, we landed in Denver, and then drove off to Colorado Springs. I have to tell you, I recommend getting into Denver around noon, to deal with less traffic rather than more or later at night, just saying!
I picked up our vehicle, it was ready and waiting, it was a 2018 Mazda CX5 Grand Touring AWD. Its color was as incredible as the destinations we were about to see: Soul Red Crystal Metallic Parchment, and it shines in the sun! I will tell you I was completely reliant on my Mazda Navigation System to get me everywhere I will map out for you.
New to the area, I simply had no idea where I was going, so my Mazda CX5 and I were on a mission together! The objective to find our way to incredible road tripping destinations for wanderlust photos that will live on in my photo library forever!
Looking at the back of the Mazda CX5 you might be curious as to how many large size pieces of luggage are back there? There were 2 Large Bags and 2 rollerboard (standard carry-on) as well as 2 duffle bags and a purse! Yes, it all fit with ease and we did not collapse the 40/20/40 split seats.
What an adventure this registered “National Nature Landmark” is for both history and imagery! Get there early on and enjoy the day. It’s free to enter and free to hike through. There’s a lot of areas to cover and you will do some by foot and some by car.
Suggested drive through is fun you get to see where you might want to hike. I love it here and this can be a full day destination or a few hours depending on how much you want to see.
Gold Camp Road
This road is totally off the charts. It is one lane, 2-way road of dirt. Often you are left on the edge of the road, without a guardrail (yikes!). Other times you are wedged on a rock that has been cut through to make the pass. Oh, by the way, the road is up from Helen Hunt Falls, and it is unmarked, but what a blast!
We went through 2 tunnels, each more harrowing and scary than the other. First, you hardly could see if there was traffic on the other side of the first tunnel. Second, they are very dark tunnels cut through the mountains. #Daredevil driving. The lights LED headlights lit our path!
It seems when you are driving it there are 2 kinds of drivers here, cautious and those that just throw caution to the wind. Overall the road is about 21/2 miles long and it empties out into a neighborhood. Before you get there, a massive grade faces you and your brakes. The Mazda CX5 auto downshifts thanks to built-in technology, keeping the brakes cool and the steering easy!
Helen Hunt Falls
Location: North Cheyenne Canon Park. A day hike through trails, to falls and of course through the little streams that are trickling from the falls. Now, there was a drought here, so the water was not pounding hard. We had a great chance to get up close to the falls. Parking is free and a little tricky.
We parked along the stream and hiked from the waterfall through the streams to the car. I am happy we found shaded parking and there were only a few cars parked along this part of the road, so we had time to change our shoes from athletic to hiking and back again! We loved opening the power moonroof for a daily dose of Colorado sunshine and blue skies!
Red sandstone formation that is beckoning photos. Of course, I stopped. Once you drive through here, the other lane goes tight between the formations and you may want to go to the bottom, turn around and try it out! We did of course.
Scenic and picturesque are the words to use when describing the Royal Gorge Bridge area. If you love heights and want to defy all odds walk across it. The Royal Gorge Bridge is an absolute driving destination must while in Colorado!
South Fork, Colorado
We made a pit stop that really stayed with me. While the imagery may not do it justice, the area is spectacular, I want to just go visit here and uncover all of its great spots! It’s my view behind the wheel.
Truly phenomena on its own, boasting 1.86 million-acres! It is in Southwestern Colorado and part of the route we used to get to Durango, Colorado. Along the roadway, you will find curves, swerves and tunnels.
There’s more, however. You will see and smell pines all along the route and rock formations that just are like statues guarding the preservation of this most holistic area. Additionally, there is the 7% grade over about 7 miles to tackle.
Here’s where all I can do is let you hear my video. While incorrectly calling out a braking system, rather than properly designating that the SKYACTIVE Tech was the reason for the downshifting, you still get the idea. Please remember, I was driving and trying to concentrate, a little slack, please:)
What you need to know is that the Mazda CX5 is your ally when driving down these steep grades. In fact, it downshifts for you when you go downhill, increasing your control at the wheel and saving your brakes (truly a plus!). The SKYACTIVE Tech makes it as though I was a skilled manual transmission driver even though I have no skill in that area at all! Totally incredible.
Dude Ranch Life
After several days of driving around and touring, I decided it was time to settle down and retire for a few days, so I kicked back at the Colorado Trails Dude Ranch. There’s hiking, horseback riding, white water rafting, fly fishing and more. Maybe I am not resting after all!
Well, the car was resting as this was our final destination. I have to say the drive was easy, and scenic and I would do it again. There’s so much to do and see from Colorado Springs to Durango, Colorado. ~ DANA XO
The car was provided & hosted by Mazda – all opinions are my own!