Marijuana Industry News

Dispatches from the Highlands

Marijuana news from contributing authors and staff writers on the latest in marijuana and medical marijuana

May 22, 2018
San Francisco, CA

It’s the summer! And it doesn’t make sense to live in Colorado without enjoying it. Here is a quick Cadet’s guide to summer vacation in our great state.

Rocky Mountain National Park - Despite all the haters who said it was “too Rocky” and full of “too many trees,” Rocky Mountain National Park should be one of the first destinations on the road. Based on sheer size alone, you could strike out in any direction with a backpack full of food and flower, and live for a year (if summer lasted that long). Then again, if you’re if not into back country foraging (or if you have kids), head to epic campgrounds like Morraine Park and Glacier Basin.

Grand Lake - The deepest lake in the state, Grand Lake, is surrounded by picturesque highlands, and connects with several tributaries and other lakes. With enough rental cash, you can paddle-boat for hours (or canoe) with enough wide-open water space to load a bowl unafraid. For brunch, hit up the Grand Lake Lodge for one of the most spectacular views you’ll ever have at a restaurant (ask for a window seat).

Mesa Verde National Park - The guided tours through the ancestral Native American village will blow your mind if you’re high. The cliff dwellings are a mix of sacred history and human ingenuity, and deserving of the stop if you’re headed southwest. Tour groups gather in tight quarters, so be careful to empty your pockets of stinky bud, and don’t do anything stupid. You will be asked to enter small spaces and climb a very old ladder, so mild dosage if recommended.

Cripple Creek - Even if you missed Donkey Derby Days in June, you still have time to see this old west gamblin’ town up close. Surrounded by abandoned mines from the gold rush days, the town is more than just casinos. Great efforts have preserved many of the town’s original buildings, such as the Hospitality House, an old county hospital turned-motel. The Molly Kathleen Mine still operates and allows visitors to descend deep underground (arrive at close of business day to avoid sharing the elevator with 20 people, no joke). Or, if your hash roll has you firmly sedentary, consider a guided train-ride through the forest towards neighboring Victor.

Estes Park - A dizzying tourist stop for big-city weekenders, you’ll want to make your way straight to the Stanley Hotel, and fork over as much as you can for a “haunted” room (they’ll even throw in an EMF reader if you’re serious). The city’s main drag is crowded with the typical expensive “western crap” novelty stores, and thus, a damn perfect place to buy a belt buckle. Hand-made goodies like real salt-water taffy are available on every corner, and one can easily go overboard with a case of hard-core munchies. Make sure to stop in a one of the “old-time” photo booths to commemorate your vapecation… don’t worry, the sepia-tone won’t show the red in your eyes.

Garden of the Gods - Pretty much anything in Colorado Springs has “summer tourist” written all over it, from the zoo to Pikes Peak’s train to NORAD. But nothing is quite as inviting as Garden of the Gods, a prime place to take the out-of-state family for a hike, with plenty of crannies to steal away for a vape. You will have to fight the high urge to climb the stunning red-rock formations, that is, unless you planned ahead and brought a bunch of rope and gear.

Four Corners - The most anti-climactic destination in the history of destinations, the only way you will enjoy this stop is to roll in with a blunt, and have absolutely no place to be, whatsoever. Buzz-kill alert!

Idaho Springs - It’s not just a random town along I70: it is a cadet’s playground to spend the whole day. Start with a walk through the Argo Gold Mill, essentially a giant Rube Goldberg operation overlooking Clear Creek. Lunch at the original Beau Jo’s for pizza the size of a small aircraft, then head to Tommyknocker Brewery for an afternoon tour, or at least beer flight. Stumble just outside of town to toss a round of frisbee golf through authentic ruins on the “Ghost Town” course in Russell Gulch. Then head to the Indian Hot Springs to chief your brains
out and relax. Day well spent!

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Although they provide the same hiking, scenery, and great outdoors experience you love about Colorado, be forewarned that the sand dunes near Alamosa offer a view of one main thing: sand. And there’s lots of it. That’s not all, though. There’s sand-boarding (with snow boards), sand-castle building, photography of sand, picnicking in sand, and so many other sand-related activities that you might just go looking for a nearby swamp.

Mt Evans - One of the tallest of Colorado’s 14ers, Mt. Evans is a short jaunt just outside of Evergreen, and a quick getaway from the front range metropolis. Sure, the wimps ascend the heights in minivans to reach the nation’s “highest paved road,” but adventurous cadets know you can get much, much higher on foot. The only thing more invigorating than a bowl at the top after a grueling climb, is a dash down the side of the mountain during a surprise afternoon hail-and-thunderstorm.

Pretty Much All Ski Towns - During the season, they’re converted to Mountain Bike trails and Alpine Slides...if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all (but the kids will still want to go). Honorable mentions go to Breckenridge, Winter Park, and Vail.

Remember! Make sure to pack enough bud before you go, or research local shops near your destination and along the way. Some dispensaries, like Empire’s Serene Wellness, are easy to pop in while the rest of the family eats at the Dairy King.

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