Continuing west from Leadville, we arrived in Glenwood Springs which is located at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. As you might infer from its name, it is also home to numerous natural hot springs. As you approach the town from the east, you pass through the beautiful Glenwood Canyon through which flows the Colorado River. In Glenwood Springs we parked at Ami’s Acres Campground.
Situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. It is located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies about 100 miles west of Denver. For our visit to Leadville, we parked at Sugar Loafin’ Campground. From the streets of Leadville, looking west you will see the two tallest of Colorado’s “fourteeners”: Mount Elbert which peaks at 14,440 feet and Mount Massive at 14,428 feet. After California’s Mount Whitney, Mount Elbert is the second highest peak in the contiguous United States.
This is the first time in Montana for both of us. Columbia Falls is located southwest of the west entrance to Glacier National Park. We parked at the LaSalle RV Park.
I don’t attempt to rank national parks and other places of natural beauty since each place offers something unique and special. But suffice it to say that Glacier National Park gave us many opportunities to feel overwhelmed with the sheer scale and beauty of what we were seeing. This place that was carved and shaped by geological forces and glaciers occupies about one million acres in northwestern Montana.
From Anacortes, we headed north and crossed the Canadian border at Sumas, WA. Once across, we turned east to the town of Hope. This small town is on the Frasier River at the southern end of the Frasier Valley. This is a place of spectacular natural beauty. Near vertical granite mountains rise up in all directions. The Trans Canada Highway runs through the valley.
In 1848, Fort Hope was established by Hudson’s Bay Company at the trailhead for what is now known as HBC Heritage Trail. This trail was originally developed as a way to reach inland bypassing Frasier Valley since the valley walls were too steep to navigate. In the years following, the fur trade and the 1858 Frasier River Gold Rush supported Hope and its residents.