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The Great Sand Dunes National Park Region is located deep in the center of Colorado. The territory encompasses many mountain ranges, summits, reservoirs, and state parks. Great Sand Dunes National Park is the namesake of the area and makes up the center of the destination. The national park includes the tallest sand dunes in North America, as well as grasslands, wetlands, forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. [The small town is historic, with many local memorials, original dwellings, and a small museum.](-had to change the source on this one as well). Pikes Peak is located within the destination. The peak is the highest summit in the southern Rocky Mountain Range and attracts many tourists during the summer months for hiking, hunting, horseback riding, and camping. Colorado Springs is [just east] found in the northeast corner of the region, and the Catamount Trailhead runs straight through the area. [Cascade and Manitou Springs] Pueblo and Colorado City are other prominent cities within the territory. The destination is filled with a wide variety of plant and animal life. The area has all four seasons, with warm temperatures and rain during the summer and cold weather with many inches of snow during the winter.
[The Green Mountain Falls Region encompasses three significant summits, three cities, and multiple reservoirs and rivers. Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, is a scenic town just beyond the Ute Pass. The town is riddled with shops and locally-owned restaurants. The town's main attraction is Gazebo Lake. Settlers made the lake after the town was established in the 1800s. A large gazebo is located near the lake's center, and here weddings and parties are often held. The town still sports many original buildings, including Victorian-style homes, log cabins, town buildings, and a preserved seventy room hotel.]
The Great Sand Dunes National Park Region encompasses numerous cities, including Colorado Springs, Buena Vista, Pueblo, and Colorado City, to name a few. Within the destination's borders are also located several rivers, lakes, and protected areas, such as Pike and San Isabel National Forest and Gunnison National Forest. The namesake of the destination, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, is visited for the variety of ecosystems found in the park, as well as the abundance of activities. Hiking, sandboarding, sand sledding, and horseback riding are only a few of the outdoor activities available to tourists visiting the national park.
Pikes Peak is [the largest and most popular attraction] another popular within the destination. As the highest summit in the southern half of the Rocky Mountains, many visitors with high to the summit's point or explore its mountainside. The peak was named after Zebulon Pike, an American explorer, and is the country's most visited mountain. Meuller State Park is located [in the west most area of the boundaries] near the Pikes Peak. The park has over fifty-five hiking trails, hunting areas, horseback riding trails, and mountain biking paths. Winter sports are also an everyday activity when visiting Meuller State Park.
North Catamount Reservoir is at the start of the Catamount Trailhead; the reservoir is common for fishing, and the scenic views of the lake and surrounding mountain ranges. Ormes Peak is to the north of Green Mountain Falls. The mountain leading to the peak is famous for having many rock climbing and rappelling areas. The Ute Pass is a significant draw to the destination as it connects the city of Cascade and Green Mountain Falls. The pass is written about in many western books and featured in many western movies. The Airforce Academy is located in the [northmost corner of the Green Mountain Falls Region] suburbs of Colorado Springs City. There, visitors can take tours of the academy and converse with academy attendees. [The average amount of visitors in the Green Mountain Falls Region falls around twenty million people.]
The summer months are most famous for the warm weather and flourishing plants and wildlife. During these months, everyday activities including, camping, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, and visiting the mountain peaks across the region. The winter months receive less tourism but still host a notable amount of visitors. From December to March, the destination holds many inches of snow on which visitors can enjoy snow sports such as; snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing, and snowboarding. Visitors spend an average of two to three nights in the area. Most tourists come from neighboring states such as; Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The state of Colorado is known for its agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and tourism industries. [Within the Green Mountain Falls Region,] Tourism is among the most significant source of local income. Visitors spending time in the area keep rental shops, hotels, and local restaurants in business. There are lots of cattle farms and ranches throughout the destination and into the mountains as well.
[The Green Mountain Falls Region spreads across a dense mountainous area of central Colorado. The town of Green Mountain Falls is both the namesake and the center point of the destination. The Woodland Park is at the northern border of the area, Muller State Park to the west, Pikes Peak to the south, and Manitou Springs to the east. There are but three cities within the destination boundaries. These cities all fall along the Catamount Trailhead. Cascade on the opposite side of the Ute Pass, then Green Mountain Falls, and Manitou Springs borders the large city of Colorado Springs.] The Great Sand Dunes National Park Region spreads across the central part of southern Colorado, bordering New Mexico to the south. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is the namesake and also the center point of the destination. Colorado Springs, the largest city within the destination, is found in the northeastern corner of the region, whereas Gunnison National Forest highlights the northwestern extremity of the destination. Dense forest, wetland, and rolling fields of prairie grasses make up the land throughout the area. The blue spruce is the state tree and a commonly found tree throughout the Green Mountain Falls Region. Beyond the blue spruce, there are many bearberry, blue columbine, and goldenrod riddled throughout the prairie. Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and juniper fill the forested areas, and the wetlands are home to a variety of shrubs, giant sponges, and thickets. Cottonwood trees can be found in any of these three landscapes.
The wildlife in the destination varies, with elk being the most common animal. Moose, mule deer, pronghorn, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, black bear, grizzly, grey wolf, coyote, cougar, lynx, and bobcats live on the wooded mountainsides. Many birds and small rodents live in the wetlands and open prairie fields. Concerning the ecosystems found within the Grand Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the typical landscape in the national park is alpine tundra, with wildflowers, pikas, marmots, ptarmigans, and bighorn sheep thriving in local conditions. However, dune fields, crooked forests, alpine lakes, grasslands, and wetlands are common in the national park as well.
The warm months of summer in the Great Sand Dunes destination's largest city, Colorado Springs, range from June to August. The average temperature during these months is seventy-six degrees. During the winter months, from December to March, the average temperature is around forty degrees. Summers are warm and mostly sunny, making this time of year peak travel season. The winters are cold with regular snowfall. The region receives around fifty-seven inches of snow per year and over eighteen inches of rain per year. There are, on average, 243 sunny days throughout the year. Ideal weather starts in the late morning till the evening. Wind and storms happen most often during the early mornings and late nights.
[The town of Green Mountain Falls was settled as a tourist town in the 1880s. A human-made lake was built shortly after the first settlers came to the town, and the gazebo was added not long after. The seventy room Green Mountain Falls Hotel was constructed slowly moving into the 1890s along with over one hundred tent cabins on the town's hillside. Actual homes and cabins were gradually built over the following years. The lake was constructed to offer recreation to visitors and locals because of the town's rural location.
In 1900 a train depot was built, which brought many more visitors and residents to the area. Many original buildings still reside in the town, including the church and gazebo on the lake. The city of Cascade is just off the southern end of the Ute Pass. The Colorado Midland Railway ran through the town, which brought work and easy transport to the area. Many ranchers and single women came to the area for its beauty and ample land. The ute tribe was the first and original residence in the Green Mountain Falls Region. Ranchers came from neighboring cities and states to establish the land. In 1890 officials found that the town hall, magistrate's office, community center, and civic swimming pool were all outside of the city limits, so in turn, the city boundaries were redrawn. Green Mountain Falls has a population of around 640 citizens, while Cascade is home to about 1260 people.]
The territory of what is nowadays known as the Great Sand Dunes National Park has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The oldest evidence of the human presence in the area can be dated back approximately 11,000 years, when the lands were inhabited by nomadic hunters and gatherers of the Stone Age. Spaniards arrived at the Great Sand Dunes roughly 400 years ago, when the area of the national park was inhabited by modern Indigenous tribes. Don Diego de Vargas is the first European known to enter the San Luis Valley in 1694, although it is suspected Spanis colonizers entered the Valley as early as 1598. The first written mention of the Grand Sand Dunes dates back to 1807, when the nature area appeared in Zebulon Pike’s journals. The territory of today's national park was gradually explored. In order to preserve the local nature, Great Sand Dunes received a national monument status in 1932 and eventually became a national park and preserve in 2004.
The largest settlement within the Great Sand Dunes National Park destination is Colorado Springs, found in the northeastern corner of the region. The city started as a small settlement called Colorado City, which was established in 1859. The city became the headquarters of the Colorado Midland Railroad, which was one of the city’s largest employers by 1886. In 1891, gold was discovered at Cripple Creek, which lead to increased wealth and prosperity in the city. Nowadays, Old Colorado City is an art district at the western border of Colorado Springs. The city of Colorado Springs was founded as a Fountain Colony downstream of Colorado City on July 31, 1871. Later, the city was renamed Colorado Springs in 1879. The name of the city was derived from springs found along Monument Creek. In 1873, the county seat was transferred from Old Colorado City to Colorado Springs as the city prospered. Numerous tourists were attracted to Colorado Springs due to its high altitude, mineral waters, and dry climate. During its peak period, Colorado Springs became a center for the treatment of tuberculosis, with 17 tuberculosis hospitals in the area. The city is also historically known for being the place where the inventor Nikola Tesla built and operated his wireless power experimental station in 1899. The Old Colorado City was annexed to Colorado Springs in 1917.
The Abriendo Inn is located in Pueblo, Colorado, and was originally built in 1906 by Martin Walter, who founded Walter’s Beer. The building was formally known as Walter’s Mansion until it was converted into an inn. Jeff and Cindy Bailey are the current owners of the property and have strived to keep the style of the building true to its 1900s Victorian style. The house is three stories and has a wrap-around porch that includes sitting areas for visitors. There are a total of seven suites available for reservations, each including a coffee bar and some with jetted tubs. Breakfast is served every day in a ‘grab and go’ style; additionally, food items are available 24/7. The business is open year-round, with the busiest season falling between late spring and early fall....Read More
Holden House 1902 Bed & Breakfast Inn
The Holden House 1902 Bed and Breakfast is owned by Sallie and Welling Clark, who renovated and restored the building in 1985. The business has been in operation ever since 1986, being open year-round. The inn is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is known for the various activities in the area. Such attractions include hiking Pikes Peak, zip-lining, horseback riding, dining, shopping, museums, and visiting wineries. The inn also has a wine social every day for patrons, including wine and cheese. The property has three buildings on the premises- The Main House, Rose Victorian, and the Carriage House. Each home has two suites available for visitors to book. Breakfast is served every day at either eight or nine in the morning in the Main House. Breakfast includes fresh fruit and muffins, with either a sweet or savory dish....Read More