Photos: High times in Denver

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  1. Fronting the Front Range

    Denver lies at the base of the Rocky Mountains and is a commercial hub for the Mountain States. Its elevation is officially 5,280 feet. (Stan Obert / Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A full Platte

    Park goers watch from the banks of the Platte River at Denver's Confluence Park as a couple of kayakers make their way through the white water. Denver has more than 200 parks, rivers and trail areas, public golf courses and recreation centers. (Ed Andrieski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Cleaning up town

    Phoebe and Joel Mackler are dwarfed by the size of a sculpture of a broom and dustpan at the Denver Art Museum in downtown Denver. Admission to the art musem is free on the first Saturday of every month. (Ed Andrieski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Peak-a-boo!

    The sun breaks through the clouds to highlight the summit of Pikes Peak as seen from the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Ed Andrieski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Dome of the Rockies

    The Colorado State Capitol Building is located downtown at the east end of Civic Center Park. The 15th step on the west side of the building is exactly 1 mile above sea level. (Stan Obert / Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Red Rocks and rock concerts

    Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a 9,000-seat arena that has been carved out of the local sandstone rock formations. Located 12 miles west of Denver, the venue has hosted everyone from the Beatles to top symphony orchestras. (Ron Ruhoff / Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Downtown shopping

    Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall has nearly 50 shops and restaurants. Located downtown near the Colorado Convention Center, the lively shopping center hosts a number of concerts and festivals. (Stan Obert / Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. High ball

    Coors Field, the home of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies, has 50,000 seats, most with great views of Denver and the mountains. (Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Belles of the mountains

    The Maroon Bells, a range of snowcapped peaks near Aspen, is one of the most photographed spots in Colorado. (Stan Obert / Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. The cowboy way

    Paul Stewart founded the Black American West Museum, which tells the story of African-American cowboys. (David Falconer / Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. It's the water

    The Downtown Aquarium immerses visitors on two journeys, one from the Continental Divide in Colorado to Mexico's Sea of Cortez, the other from an Indonesian rain forest to the Pacific Ocean. (Randy Brown / Denver Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 5/8/2009 9:47:41 AM ET 2009-05-08T13:47:41

Glenwood Springs, Colo., from $50 per room per night
Located near both Aspen and Vail, Glenwood Springs is offering a post-ski and pre-summer special, Springs Thaw. Rates start at $50 per room per night at Red Mountain Inn; add $9 per night at Cedar Lodge Motel. Many other local hotels are available at slightly higher prices of up to $159 per room per night. Spring activities are deeply discounted when booked as a package with lodging. For example, you can save 20 percent off the cost of a day pass to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (normally $37) or about 25 percent off the cost of a half-day of rafting (normally $47).

Plus, if you go to the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool before Memorial Day, you'll pay the low-season admission price of $13.25, saving $3.50–$5 per person compared to peak-season rates. You can also register to win a Springs Thaw getaway to Glenwood Springs, including a two-night stay, bicycle rentals, and shuttle service for two, two half-day rafting trips with Rock Gardens Rafting, and two passes to each of the following: Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and Yampah Spa Vapor Caves.

When: Through May 20, 2009.

Details: Some properties include breakfast. Taxes are an additional 11.1 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 888/445-3696, springsthaw.com.

Aspen, Colo., from $129 per room per night
Guests who book a two-night stay at any Aspen lodge will receive a complimentary Aspen Summer Pass loaded with savings on local dining, shopping, activities, and cultural attractions.

Here's a taste of the discounts: half off admission to any recital or chamber music event (kids under 17 get in free) at Aspen Music Festival and School; 30 percent off bike rentals at Aspen Sports; a 30 percent discount on purchases at B'jewel, a women's apparel and jewelry boutique; 20 percent off Gray Line bus service from Denver International Airport to Aspen, or Aspen to Denver International Airport; buy-one-get-one-free rock climbing with Aspen Expeditions; $25 off any treatment or temporary membership of $100 or more at The Aspen Club & Spa; $4 off admission to Aspen Recreation Center, which is about a 25 percent savings for kids and adults; and a free candy bar from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Plus, guests who book a rafting trip with Blazing Adventures will also get a 15 percent discount on a bike tour, a hike, a Jeep tour, or a sunset dinner. You'll receive the Aspen Summer Pass upon check-in. Other summer promotions include 50 percent Off Wednesdays, an offer that's valid at any Aspen lodge if you stay two nights and covers half-off admission to select events and activities. Staying more than two nights? Participating lodges are offering a fourth night free special for those who book three nights. Accommodation rates start at $129 per room per night at the Limelight Lodge and $195 per room per night at the Sky Hotel.

When: May 25–Oct. 31, 2009.

Details: The Limelight Lodge includes a breakfast buffet while the Sky Hotel does not. Must book a minimum of two nights to get the Aspen Summer Pass. Hotel taxes and fees are an additional 10.1 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 866/572-9641, aspenchamber.org.

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Mesa Verde National Park, Colo., from $199 per room per night
The Soaring Savings package includes a one-night stay at the Far View Lodge, continental breakfast for two, and a half-day ranger-guided bus tour for two of ancient sites, including Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America. Located 15 miles inside Mesa Verde National Park and created to fit in with its natural surroundings, the lodge has no in-room TVs. The package will save you about 20 percent during Mesa Verde's peak season. Rates start at $199 per night for a standard room.

When: Through Oct. 21, 2009.

Book by: Based on availability.

Details: Taxes and fees are an additional 8 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. To book, refer to promo code SOARING.

Contact: 866/292-8295, visitmesaverde.com.

Avon, Colo., from $329 per room per night
The Down and Dirty: I Love Mud Season package includes accommodations in a spacious studio suite with a king-size bed and a pullout sofa (sleeps up to four people) at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in the Vail Valley. You also get a $200 credit for a treatment of your choice at Spa Anjali, a therapeutic mud bath to take home, and complimentary valet parking. There's more: a morning Jeep tour for two and an afternoon white-water rafting trip for two, both led by Nova Guides. The ecofriendly resort, which sits on the banks of the Eagle River, has 210 guest rooms, each with a fireplace, Westin Heavenly Beds, and a large bathroom. Guests can take advantage of the on-site Restaurant Avondale owned by chef Thomas Salamunovich, the Riverfront Club fitness center, the Westin Kids Club, an outdoor pool, three hot tubs, and bike rentals. The special promotion adds up to a savings of 20 percent. Rates start at $329 per room per night.

When: Through June 1, 2009.

Details: Based on a minimum two-night stay. Breakfast is not included. A resort fee of $20 per night and 12.4 percent in taxes are additional. Based on double occupancy; solo guests pay the same nightly rate. Ask for promo code WESMUD.

Contact: 866/949-1616, westin.com.

Powderhorn, Colo., from $167 per person per night
The Powderhorn Guest Ranch in Colorado's Rocky Mountains (elevation: 8,674 feet) has a reduced rate for its three-night package that's valid through the end of the season. The special rate covers accommodations and three meals a day with snacks, as well as a variety of activities such as rafting on the Taylor or Gunnison rivers, horseback riding with free group instruction, fly-fishing, Jeep tours, and hiking. Square dancing and other Western entertainment are also part of the offer. Extras like a private horse-riding lesson or a private fly-fishing adventure start at $65 per person per hour. You'll stay in an individual carpeted log cabin with a front porch, a private bath, a fridge, and a coffeemaker. Cabins range in size from singles and doubles to larger ones that can accommodate four to six people.

Daily housecleaning is included. Rates start at $500 per adult for three nights (ages 13 and up), and $400 per child for three nights (ages 6–12); no charge for children ages 2–5. The ranch is also reducing its standard six-night rate from $1,495 to $1,395 per adult (ages 13 and up), $1,095 per child for six nights for ages 6–12, and $700 per child for six nights for ages 2–5.

When: Through Sept. 30, 2009.

Details: Based on a three-night stay, Sunday through Wednesday or Wednesday through Saturday. The weekly rates are based on Sunday through Saturday stays. Taxes are an additional 3.4 percent. Prices are per person; no minimum occupancy requirement. An optional airport-ranch pickup and drop-off is $20 per person each way.

Contact: 800/786-1220, powderhornguestranch.com. For a complete list of ranches and their rates, check the Web site of the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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