Local Color

Gambling - Central City and Black Hawk are old mining towns turned historic tourist communities until the advent of gaming in the 1980s. They are now gaming meccas located on Hwy. 119, about one hour south of Allenspark on the Peak-to-Peak Highway.

Opera - The Central City Opera House remains a bastion of culture in the midst of casinos. The building with its beautifully preserved original features is open for tours during the summer. World class opera is staged there on a shortened summer schedule, including Lite Lunches, short vignettes sampling several operas are held in the rehearsal hall (originally the stable) at lunchtime. A wonderful art gallery is housed in the old courthouse/jail just a block away.

Allenspark - The town has two cafes. The Hummingbird Cafe, behind the Post Office, serves breakfast and lunch. Meadow Mountain Cafe, down the road (Business Route 7) about a block, and just past Fawnbrook Inn, serves lunch and dinner.  Both cafes are local hangouts with great friendly atmospheres.  And for a truly sumptuous experience, Fawnbrook Inn is a 5 star restaurant where folks travel long distances just to experience this fine dining. Reservations are recommended.

Rocky Mountain National Park - Just four miles northwest on Highway 7 (on the west side of the road) is the Wild Basin entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. There's no cost to enter.  The ranger station with ample parking is located about a mile back on winding but relatively flat road past Copeland Lake.  Numerious trails for hikers of all levels are available.  Copeland Falls is a nice easy destination, only half a mile from the parking lot. During winter months, the rangers lead snow shoe nature hikes, and once a month, moonlit snow shoe nature hikes in the park.

Estes Park -  is 17 miles north of Allenspark on Highway 7.  It has supermarkets, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, bars, golf courses, traffic lights, hospital, museum, visitors center, shopping, movie theatre, etc..

Stanley Hotel - Located in Estes Park.  Mr Stanley, the inventor of the Stanley Steamer, built the hotel.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is quite majestic.  It has one of the best views of Long's Peak from a deep porch.

Ski Road - Is a loop road located in Allenspark, CO.  The US Olympic team practiced on the ski run in the 1920's.  The ski slope is closed; however, if you hike about 15 minutes up Allenspark Trail (just west from Willow Creek Cabin) you can still see the wide area that was once the slope -- and now is great for sledding. 

Glacier View - One of the most majestic views of the Continental Divide is from Glacier View, located on the south side of Highway 7, just east of where Hwy 7 and Hwy 72 intersects and west of the turn off for Raymond. In the summer, a small tourist shop sells peanuts to feed the chipmunks. If they should be closed, be sure to buy them elsewhere. Folks have been feeding the chipmunks here for most of the past century. Last we heard, the coin operated telescopes have been removed, but you can still get a great view of the Divide.

Sleeping Indian - Viewed from the northern end of Business Route 7 where it intersects with Highway 7, looking northwest towards the Continental Divide. The top of the range looks like the profile of an Indian, from his head (on the south) to his belly (on the north) -- which is formed by Mt. Meeker, a triangular peak. Even in August, the snow never melts in the spot that looks like his eye. Thus the name - Sleeping Indian. See if you can find him.

Continental Divide - The Peak-to-Peak Highway was originally intended to run on the eastern slopes from Long's Peak in Estes Park to Pike's Peak at Colorado Springs. While it was never finished south of Black Hawk, the drive from Estes Park to Black Hawk/Central city provides some of the most beautiful views in the country.

Enos Mills Cabin - Enos Mills was the founder of Rocky Mountain National Park.  His cabin is about 12 miles north of Allenspark, on the east side of Highway 7. The cabin today is a museum documenting his impressive work. It is located at the trail head of Twin Sisters Trail. From the top of Twin Sisters, you can see the Continental Divide, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas.  The hike up and back takes about 3 hours.

Charlie Eagle Plume's Trading Post -  North on Highway 7 past Wild Basin a mile or so is Charlie's trading post.  This is one of the finest emporiums of Native American work anywhere on earth.  In addition to antiques, the post features traditional, comtemporary, and modern pieces. While Charlie passed away several years back, friends of his keep the post operating with the same high quality as ever.