Colorado Fourth of July: Camping, Hiking & Lake Life

The best part of Colorado: there’s an abundance of trails to hike, unique locations to camp, and spectacular lakes to enjoy. And you can find all three of the above in just about any mountain town, which is exactly why we decided on a long Fourth of July weekend in the mountains—Gunnison, Colorado.

Unfortunately, many others had the same idea, which is why our originally three-and-a-half hour drive turned into a five-hour slug in traffic. It was worth it once we got to the camp site though. We arrived to the sound of rushing water from the creek. We hung up the hammock first, and took several moments to float above the water. It was a perfect beginning to a night out in the woods.

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Family photo in the hammock.

After staying up way to late drinking by the fire and playing with sparklers, we fell asleep by the creek in our tiny tent—happy as clams. The next morning, we drove back into town just in time to see all the hot air balloons lift off—a Gunnison tradition during the Fourth of July.

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Balloon lift-off in Gunnison, Colorado.
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Balloon descending onto a field.

Before the heat of the day set in, we hiked our way up the Dillion Pinnacles: an impressive band of pointy rocks. We got the opportunity to see the morning sky change, the wild flowers bloom, and our little pup run around like a wild dog.

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The clouds morphed into gloomy mounds of cotton candy in front of our very eyes.
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View of Dillion Pinnacles.

No trip to Gunnison is complete without a beer (or two) by Blue Mesa Lake, Colorado’s largest reservoir. My beer of choice: Leinenkeugel’s Summer Shandy—a refreshingly light summer brew.

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For us the perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday is to enjoy all that the land of the free has to offer: a camp by a creek, a hike up some pinnacles, and a beer by a lake.

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

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