Front Range

The Flatirons, a symbol of Boulder

The Front Range is a region in the US state of Colorado. It includes the range of the Rocky Mountains that gives it its name, as well as the Eastern Slope with communities in the eastern foothills of the mountains.

Cities

Other destinations

Ground Squirrel in Rocky Mountain National Park

Understand

Roughly speaking, this region is bounded on the:

Region boundaries in Colorado are indistinct, and sometimes contentious. If you're looking for a destination/attraction that you think should be in this region, but can't find it, check the pages for Northwestern Colorado, Eastern Plains, Denver Area, and even South Central Colorado and Southwestern Colorado.

This region takes its name from possibly the best-known sub-range of the Rocky Mountains in the United States, so called because it was the first range encountered by historic settlers as they moved in from the east. However, the region also contains other mountains. In Colorado, the Rockies consist mainly of two broadly parallel ridge lines running diagonally across the state, with high mountain parks (valleys) between them, and it's convenient to treat both the mountains of the Front Range and also the Gore and Park Ranges (two of the "rear" ranges paralleling the Front Range) as part of the region, along with the intervening parks and a few cities in the foothills that some other sources call the Eastern Slope.

The mountains in this area, with a few exceptions, are generally not as high as the southern extension of the Rockies or the geologically distinct San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado. However, they're still high enough to get serious winter weather, and winter sports are important here, with several world-famous ski resorts as well as Rocky Mountain National Park. East-west routes through the mountains are relatively few and far between, and generally go over high, rugged passes that may close for a while in the winter (and tax the cooling systems of passenger cars in the summer).

Talk

English, although you may find all manner of languages spoken at the ski resorts. Interpretive materials in several other languages are available at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Get in

By foot

For the dedicated long-distance hiker the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (in short Continental Divide Trail) is a United States National Scenic Trail running 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada. It follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states; Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Get around

During the winter, heavy ice and snow are a major concern, which can make driving difficult and slow going. Always check the weather and road conditions before heading out. Even on a clear winter's day, make sure your vehicle's wiper fluid reservoir is full. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) spreads both sand and magnesium chloride on the roads, which makes for an impenetrable, gluey mess on your windshield.

In the summer months, it's not uncommon to see the shoulders of the highways littered with broken-down vehicles that could not handle the steep grades and high altitude air of the Rocky Mountains. If you are venturing from a lower altitude, make sure your car can handle mountain driving. Thinner air means you will be burning more gasoline. Also, with so many steep grades, expect to gear down to avoid unnecessary friction to your brake pads.

Stay safe

Health

There's no reason to fear the mountains, as long as you approach them with proper respect and preparation. As with anywhere else, recklessness and a lack of forethought can get you into trouble, especially in Colorado's vast back country.

Safety

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.