Category: 20 MIN IN COLO

COMPASSIONATE DHARMA CLOUD MONASTERY- I-285 S at Settlers Dr

A quick drive west on I-285 S from the Denver suburbs will take you right to the Compassionate Dharma Cloud Buddhist Monastery.  And a stop at this beautiful facility is even more rewarding than being able to pronounce their name! Take a left off…

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FRONT STREET: Fairplay

Visiting the whole town of Fairplay is far from a ’20 min’ stop along I-285, but having a picnic along the river and enjoying Front Street certainly is not! As you enter the town of Fairplay, take a right turn onto Main street.  Look…

COMO ROUNDHOUSE: I-285 S at Boreas Pass Rd

Just minutes off of I-285 S at Boreas Pass Rd, you will find the not-really-there-anymore Como Roundhouse. Once a repair shop for the Denver-South Park-Pacific narrow gauge Railroad, this 6 bay stone Roundhouse served the town of Como Colorado from 1881 to 1938. There’s not much…

COLLEGIATE PEAKS SCENIC OVERLOOK: Exit: CO 302

Just before Johnson Village on I-285 S, you’ll find the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Overlook.  Its a great ’20 min’ stop with the best view of the Collegiate Peaks in the state.  Take a right onto Rd 304.  There is a $1 day use fee,…

ST ELMO: Near Nathrop

The St Elmo Ghost Town is not actually a ’20 min’ stop, but it was so much fun to poke around in, I decided to include it anyway! You’ll need about 1 1/2-2 hrs for this excursion. From I-285 S you’ll take the Chalk…

CHRISTMAS 1806 PICNIC GROUND: Poncha Springs

Just before you arrive in Poncha Springs along I-285 S, you will find the Christmas 1806 Picnic Ground.  It’s a ‘don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it’ spot, but a significant one nonetheless. It was pouring rain when we arrived at the Christmas 1806 Picnic Ground, so we decided to…

ROBERTSON’S FLOUR MILL: Saguache

I-285 travels right through the town of Saguache.  While your there, take a quick ’20 min detour’ to see Robertson’s Flour Mill.  It is the only U.S. water powered grist mill still left standing! (If you have the time, you might want to take…

HIGH VALLEY MENNONITE CHURCH: Center

Just under 1 1/2 miles off of I-285 you will find the High Valley Mennonite Church. I must admit that I was excited to see this stop off of I-285.  I come from a Mennonite background, and most of the churches I knew are…

UFO WATCHTOWER: Hwy 17 at Hooper

Welcome to “The Bermuda Triangle of the West.” The San Luis Valley boasts more UFO sightings than anywhere else in the country, and the area’s UFO Watchtower records sightings nearing the hundreds.  As a result, it receives anywhere from 2,000- 5,000 visitors each year. To get…

COLORADO GATORS REPTILE PARK: Exit 112

Maybe not a ’20 min’ stop off of I-285, but the Colorado Gator and Reptile Park is more than worth the effort if you have an hour or so and an extra $20 per person (discount tickets are sold at the UFO Watchtower)! Traveling…

MONTE VISTA WILDLIFE REFUGE: Co-15

A quick detour from I-285 S in the town of Monte Vista leads you into the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. As you enter the town of Monte Vista along I-285, stay on the Hiwy and watch as it turns into Broadway, Gunbarrel and…

CANO’S CASTLE: Antonito

Although it’s far from being a ‘little-known site’, no trip through Antonito is complete without a stop at Cano’s Castle. Born Dominic (Donald) Espinosa, the Castle’s architect & builder now goes by ‘Cano’ which is the Native American term for ‘reborn’.  Just like his…

OLDEST CHURCH IN CO: Antonito

Built in 1863, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the oldest and first permanent church in Colorado. Heading south on I-285, this site is a quick one to see.  Look to the west at 8th street in Antonito and you can’t miss it. Turn west…

ROADSIDE CHAPEL: South 285

Goodbye…goodbye…parting is such sweet sorrow Heading out of Antonito on S-285, it is about time to exit the beautiful and ‘Colorful’ state of Colorado.  Before you cross the border into New Mexico however, there is a roadside chapel worth dropping in on.  Maybe you…

IDAHO SPRINGS WATER WHEEL: Exit 241

Tayler Water Wheel Many visitors to the state of Colorado who make their way from Denver into the Rocky Mountains find themselves traveling on I-70.  This highway makes its way into the heart of the Rockies.  Here you can learn about the Gold Rush,…

WILDLIFE VIEWING AREA: Exit 232

Are Colorado’s Bighorn Sheep calling your name? If so, then pull off I-70 W at exit 232 and follow Alvarado Rd W until it becomes Argentine St.  You’ll find yourself at the Wildlife Viewing Area in Georgetown.  Here at the Viewing Area, you can…

BLACK LAKES PICNIC SITE: Exit 190

Oooo…you’re in for a treat! As you approach Exit 190, You’ll see signs for Shrine Pass Rd.  Exit there. The Black Lakes Picnic Site is the reward you’ll find waiting for you just a few minutes off the highway!     Continue on to…

GYPSUM PONDS: Exit 140

Ah… A clear blue mountain pond on a sunny day in Colorado is always a feast for the eyes, but Gypsum Ponds are much more! Gypsum Ponds is a State Wildlife Area, and an enjoyable “20 min” stop.  Here you can enjoy not only…

SOPRIS ALPACA FARM: Exit 105

The Sopris Alpaca Farm, “Where Heaven and Nature Humm” Just off I-70 at exit 105 is where you will find that slice of heaven, at the Sopris Alpaca Farm!  From Exit 105, Follow Hiwy 6 for about 10 min and watch for the sign…

WESTERN SLOPE VIETNAM MEMORIAL: Exit 19

      Field of Dreams       Dedicated to the men and women who served in the United States of America Armed Forces during the Vietnam War 1959-1975 At Exit 19 in Fruita you will find the Western Slope Vietnam Memorial, along with…

TRAIL THROUGH TIME: Exit 2

Take a walk on the ancient side… Just before you hit the Utah border, pull off of I-70 at exit 2 into Rabbit Valley.  Follow the exit road until you get to Rabbit Valley Rd, and  turn right.  You will end up in the parking…

JOHNSON’S CORNER TRUCK STOP: Exit 254

  Located on I-25 at exit 254, you will find Johnson’s Corner.  A truck stop that locals here in the Denver area know well, it is a destination not to be missed!  Opening in 1952 in what was once farmland, Johnson’s Corner has always…

BENSON SCULPTURE GARDEN: Exit 257

Okay… so some stops in Colorado need a little more than 20 minutes, and this little stop off Exit 257 just north of Loveland is one of those.  You’ll need…say… 35 minutes. Discover the Benson Sculpture Garden. In addition to the restrooms, lush riverside…

CHAPUNGU SCULPTURE PARK: Exit 265

Ah…Loveland.  Known for its art and outdoor sculpture, it draws in artists from all over the country for competitions, and often for a permanent change of address.  U.S. Art Magazine ranked it in the top 8 ‘great art destinations’. The area also provides for…

SWETSVILLE ZOO: Exit 265

There are so many choices along America’s highways to stop for a 20 minuet break, and Colorado is loaded with them!  There are rest stops, picnic areas, historical landmarks, points of interest, hiking trails and scenic overlooks. And then there is the Swetsville Zoo….

COLORADO WELCOME CENTER / RUNNING DEER NATURAL AREA & TRAIL: Exit 268

Most people would say that along the I-25 corridor between the Wyoming border and Denver there is ‘a-lotta nothin‘. I say…HOGWASH! There is, however, a-lotta open space, green rolling hills, farming fields nestled in at the base of the Rocky Mountains, old abandoned buildings,…

WESTERN MUSEUM OF MINING AND INDUSTRY: Exit 156

  Traveling along I-25 South of Denver, you will pass by the: Western Museum of Mining and Industry, open since 1970.  It is located at Exit 156 and is just North of Colorado Springs. What a great place to get out and stretch your…

INTRODUCTION TO: 20 Min In Colorado

We love our state and would love to have you visit! For a ‘20 min in Colorado’ stop, you’ll generally find a place for a picnic, a restroom and something to see! I live in the beautiful state of Colorado and I am blessed. …