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Things to do in Aspen

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Aspen Art Museum
The Aspen Art Museum is a non-collecting institution presenting the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art. Our innovative and timely exhibitions, education and public programs, immersive activities, and community happenings actively engage audiences in thought-provoking experiences of art, culture, and society. In 1976, a City of Aspen vote led to the acquisition and development of an out-of-use building at 590 North Mill Street that became the Aspen Art Museum’s first home until 2014. Built in 1888, the Hunter Creek Power Plant first served the city’s silver mining operations while also enabling Aspen to be the first city west of the Mississippi to have streetlights powered by hydroelectric energy. Supporting a recommendation that an art space would offer the most creative and adaptive community service, the City assisted efforts to rehabilitate the disused structure. By November 1977, the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts (ACVA) was incorporated within the state of Colorado, and in August 1978, the ACVA board selected its first director, Philip Yenawine.
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John Denver Sanctuary
The John Denver Sanctuary is nestled in the heart of Aspen, next to the Rio Grande Park, adjacent to Theatre Aspen's summer performances. Its location, near the Roaring Fork River, makes this an ideal spot for quiet meditation or a family picnic. The Song Garden features many of the iconic singer's lyrics etched into native river boulders placed in a perfect circle to represent the circle of life as a score of music. At the circle's center, a single Colorado Blue Spruce was planted which symbolizes the spirit of John. It is an idyllic location and visitors will not wonder for long where "Rocky Mountain High" originated. The man-made wetlands and winding streams work as an innovative stormwater filter system, cleaning water before it drains into the Roaring Fork River. Within the Sanctuary, you will find one of the largest perennial flower gardens open to the public, which adds to the friendly atmosphere for its visitors from around the globe. These beautiful gardens start blooming during late May/ early June, which makes this the perfect location for small get-togethers or even weddings.
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Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Anderson Ranch is home to one of the most respected visual arts programs in the country. Located on a 5-acre historic mountain ranch in Snowmass Village, the Ranch offers over 140 Summer Workshops for artists of all ages and levels in Photography & New Media, Ceramics, Painting & Drawing, Furniture Design & Woodworking, Sculpture, Woodturning, and Printmaking. Summertime Children's and Teen Workshops are also available. The Ranch has art galleries with a full exhibition schedule and Art Works gift shop. The Ranch cafe is open in the summer for lunch. Winter and Spring Artist-in-Residence Programs are available for emerging and established artists to further their artistic practice. Field Expeditions and Studio Concentrations available. Public events are free and offered year-round.
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Wheeler Opera House
Constructed in the late 1800s by business tycoon Jerome Wheeler, this opera house has been a major source of entertainment in the Roaring Fork Valley for more than a century. Today, this performance venue remains an Aspen gem, featuring Victorian architecture, beautiful decor and a stunning electric chandelier. The theater still hosts regular events ranging from concerts to film screenings to plays, and according to recent travelers, you shouldn't turn down the chance to catch a show here. Visitors love the small, intimate theater and say that it makes for a cozy atmosphere with great acoustics. The Wheeler Opera House doesn't offer tours, but travelers suggest stopping in for a quick peek, even if you don't have time to see a show.
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Skiing at Park City
Winter mountain skiing is always a pleaser with its perfect combo of groomers and powder. Also Park City has more biking and hiking trails in the summer than any outdoorist can handle. Park City is a unique combination of easy access and remote appeal. At times you feel like you're hundreds of miles from the civilized world yet you're just 35 easy miles from the Salt Lake International Airport
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Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWCNF) encompasses Utah's Wasatch Mountains adjacent to the state's northern metropolitan area, and the north slope of the High Uintas Wilderness. Containing nearly 2.1 million acres of geological and ecologically-diverse landscapes, this collection of forest areas is one of the most frequently visited in the nation. Ski and summer resorts located in this forest along the Wasatch Front near Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City and Park City provide world-renowned downhill skiing, Nordic and snowmobiling options, as well as a variety of summer activities ranging from the IMBA-certified mountain biking trails of Park City to the mountain coaster and Oktoberfest of Snowbird. Further south, American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon offer a stunning mix of aspen and tree-covered slopes that include the zip lines, Blue Ribbon fly-fishing and singletracks of Sundance Mountain Resort, Deer Creek State Park and other destinations. Between the two canyons lies the 11,750-acre Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness.
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Red Butte Garden - Utah
Red Butte Garden is Utah’s Botanical Garden and part of the University of Utah. It is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West. Explore themed gardens, a children's garden, waterfall and pond and nearly five miles of natural area hiking trails. “Four Seasons, A Million Reasons” to visit for floral shows, outdoor concerts, camps and classes. A new 4-acre garden opened May 2017 to rave reviews and amazing views.
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Bryce Canyon National Park
Wind, water and time have eroded Bryce Canyon National Park's sandstone cliffs into otherworldly characters plucked from the unconscious of a mad Viking. Rows of humanoid pillars crosshatched by rock strata look almost intentional but perfectly surreal. So silent, eerie and beautiful. So improbable it has to be true! Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah near the city of Bryce (convenient, eh?), and is accessible by air or car from Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, St. George and even neighboring Zion National Park. Done hiking and looking to rest your weary head? You’ve got options. The park itself is a one-stop vacation shop. Besides camping there’s a quaint, rustic lodge at the center of the park built in the 1920s featuring cozy cabins, suites and motel rooms, plus a dining room and gift shop. If you want to take things off-site, there are plenty of accommodation options in Bryce Canyon City (just outside the park) or in nearby Tropic or Cannonville. The park is open all year (24 hours a day), giving you both winter wonderland and summer spectaculars.
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Temple Square
Experience the peace and tranquility of beautiful Temple Square with a complimentary tour of Utah’s most visited attraction. Tours of the beautifully landscaped 10-acre property are available in 40 languages. Reflect on the majesty and wonder of God's creations as you stand beneath the star-studded dome in the rotunda of the North Visitors' Center and ponder the invitation of the outstretched arms of Thorvaldsen's Christus, a magnificent 11-foot statue of the Savior.
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The Leonardo Museum
The Leonardo is a non-profit community-powered museum which opened in 2011. The museum combines science, technology, and art in experiences that inspire creativity and innovation in visitors. By adding several hands-on experiences to the traditional museum experience, they believe are forging a new way forward in the museum industry. Once home to the Salt Lake City Public Library, The Leonardo’s downtown location has served the people of the Wasatch Front for nearly 50 years. As a result, The Leonardo is tremendously proud to carry on the legacy of community learning and invites you to become a part of this unique community powered museum experience.
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City Creek Center
City Creek Center is a world-class fashion and dining destination offering 110 retailers and restaurants, including Nordstrom, Macy's, Salomon, APEX by Sunglass Hut, Athleta, Michael Kors, Coach, Brio Tuscan Grille and more. This unique shopping environment also features a retractable glass roof, a creek that runs through the property, a pedestrian sky bridge, three fountains and more. Located just 10 minutes from Salt Lake International Airport, City Creek Center is a must-see during your Utah vacation.
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Tracy Aviary
Under the towering trees of centrally located Liberty Park you might hear the surprising sounds of hoots, shrieks, caws, and cries. There’s no reason to be alarmed, that’s simply the resident flock of birds that dwell within the Tracy Aviary. For almost 80 years, the aviary has delighted passionate bird nerds and those ignorant about avian life alike. You don’t have to be a bird watcher to enjoy the attractions of the Aviary, so pick a day and set off on an adventure to meet Salt Lake’s feathered friends. Tracy Aviary is open 363 days a year and features over 400 birds from 135 species ranging from exotic to backyard bird varieties. A variety of programs for members and the general public are also offered. From the Pelican Encounter, to Bird Walks, to the incredible Bird Show, there’s always something interesting to see at the Aviary. Want to witness an Apolomado Falcon in full flight? Feel the need to watch a silly Roseate Spoonbill strut his stuff? All this and much more wide eyed wonder can be found at the daily bird shows; check the website for a current schedule, as this is sure to be a highlight of any visit to the park.
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Bonneville Salt Flats
Imagine the passing thunder of strange vehicles hurtling by on a vast dazzling white plain. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah, stretching over 30,000 acres. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. Perhaps the most impressive spot to view the Salt Flats is along along I-80, about 10 miles east of Wendover. A rest stop has been established there (offering restrooms and water). The rest area is surrounded by perfectly flat land that looks like it is covered by snow. To the north and west, low mountains break the view. To the east and south, it looks like flat land extends virtually forever. At the rest stop you can walk out onto the salty soil. When you return, a water spray station has been set up so you can wash the salt from your shoes.
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The Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake and its islands provide outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities in northern Utah. Sunsets over the lake can be breathtaking. Amazing red, orange, lavender and magenta hues slowly dissolve in the evening sky. The lake's turquoise waters attract sailors, its white sand beaches are popular with swimmers and sunbathers, and craggy outcroppings on Antelope Island and some shoreline areas draw hikers and mountain bikers. The Great Salt Lake is one of the most asked-about tourist destinations in Utah. A remnant of the massive ancient Lake Bonneville, the lake is now landlocked and its waters are salty. It is the largest lake between the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean, and is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. Legends abound about the lake. Early explorers thought the lake was an inland extension of the Pacific Ocean, or that a river connected the lake to the ocean. Some Indians and early settlers thought the lake was inhabited by a terrible monster with an enormous head. The lake and its legends are an intriguing part of Utah's landscape and history.
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Tooele County
Just 35 minutes west of Salt Lake City in the heart of Tooele County is the Deseret Peak Complex. This venue features a wide array of activities, and there is something to satisfy every sports enthusiast's hunger for excitement. The complex is nestled in the heart of the Tooele Valley and is full of family fun activities. Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist. Imagine the passing thunder of strange vehicles hurtling by on a vast dazzling white plain. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah. Stretching over 30,000 acres, the Bonneville Salt Flats is a fragile resource administered by the Bureau of Land Management. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. Wendover is the closest city. Thousands of visitors, commercial filmmakers, and of course, high speed auto racers, make the Bonneville Salt Flats a world famous destination. Wanna fly? It is no longer just a dream. You can fly; Skydive Utah will teach you how. Your first skydive is only a phone call away. Fly high above the Great Salt Lake with a view that goes on for miles. Tooele County is one of the few places in Utah where skydiving is allowed.
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Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
Buffalo Bill Cody remains the ultimate Old West icon. One of his final wishes was to be buried on Lookout Mountain above Denver, and his grave site at Lookout Mountain Park is free to visit. As part of the Denver Mountain Parks system, the park offers an engaging museum dedicated to the life and times of Buffalo Bill and his internationally known Wild West show, a curio shop and café located in the historic log Pahaska Tepee building, short walking and hiking trails, a picnic area featuring one of the oldest mountain rustic picnic shelters in the Denver Mountain Parks system, and sweeping vistas from mountain to plain. While you’re there, look for Sitting Bull’s eagle feather headdress in the museum, have a buffalo burger at the café, and enjoy a rustic mountain experience only 12 miles from Denver.
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Colorado Railroad Museum
Lose track of time year-round at our Depot Museum and 15 acre rail yard featuring over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, our garden railway and our renowned library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable. Special events and train rides behind a vintage steam locomotive throughout the year. Train rides every Saturday.
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Downtown Aquarium
Mixes family fun, upscale-casual dining and spectacular marine life in Denver. Explore the Aquarium Adventure exhibit with more than 1 million gallons of extraordinary exhibits. Dine in the Aquarium Restaurant seated around a 50,000-gallon centerpiece aquarium featuring a variety of delicious menu selections.
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Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Die hard roller coaster fans will find plenty to love at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park.New for 2017, the Star Flyer lifts riders 17 stories into the air and spins at 50 mph above the Denver skyline with spectacular views of the mountains.
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Denver Union Station
Step into Denver's living room. Sit back, relax and take in the view. Grab a bite, a beverage or a sweet-smelling bouquet. Whatever Denver Union Station calls you to do, you'll be a part of the living, breathing energy that buzzes through this great space.
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16th Street Mall
Built in 1982, the Mall is a tree-lined, pedestrian promenade of red-and-grey granite that runs through the center of Downtown and is lined with outdoor cafes, renovated historic office buildings, sparkling glass-walled skyscrapers, shops, restaurants and retail stores. Numerous fountains and plazas offer a variety of daily special events and entertainers. Free shuttle buses cruise the mile-long Mall seven days a week.
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Forney Museum of Transportation
The Forney Museum of Transportation is a one-of-a-kind collection of over 600 artifacts relating to historical transportation. It began 60 years ago with a single 1921 Kissel, but soon expanded to include vehicles of all kinds. Today it includes not just vehicles, but also buggies, motorcycles, steam locomotives, aircraft, carriages, rail equipment, fire apparatus, public transportation, sleighs, bicycles, toys and diecast models, vintage apparel and much, much more!
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Clyfford Still Museum
Clyfford Still is considered one of the most important American artists of the 20th century and an originator of the Abstract Expressionism movement. With more than 3,000 artworks in the collection, the award-winning Clyfford Still Museum is the home to 95% of Still's artworks. Unlike any other museum experience, the Clyfford Still Museum features an entire life in paintings.
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Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building is an architectural work of art. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, it will change the way you experience art and architecture. Explore the Museum's galleries showcasing a world-famous American Indian art collection, as well as art from around the world. Family programs, traveling special exhibitions, Museum Shop, on-site restaurants and spectacular event spaces.
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Colorado State Capitol
The Colorado State Capitol was constructed in the 1890s and opened in November 1894. It is located at 200 E. Colfax Ave. and is home of the Colorado General Assembly, and the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer. Designed by architect Elijah E. Myers, the building is intentionally reminiscent of the United States Capitol, constructed of Colorado white granite and topped with its distinctive gold dome. The dome itself is covered in copper panels that are gilded with gold leaf from a Colorado mine. The gold was first added in 1908 to commemorate the Colorado Gold Rush. The inside of the building is adorned with what is believed to be the entire known supply of Colorado Rose Onyx, a rare rose marble from a quarry near Beulah, Colorado. White Yule Marble from the quarries near Marble, Colorado, was also used throughout the building for the floors.
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Denver Zoo
Whether it's baby animals, new exhibits, or old favourites, there's always something to be wild about at Denver Zoo! Denver Zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals and has championed over 600 conservation and research projects around the world. With more than 3,5000 animals showcasing 450 species, Denver Zoo is a must-see when in Colorado’s capital city. This outdoor world isn’t just about the wildlife, however. From rides on the carousel to 4D theater shows to Up-Close Animal Encounters, there is something inspiring for everyone. Each visit to the Zoo provides you with a different way to see animals engaging with the public — maybe today it’s a carcass feeding, tomorrow it could be watching a critter sniff out the scent enrichment around their habitat. You’ll be amazed to see how each species uses its natural behaviours to interact with mentally stimulating activities. Plus, the whole family will benefit from a gander at the animal demonstrations schedule, which happens throughout the day. Find out what it takes to take care of a herd of all-male Asian elephants or how sea lions rely on their adaptations to survive.
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Ghost Town Museum
As a true preservation of Colorado’s western past, Ghost Town Museum is a fun and historic look back at an old west town during the late1800’s and early 1900’s. Lots of hands-on activities for all ages
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North Rim
A worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled, the North Rim, or "other side" of Grand Canyon is visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors. The North Rim is over 8000 feet/2438 m. in elevation. For classic North Rim views, start at the Grand Canyon Lodge patio, then walk the paved trail out to Bright Angel Point. From the main parking area it is a relatively short, easy walk to Lodge itself. During winter months, the North Rim closes because of snow.
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Tuweep
At 3,000 vertical feet (880 m) above the Colorado River, the sheer drop from Toroweap Overlook offers a dramatic view. The volcanic cinder cones and lava flows in this ancestral home of the Southern Paiute people make this area unique. Situated below the iconic rim of Grand Canyon, a visit to Tuweep provides an opportunity for an uncrowded, rustic, and remote experience. Access is challenging and demands skill at negotiating difficult roadways. Summer brings monsoonal rain and lightning. Winter includes rain, snow and freezing temperatures. Be ready for quickly changing conditions.
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Broadmoor World Arena
The world area hosts many events and games such as basketball, hockey, the circus, graduations, concerts, expos, car shows, performances, and much more! There are vendors for most of the events and multiple concession stands for your convenience.
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Havasu Falls
The phrase “Havasu Falls” is often referencing the actual waterfall called “Havasu Falls” and it’s also often referencing the area where all 5 of the Havasupai Waterfalls exist on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon. Havasu Falls itself, the waterfall, is arguably the most aesthetic of the 5 waterfalls at Havasupai. It is the third and middle waterfall from top to bottom, and provides the best swimming, cascades, shade, places to relax, and general amazing ambiance. Havasu Falls is approximately 80 feet high, where the turquoise waters of Havasu Creek plunge from the travertine terraces above down to a large, idyllic pool of water below. From the pool below the waterfall, the water cascades down through a series of pools, each one a wonderful little swimming pool.
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Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, is a popular destination for both hikers and mule riders. Overnight hiker dormitories and cabins can be reserved and meals are available for purchase. Advance reservations for meals and lodging at Phantom Ranch are required. Reservations are made through Xanterra via an online lottery 15 months in advance. The park's Backcountry Information Center does not make reservations for Phantom Ranch lodging or meals. Overnight guests of Phantom Ranch who have advance reservations do not need to obtain backcountry camping permits. Taking a mule ride at the Grand Canyon is a tradition that began more than 100 years ago. Trips into the canyon - as well as rides through the park's woodlands to scenic canyon overlooks - are offered on both the North and South Rims
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Fly Colorado Ultralights
here are few exotic places in the world that will be as spectacular as flying in the Pikes Peak Region. From the Garden of the Gods to the high altitude lakes of Pikes Peak, to the fall Aspen leaf color changes, you won't be disappointed!
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Desert View Drive
Desert View Drive is a scenic route to the east of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim which follows the rim for 25 miles (40 km) out to the Desert View Watchtower and East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Along the way there are: Six developed canyon viewpoints, Four picnic areas, Five unmarked pullouts and Tusayan Museum and ruin site (Ancestral Puebloan). Private vehicles, are allowed on Desert View Drive.
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Desert View
Desert View is a small settlement on the South Rim located 25 miles/ 41 km east of Grand Canyon Village, and near the eastern edge of Grand Canyon. Arizona Highway 64, Also known as Desert View Drive, is a scenic road that connects Desert view with Grand Canyon Village. Also discover The Tusayan Ruin, is the remains of a small Ancestral Puebloan village located 3 miles (5 km) west of Desert View. This was a thriving community that created pottery, arrowheads and other household artifacts.
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Grand Canyon Village
Find everything you need for a Grand Canyon adventure in Grand Canyon Village. This historic village has excellent shopping for all the hiking and camping gear you need, as well as authentic American Indian crafts and plenty of canyon souvenirs. The village also has stellar lodging options and a top-rated walking tour. Grand Canyon Village, located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona, holds some of the best scenic overlooks in the park, including Yavapai Point. Begin your Grand Canyon tour at the visitor center. Here you can pick up a copy of the self-guided walking tour brochure for in-depth information on the canyon and its history. Highlights of the tour include Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel Buckey O’Neill Cabin, Hopi House, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio. You’ll also learn how Grand Canyon Village grew up around the Santa Fe Railroad starting in 1901. Stop by the rustic Grand Canyon Railway Depot, which welcomes Grand Canyon Railway passengers to the village.
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Hermit Road
Hermit Road is a scenic route along the west end of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim which follows the rim for 7 miles (11 km) out to Hermits Rest. This extremely popular route is accessed by free park shuttle bus, foot, bicycle, or commercial bus tour most of the year, with private vehicles allowed only during winter months of December, January and February. Along the canyon rim are nine designated viewpoints where the free Hermits Rest Route shuttle bus stops. The Canyon Rim Trail also follows the rim of the canyon for 7.8 miles (12.6 km) along Hermit Road and offers the opportunity for short or long walks between viewpoints on both paved and dirt trails. In addition to the Rim Trail, three miles of paved greenway trail provide additional views for cyclists and hikers.