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Where once people rushed for riches, now they rush for adventure. Since the pandemic, they’ve come in numbers like never before — at least not since that first rush.

This isn’t the Wild West of whiskey-swilling prospectors and gunslingers anymore, but it’s still the Wild West in other ways. The streets of our most historic towns are packed, and the surrounding hills are deluged as well, as in times of yore.

It is a transformation we aim to capture in this year's Summer Guide, serving as a glimpse into the bustling past and a guide to destinations bustling now.

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More to see and do in Colorful Colorado

Several of Colorado’s railroads live on from their frontier births. Where many once connected commerce, now they stir nostalgic imaginations on scenic tours. That’s especially the case in the fall, when aspen-washed hillsides turn gold. Here’s a look at options to consider come September, when displays are brightest: