Westcliffe – A Historical and Attractive Town

Have you ever dreamed about living in a town at the base of the mountains, but you didn’t really know of many towns like that? Well, Westcliffe is one of those towns, as it is located at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Located in Colorado, this small town has an interesting history that would attract people to visit it. So, what is so special about Westcliffe that makes its history so unique – and what can you write a essay about if you decide to visit? Read here to find out.

The History of Westcliffe

Back in June 1878, miners discovered silver inside the cliff of the Wet Mountain Valley. Consequently, Silver Cliff (as it was named) started growing very quickly. In 1880, Silver Cliff’s population was of 5,040, the highest it’s ever been up to that point. Because of that, it became the third largest city in Colorado.

As a result, by 1881, Silver Cliff’s growth determined The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad to enlarge its growing rail lines – and pass them through some property purchased one mile west of the town. This new stimulus followed the same Grape Creek path that Zebulon Pike walked 75 years before that. Therefore, having new homes, businesses and a new storage, Westcliffe was born.

In 1881, the Westcliffe line was devastated by a flash flood. Although the line was rebuilt in 1884, it was abandoned in 1889 – after another flood. However, Westcliffe stayed there, and it prospered.

Later in 1901, The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad returned with a line from Texas Creek to Westcliffe. Despite the route being abandoned in 1938, it paralleled what is today known as Colorado Highway 69. It offers access to the markets containing the area’s prized mountain valley hay, the growing cattle operations, and many others.

What to Do in Westcliffe, Colorado?

Did the history impress you? Have you decided it was time to visit the town? That would be a great idea and a great option for a routine break. Westcliffe, although small, has some things to do to keep you entertained. It’s where you could feel at peace for a while.

The area is pretty quiet, with many hiking and biking trails, as well as alpine lakes. The fresh air and the unbeaten paths will make you want to go on a little adventure. So, here is what you could to in Westcliffe:

  1. Go to the San Isabel National Forest

The National Forest’s campgrounds are easily accessible. In addition, they allow you to do some fun activities. Many climbers, hikers, skiers, boaters, bird-watchers, and hunters will surely find something to do here. If you’re on the list, you most likely won’t get bored.

Moreover, the Crestone Needle is about 17 miles from Westcliffe, and it’s a great place for rock climbers. At the same time, hikers and mountain bikers will find a paradise at Sangre de Cristos.

  1. Stargaze from the Smokey Jack Observatory

Who wouldn’t like to watch the stars? It’s a beautiful thing that you probably don’t usually do, especially if your area is highly polluted. Thankfully, Westcliffe has a very light pollution level, allowing you to stargaze successfully.

The International Dark-Sky Association recognized the communities of Westcliffe and Silvercliff for having exemplary stargazing opportunities. So, if you are an enthusiast when it comes to this, why miss the chance? The Observatory even hosts star parties during summer.

  1. Go to a Restaurant

You’ll most likely want to go to a restaurant and taste some local food, just like in any trip. Thankfully, Westcliffe hosts more than 10 restaurants ready to serve you, and some lodging facilities that range from rustic to B&Bs. Catch a table at the Alpine Lodge for amazing views of the vast Wet Valley.

  1. Visit the Roadside Attractions

Wouldn’t you like to visit the Westcliffe Depot railroad museum? Museums always have something interesting to show you, so you wouldn’t regret it. Also, you could stop for a performance movie at the Historic Jones Theater. A performance movie is surely a way to keep you entertained, especially if you don’t usually go to such events.

Bishop’s Castle is also a place you should give a go if you’re in the area – since it’s only about 28 miles southeast of Westcliffe. An interesting fact is that Jim Bishop has built this free and visitor-ready attraction on his own, back in 1969.

Final Thoughts

Colorado hosts a beautiful town with an interesting history. Being a railroad town, it has slowly grown and become a peaceful area where you could get some fresh air. Moreover, there are many activities to keep potential tourists entertained. You can either go stargazing, hiking, climbing, or visit the roadside attractions. The restaurants, attractions, and landscapes are sure to keep you entertained.

If you’re looking for a quiet vacation where you can enjoy some amazing views, Westcliffe is waiting for you.

The Most Interesting Parts of US – West

 

Living the American dream is not complete if you do not pay a visit to the good old Western part of the USA. The 13 westernmost states, along with the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin and the states Alaska and Hawaii enrich this part of the US with a stunning diversity worth to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Adventure seems to be the perfect word to describe the impressive coastline, the well-known Grand Canyon and the snowcapped Rockies that combine harmoniously, making the West one of the most visited parts of the world. Check out the most interesting places you can’t miss when visiting the Western part of the USA:

  • Los Angeles

You can’t miss the chance to visit what is today the most famous place on Earth – Hollywood. Apart from the enormous sign which is one of the best-known landmarks of the USA, there’s a lot to see and admire: Santa Monica, Runyon Canyon and Los Angeles County Museum of Art are only small pieces of such a great place.

  • Grand Canyon National Park

If you’re a fan of dusty trails and stories about famous explorers, Grand Canyon is the perfect place to visit. The park’s raw desert climate and the magnificent silence is on every visitor’s taste, whether you’re a hard-core hiker or a sightseeing lover. Rich in history and sublime vistas, the Grand Canyon is one of the experiences that will change your view of the world- literally.

  • San Francisco

A top-notch destination when visiting the West is this amazing city: San Francisco – a city that combines a little bit of everything. From the amazing view you can admire while walking on the Golden Gate Bridge or after you’ve climbed the 43 hills on which the glittery, fabulous city is placed, you will encounter unforgettable experiences with your head in the clouds. Do not miss Alcatraz, the Coit Tower, the Cable Cars and Golden Gate Park.

  • Yellowstone National Park

As one of the first iconic national parks of USA, Yellowstone manages to remain impressive for every visitor with its impressive geysers and the breathtaking landscapes surrounding it: canyons, mountains, and forests. With its rich flora and fauna, you’ll feel closer than ever to nature.

  • Rocky Mountains National Park

Miles of less-beaten paths, challenging hiking trails and high-altitude lakes are some of the reasons tourists are so attracted to this untamed heart of the Rockies Mountains.

  • Hawaii

Who doesn’t want to spend a holiday in Paradise? Coral reefs, volcanoes, and the multiculturalism never cease to amaze its tourists. The sunrises and the sunsets have never looked so impressive than admired from the West Coast.

  • Seattle

Being “Sleepless in Seattle” is not only a myth – as there are so many things to do. Diversity seems to be the perfect word that characterizes this city, also called the United States of Neighborhoods, as they come in many shapes, sizes and fanciness. Do not miss the famous Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture and Discovery Park.

  • Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas… is amazing! Casinos, luxury, and celebrities are things you will find at any corner, but natural beauty is also accompanying this famous city with tectonics carved by the wind, epic mountains, and never-ending forests.

  • Glacier National Park

If you visit Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon or the Yosemite National Park, it will be a pity to miss this one. Glacier National Park is a pristine area perfect for every nature lover who wants to enjoy some time away from the concrete jungles.

  • California

From sun-kissed beaches to the famous Disneyland Park, California offers its visitors huge opportunities to experience once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Visit Palm Springs, the Silicon Valley and the sun will follow you everywhere.

  • Alaska

Another unique part of the Western USA is Alaska – where each visitor can feel the ‘call of the wind’ described by Jack London in his famous book. Places such as Denali National Park along with the small, yet unique towns there will offer you unforgettable moments.

  • San Juan Islands

You can feel nature’s warm embrace only by visiting this oasis of peace and quiet. This archipelago is perfect for relaxation, as well as for fishing, whale-watching, sailing, and hiking. And then writing a tourism essay about your experience!

With such impressive places on your bucket list, you are half equipped for unique and unforgettable adventures. Pack your luggage, make sure you take the right safety travel precautions and enjoy every experience the Western US offers to its visitors: from the beauty of Hawaiian hula and the modern buildings in Seattle to the frosty glaciers of Alaska and the impressive casinos of Vegas Adventure, the West part of the US is waiting for you with some of the best known landmarks in the world, so make sure you’re ready to enjoy every spot the West Coast displays to the entire world.